Holidays and kids mean your home is likely getting crowded with presents.
But where to put them all until the big day?
If you're like me, you're working hard to find a new and foolproof place to hide your inquisitive children's presents.
I know from experience it's difficult -- I still clearly remember the year my younger brother found Santa's stockpile of wrapped presents in my parents' closet and decided it was a great idea to show me.
Now, as a parent myself, I've decided to hide gifts in a few different spots as a way to minimize the chance of the kids finding the entire pile of presents before Christmas morning.
First, here's an important tip: You might want to keep a list of where you've hidden all of the presents so you don't forget where they are -- though there's nothing like the surprise of finding a long-forgotten, wrapped Christmas present hidden under the beach blankets at the back of the linen closet -- in July!
Here are seven spots to consider hiding presents this holiday season:
1. A friend or family member's house.
The neighbor's garage or a grandparent's attic are great places to keep a cache of presents.
2. A closet your kids don't use frequently.
Maybe it's their own closet! Ha! Other good spots include the closet where you keep cleaning supplies, the linen closet, or an office closet -- just make sure they're up high enough to be out of sight of prying eyes!
3. The trunk of your car.
But make sure to put a blanket over them! Our children found presents hidden in our trunk one year because they weren’t covered. Oops!
4. Kitchen pots.
A big pot that you hardly ever use makes the perfect spot to hide stocking stuffers!
5. A closed up plain box labeled for donation.
One year we put some presents in a big brown box, closed it up, and left it out in plain view, marked for donations -- the kids never even touched it!
6. In a storage bin or suitcase in the attic or basement.
Simply use an empty suitcase or bin (the ones you had your Christmas decorations or tree stored in would be perfect!) and leave it right where it's usually stored so as not to arouse suspicion.
7. Under the bed.
Just like the closet, this is often the last place your kids will ever look ... as any parent who has dug a year's worth of sock orphans out from under their kids' beds will attest.
Hope these ideas help you preserve the surprise of those awesome gifts you're stockpiling for Christmas morning. Hope you have a wonderful -- and awe-inspired -- holiday season!
Noelle Monaghan is the publisher of Macaroni Kid in Worcester, Mass.