December 13, 2006

WFMW- Putting gifts under the tree

It used to be that we would keep all the Christmas gifts for our children in our closet until Christmas Eve and then dear hubby and I would stay up late wrapping like crazy to get it all done AND still get a few hours sleep before the children woke up. That wasn't too bad of a system for our family when we had, say less than six children. Yet, as our family size grew, our closet stayed the same size. It became impossible to get into the closet to get to our clothes with all the gifts being "hidden" in there. With twelve children and even with trying to limit the amount of gifts, even 2-3 gifts times twelve is, well too much for our closet to handle!

I think it was my smart hubby who came up with the solution we have been using for several years now: We wrap gifts as soon as we want after the Christmas tree goes up, but instead of putting names on the gifts we use a number system. Wrap the first gift, slap a number "1" on it and on our master list that we keep hidden away till Christmas morning I write who number "1" goes to. And, so on till all the gifts are wrapped. This way, the gifts our out of our closet, are already wrapped (much less stress and more sleep Christmas Eve!) and the children do not know who's gift is who's so they are not tempted to try to "peek, shake or rattle" the gifts as they sit for weeks under the tree.

This year, we put the tree up on December 4th and on the 6th hubby and I wrapped 26 gifts, which was the bulk of them, but a few more are still on the way from doing 90% of our Christmas shopping online this year (another life saver for the busy mom of twelve!).

This is also a good idea for families of any size who have kids who like to "peek".

That's what works for me! Visit Shannon at Rocks In My Dryer for more Works for me Wednesday ideas!


Overwhelmed! said...

This sounds like a great technique, but let me ask you a question. Do your little ones believe in Santa Claus coming on Christmas Eve with gifts? If so, how do you account for the gifts already under the tree.

Please know that I'm not trying to be offensive. I'm new to your blog and I don't know how your family celebrates Christmas. If Santa is a part of that, I'm just curious how you handle that aspect.

By the way, I'm so impressed that you already have your shopping done for a family of 12 children and I'm barely started for my only child! :) My mom was the youngest of 13, I wonder how her family did it. I'll have to ask her.

I’ve posted a 12 lbs ‘til Christmas WFMW tip.

The Davenport Dozen said...

That is a good question. No, we do not do Santa, so there isn't a conflict with putting the gifts under the tree early. All the children know that the gifts are from mom and dad, in celebration of the greatest gift ever given to us, Jesus Christ.

Still working on getting our Christmas letter and photo into the mail......


Becky said...

Good idea! Thanks for sharing.

jeewbee said...

We too do not wait until Christmas Eve to put the gifts under the tree. I just wrap a few here and there and put them under the tree. I have discovered though this year that the little ones are having a hard time discovering that so and so has 2 gifts under the tree today and I only have 1 etc. It is kind of exciting for them to see the presents and anticipate the unwrapping to come! I haven't had any peekers yet, and for the most part they just leave the gifts alone. I can't imagine how you and Dave used to do it, keeping everything until Christmas Eve!! I really like the idea of the number system- I will have to try that next year for sure!!

Got my cards in the mail yesterday! Hoping to get gifts in the mail by tomorrow!! :-) Why can't there be more hours in the day and much more at night while I try to sleep??


Roberta said...

I forget every year how long wrapping takes, must remember to wrap early!
How does little Megan do with the presents and tree? Noah has only undecorated the tree a few times.
And I too love online shopping, especially with the free shipping specials.

The Davenport Dozen said...

It is pretty strange, but Megan has not touched the tree or the gifts...yet. The tree has been up since the 4th and she hasn't gotten near it. In fact, we put it up while she was napping and when we brought her downstairs after her nap, she took one look at the tree and started screaming. I don't think it is a scary tree, but it is pretty big, so maybe it is just too much for her - lol!

Well, I was loving online shopping till I found out the hard way that, so far, two company's allowed me to order items, but then backordered them after I ordered them. One cancelled the order without telling me (arghhh!) the other just put my order in line to fill as soon as they got more stock. (probably AFTER Christmas!). I had to call to find out why I hadn't received that item yet and then found out they didn't have it. Arghhh. So, I'm now scrambling to find those items locally or replace them with something else. One is a Lego item that can only now be found on eBay for about triple the original price. Those eBay pirates! They buy the stuff when it is on sale, wipe out all the stock in the local stores and and then sell it at a huge profit.

Oh well, tis the season to be an opportunist, eh?


Roberta said...

Oh, poor Megan. how funny!
*yikes!* about the orders...that's not good business.

Dana said...

I shop all year, have gifts for next Christmas and some birthdays already. Obsessives/Compulsives,you gotta love 'em. I am also fond of lay away, since when you get them out, they will do a price compare and if anything went on sale while the stuff was in lay away, you get the sale price. Woohoo!

Loni said...

What a wonderful idea! I love it! We are expecting our 12th in March. (We have 9 living children). I have yet to wrap any of ours cluttered in our bedroom!

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