Just for fun, I’m sharing our Christmas wrapping tradition I started years ago that my kids look forward to every year.

I love logic puzzles.

Wait, what does this have to do with Christmas wrapping?

Hang with me a sec.

I’m a homeschool mom, and one of my favorite things to do with the kids was to do a logic puzzle together. Critical thinking and all that, you know? We had a few books that we’d use as a resource. Basically you’re given a little information, then you have to try to deduce the missing information. These books will often have a chart to fill out. Here’s an example:

So, on to the tradition.

From my mother-in-law, I learned how much I love to have detailed Christmas wish lists. Makes Christmas shopping so much easier and people get what they actually want. We set a budget, use a spreadsheet, and heavily utilize the giftee’s wish list to do our shopping (almost completely on Amazon!). But what I noticed is that, because we usually don’t stray from the list, my kids were getting awfully good at figuring out their presents by the shapes of the boxes.

So, one year I decided that I would NOT label the gifts with the traditional to/from and instead, designate a paper for each person. But I wouldn’t tell anyone who was who! Only I knew!

And a fun outcome of this unusual Christmas tradition was that my kids, quite on their own if I recall, started setting up a logic puzzle chart to deduce whose paper was whose. The only hint I would give would be the answer to one yes or no question. Like, “Is Henry’s the Santa paper?” Once they presented me with their filled-in chart, I would let them know how many were correct. But not which ones. And they’d go back to the puzzle, discuss together, and try to figure out the missing pieces.

I gotta tell you….as a homeschool mom, I LOVED witnessing that whole thing.

They got too good at it.

So yeah, they started getting really good at it. I had to up my game. It was getting too easy for them to guess who was who.

One year, I added things to the boxes to throw them off. I added pennies or random things that would make noise when shaken. I added packing pillows to the outside of the boxes before wrapping. Anything I could do to throw them off the scent and challenge them.

They got too good at that too.

So then I tried something pretty devious….I decoy wrapped the gifts. I chose the papers for each person, wrapped the gifts, then wrapped them a second time with a different wrap.

Yes, I am that crazy.

But that was seriously fun. Well, for me. 😉

The tradition continues…

This fun Christmas wrapping tradition continues even when four of out my five kids are adults. And we’ve added a son-in-law to the mix!

I have some tricks up my sleeve for 2022, but for 2021 I’ll just be sticking with my normal, basic mystery wrapping tradition. I’ll need to gather some supplies to make 2022 a true mystery. Oh my gosh, I’m so excited!

A couple of tips for you

If you’d like to take on this tradition (and I highly recommend that you do), here are a few tips from the veteran:

  • Get your Christmas shopping done early. I mean, just do this anyway.
  • Wrap everything all in one session once all the presents are in your stash. I do this while I’m watching a Christmas movie in my room. It’s more efficient than dragging everything out multiple times. And you don’t have to keep checking your list, which reminds me…..
  • Keep at least a written list of who gets what paper. (Hide it.) Seriously, you think you’ll remember, but you’ll forget. Because I use a Christmas spreadsheet of the people, prices, and papers each Christmas I can easily access what the papers were last year so I don’t repeat. Or maybe I do, I’m that tricky!
  • Get reversible wrapping paper. The thicker kind. I love this stuff. And when I find a really pretty one, I get the big roll! It means less rolls to lug around. I’ve used the same rolls for years now. In fact, sometimes my kids will say something like, “I’m the train paper again? I’ve had that so many times!”
  • Don’t give too many hints! Make it a challenge.

We’d love to hear about your fun, unique family traditions! Comment below to share.

And Merry Christmas!