To Wrap or Not to Wrap?

Around Christmas time last year, I came across a Facebook post from my friend regarding Santa and Christmas presents. The post was about whether or not gifts from Santa were wrapped or unwrapped. It had never occurred to me that this would even be a topic of conversation, but what a topic it was. It ended up being split right down the middle; half of the people wrapped their gifts from Santa while the other half didn’t.

Growing up our presents from Santa were always wrapped. That was part of the fun to me; waking up Christmas morning, seeing all the presents, waking up my parents, and finally opening up the presents to see what Santa brought. The only time something wasn’t wrapped was if it was too big to wrap. I got a bike one year, and that wasn’t wrapped. Another year I got a much-desired dollhouse that wasn’t wrapped either. But most all of our presents from Santa were wrapped. We didn’t have a special system of color coding Santa presents (although I do like this idea), but the ones from Santa just had our names on them. The ones from our parents were from “Mom and Dad.”

Christmas Presents Wrapped

Now it is my family’s turn to have our Christmas morning traditions, and we still will have our presents wrapped from Santa. I just love seeing a big Christmas tree with wrapped presents underneath it. We might have one bigger gift from Santa that would be more fun to be unwrapped and set up, so we will do that (I can’t give it away before Christmas!), but everything else will be wrapped!

When this post came up on Facebook, I couldn’t believe so many people had their presents from Santa unwrapped. They would wake up Christmas morning and rush to the tree, and all of their toys and gifts would just be out ready for them to play with. Even though this wasn’t how I grew up, I could see the excitement of doing it this way.

From what I read from the “non-wrappers” it seems the only disadvantage was the potential snatching and fighting between kids that just saw toys and ran full force, not noticing what was for who. How does your child know what bike is his? Or what “big” toy has her name on it? I’m sure every family has a method of separating gifts out, but I would love to know how!

Some noteworthy advantages are no wrapping paper mess! (But where is the anticipation?!?) And of course, everything can be put together! I’ll admit getting those nearly impossible to open plastic packages ripped apart or untying the 450 twist ties on the back of a toy is just as annoying as the child standing there whining for you to hurry up! But still, people, including me, are very passionate about how their Santa presents are delivered, and they can’t imagine doing it any other way!

I’d love to know what you and your families doing with presents from Santa…are they wrapped or unwrapped and why do you do it the way you do? Leave a comment below!

Cheryl Leddy is both a mom and a C.P.A. in her native Jacksonville, FL. Upon graduating from the University of Florida, her love for Jacksonville brought her back to the First Coast where she began her career and her family. She and her husband have three curly-haired children, Nate, Evelyn, and Whit, whom she adores, but who constantly keep her on her toes! Cheryl is fortunate to be able to work as a C.P.A. at Farmand, Farmand, and Farmand, LLP while also being home with her children (except during the dreaded “tax season”!). Her favorite parts about living in Jacksonville are the great family and kid-friendly activities, the proximity to the beach, as well as the short drive to Gainesville, where she can keep up with the Florida Gators (her first true love)! She is excited to share some tax and financial tips that can benefit all moms and growing families…hope you enjoy!


  1. We are “non-wrappers”. Santa never wrapped for me, but did for my husband. He jumped on the non wrapper train pretty easily. It’s kind of a tradition now for us to stay up on Christmas ever and drink wine and put together all the toys with a bajillion pieces. Santa leaves most of his toys ready to be played with! We organize the gifts in sections. Each kid’s gifts are all together in one area. No fighting over gifts. It works! Santa moved the furniture last year so he could organize everything and that was a hit too. He might even leave some snowy footprints this year!!

  2. We are ” wrappers”, unless it’s too big to be wrapped such as a bike or so on. All the presents from Santa, are wrapped in a Classic Santa wrapping paper. Everybody has their presents in one area under the tree. Very organized, we all take turns opening a present one at a time, so we can see what each person received. Also, all the Santa presents have all capitalized letters on the tags, my kids know my hand writing, this is the way we did Christmas when I was growing up.

  3. We do not wrap from Santa, but he only leaves 1 or 2 big presents and stockings. We put the stocking next to the Santa presents so the kids know where to run. My mom did not feel that Santa should get all the credit (and I agree), so the other presents were wrapped and under the tree from Mom, Dad, or siblings. We take turns wearing the Santa hat and handing out presents. The kids love this job. It makes for a long morning of unwrapping since we all take turns and only can open 1 present at a time, but it is also fun! What I think is amazing is that kids do not ever compare the details of how they get their loot, they just want to know what they got! It was not until we started the “Santa work” that I figured out there were different ways of doing it, I always assumed everyone did it the way we did. I love the snowy footprints idea Kacey!!

  4. We wrap presents from mom and dad, so there’s that anticipation, and Santa leaves his unwrapped for immediate play time. Santa in our house only brings one item, plus the stockings, and the time spent playing with and exploring those is time for mom and dad to get coffee, and pull out whatever breakfast stuff we’re having that morning. Also, our kids make specific Santa requests, so which gift belongs to them is pretty evident. The age gap (and 7yr old and an 11 month old) should help this year too!

  5. We never had santa’s gifts wrapped. It was mom and dad’s way of controlling chaos, which I know sounds a little counter-intuitive. We’d go to our unwrapped Santa gift, get to play for a bit while breakfast cooked, all the parents to drink some coffee and wake up, then we’d get into the wrapped stuff. By the time we opened our first wrapped present, we’d be awake (or at least out of bed) for a good 3 or 4 hours. There was never a year that I can remember trying to figure out who got what gift, first we are all fairly separate in age (4 years between each of the 4 siblings), so it would be pretty obvious the “younger” toys from the “older”. Also, our tastes were wildly different… My sister couldn’t get enough Barbie, I wanted nothing to do with that stuff, I was into earth sciences. Our other way to determine who’s was who’s is we each have a very distinctive stocking, and Santa always seemed to pull our stockings off the fireplace and put them next to our gift. He also always got the entire family a gift, like a board game and he’d set it up in the living room all ready to roll the dice and play. Just to give mom and dad a few more minutes before ripping into paper. 🙂

    I’ve kept with that tradition, letting my daughter come downstairs and seeing a random new toy in her space. I don’t like having a “naked tree”, so gifts get wrapped and put under it right away. To let her see a new toy right away, even though there’s still all those presents to open, she has a great time until I’m ready and awake for the chaos.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here