We thought it was just our unruly brood, but it seems even the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are suffering with this parenting dilemma at the moment.
Prince William revealed in an interview this week with Kiss FM, that three-year-old Prince George has been trying to open his presents early this year, and mum and dad aren’t happy about it.
Siobhan Freegard, founder of ChannelMum told The Huffington Post UK that this behaviour is perfectly normal for toddlers.
“Who didn’t poke holes in the wrapping paper to peek at the pressies under the tree when they were little? The excitement of crawling round the back of the tree, checking the labels and seeing your name is part of the magic.”
Although this makes us feel a little better about the situation, we’d still rather that they left the gifts alone until the 25 December. So we’ve been the experts what we can do.
1. Choose strong tape.
This may seem like an obvious point, but there are some types of tape that make it too easy for a quick glimpse. Whereas others make it damn-near impossible to break-in and cover your tracks.
Freegard says: “Your choice of sticky tape is so important. The opaque tape that is easy to tear with your teeth is great for wrapping but can be easily opened and re-stuck. Go for heavy duty brand name tape and secure with ribbons to stop cheeky peeking.”
2. Don’t put them out till Christmas Eve.
This is the most obvious solution, but if you’re anything like us, you enjoy seeing the presents piling up around the tree in the week leading up to Christmas so tend to start putting them out as soon as they are wrapped.
Maybe consider putting half out and reserving half.
“For obvious gifts like Lego, don’t put them out until Christmas Eve once the kids are in bed,” says Freegard.
3. Put them in a box.
If you really don’t want to keep them hidden away till the big day (we can’t resist the excitement) then Freegard advises to put them in a box under the tree.
“Pop all wrapped pressies into a Santa sack, or even better grab a cardboard box, and wrap it and put the presents in there. No amount of prodding works on cardboard!”
Out of sight, out of mind hey.
4. Or put them in a plastic bag.
If your children are a little older, and you’re worried about when they are left unattended, then wrap the presents in plastic bags or bubble wrap before putting paper on them.
Freegard says, then when they poke a hole in it, they are confronted with a sheet of plastic. Tricky.
5. Throw them on the fire.
This might not be the best parenting solution, but it is worth a thought if you are reaching the end of your tether.
Imgur user historymaker121 said: “Place fake presents [an empty wrapper] under the tree with your child’s name on them and every time they try to peep, pick the fake present up and toss it into the burning fireplace. That will straighten them up.”
6. Don’t stress about it.
Ultimately though Christmas is meant to be about having fun, and if your children want to ruin their own surprise, they’ll be the ones that are disappointed on Christmas morning. Maybe it will teach them not to do it next year…