Wrapping presents with kids is tricky—and downright stressful as the holidays approach. Not only do you have to find an adequate hiding spot to avoid curious eyes, but then you have to bust everything out, sometimes in the middle of the night, create a perfect pop-up wrapping station, and then hide it all again.
Gift-giving around the holidays is associated with all sorts of pressures, and can cause real psychological stress, from the overspending to the preparation to the giving and receiving itself. But one mom found the perfect way to work some me-time into an otherwise difficult and overwhelming process.
One TikTok mom “McKelligan” started her own de-stressing party with an epic tradition—taking herself, and all the presents, to a hotel room for the weekend (yes, two nights, not one), to wrap and celebrate the season in peace with one big wrapping-presents weekend. Her two silent nights are complete with Starbucks, booze, her favorite shows, and not having to hide a single present from anyone.
“Second annual wrapping weekend! Booked a hotel for two nights, wrapped all the gifts, order takeout, watch tons of tv, and no one asked me for anything,” she wrote in the TikTok’s caption. She donned “Santa Baby” shirts and a hat that says “Santa” along with her fluffy purple socks. Music videos and football games play in the background on TV, and in one shot she’s snacking on a whole bag of Tostitos and a soda. At the end of the weekend, she’s ready to pack up with her perfectly wrapped packages all bagged up and ready to transport back home.
Related: Imperfectly wrapped gifts actually make some people happier, says new study
TikTok moms are all about her brilliant holiday hack. One says, “Okay but hear me out an air bnb so all the moms can wrap and sip together.” Another thinks she shouldn’t have to lug the gifts around—“Nah send the fam to the hotel then you don’t have to lug that all around & you can still order take out n tried [sic] between wrapping lol.” Others agreed that rounding up and taking all the gifts to the hotel might be kind of difficult: “Naw…I’d go back home and find 17 more presents that I hid around the house and stress out again!”
Others were a bit more critical of the financial aspect of spending money on a hotel to wrap. One says, “Oh…we’re in a different tax bracket.” Another adds “You rented a room to wrap presents?” One mom recalls doing this with her mom in the past, as a mother-daughter tradition.
Related: Mom’s viral TikTok perfectly nails how we all feel about the endless school holiday to-dos
If a hotel isn’t in the cards this year, and you are still game for some last-minute present-wrapping hacks, here are some tips.
- If you have kids old enough to help, delegate a pile of presents for them each to wrap (such as grandma’s or Uncle Ted and throw a roll of paper their way. You can even make it a race if you don’t care about sloppy wrapping jobs. Or if you do, make a contest for most creative wrapping jobs.
- Switch to bags! If they are too pricey, check out your local thrift store or repurpose bags starting now for next year’s holiday.
- Do a little each day leading up to the holiday, instead of everything at midnight on Christmas Eve or the day of a holiday or major event
- Wrap different groups’ presents in the same wrapping paper to easily identify which goes where the day of (i.e. everything going to your cousin’s party is in red)
- Take any shortcuts you want to—stick on bows and ribbons in place of tying real ones, or handwritten sharpie notes right on the package instead of real ones. You can even opt for plain brown paper and have your kids create drawings all over them for a conversation piece.
Finally, do whatever you need to do to delegate and destress—it’s your holiday too.
A version of this story was originally published on Dec. 22, 2022. It has been updated.