The Genius Family Christmas Tradition to Start this Year

Christmas wrapping paper

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How many hours have you spent writing the to/from tags on holiday gifts? How about we cut that time in half with this genius Christmas tradition? Your kids will love this tradition, you’ll love this tradition. Win win for everyone, right? Right?

My husband and I started this Christmas tradition with our boys when they were tiny and it’s become an activity that they really look forward to. As much as I enjoyed trying to disguise my handwriting to look like Santa’s (hint, hint…sarcasm), writing all the to/from tags on Christmas gifts was super annoying. Not only did it take a ton of time, but I had to make sure to buy tags each year and to try not to lose the pen as much as I lose scissors when gift wrapping. #momlife, amiright?

The Family Christmas Tradition to start this year

Enter: our gift wrap Christmas tradition. Every November, before Thanksgiving, I’ll take the boys out to the store and will let them pick two rolls of wrapping paper. I used to be one of those “I want the wrapping paper under my tree to coordinate” people, but not anymore! Now, the boys pick out paper that matches their personality or current interests. Most years, they usually pick cartoon character prints, but sometimes they surprise me and just go for a generic Christmas theme. Either way, it’s fun to see what they end up with and has become one of our favorite Christmas traditions.

@thathomeschoolfamily Looks like it's time to pick out Christmas paper again! 😍 #christmastraditions #dollartwentyfivetree #homeschoolchristmas #thathomeschoolfamily #christmashacks #giftwrappinghacks #Christmas ♬ original sound – Liz | That Homeschool Family

After the boys pick out their paper, we pay for it and bring it home to leave for Santa, in front of the fireplace, on Thanksgiving night. You know what happens on Thanksgiving night, right? Santa drops off the Elf on the Shelf! In our home, when Santa drops off the Elf, he also picks up the wrapping paper for each child (read: I take the paper and hide it in the basement). This is when the magic really happens…

2 young boys, each with a roll of wrapping paper, excited to continue the Christmas tradition of leaving their wrapping paper out for Santa to pick up from the article "How to Save Time with this Genius Christmas Tradition" from That Homeschool Family
My boys LOVE this Christmas tradition and look forward to picking out their wrapping paper every year!

(Sidenote: if you’re interested in some activity ideas for your Elf and wouldn’t mind getting a free printable letter from the Elf to your child, check out these 50 funny & easy Elf on the Shelf ideas!)

When Santa has collected the wrapping paper (cough, cough), it’s time for me to start wrapping! Instead of taking the time to write out individual to/from Christmas tags for each gift, I just wrap each child’s gifts using the paper they picked out. Easy peasy, right? Just in case the boys forget what paper they picked out, I always make sure to save a small sliver of paper from each design. Then, on Christmas Eve, Santa will leave those slivers of paper along with the letter he writes to the kids.

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Genius Christmas tradition, right?

No more cramped hands. No more spending money on tags. No more kids getting frustrated because they can’t read Santa’s handwriting (oops). On Christmas morning, the kids come down, identify which packages are theirs by the wrapping, and Christmas morning is as magical as possible.

Even when Santa is no longer a part of our Christmas celebration (please don’t make that day come too soon!), I hope that we can continue this Christmas tradition! It’s really a lot of fun and I really love looking back at photos of previous Christmases and seeing the prints of the wrapping paper the boys chose. We’re all about making memories during the holidays!

- Elizabeth (and the kids. and the husband. even the dog.)
That Homeschool Family in Hollywood Studios in Walt Disney World.

Elizabeth Dukart is a proud Georgia-based born and raised Jersey Girl, wife, and mom of 2 human boys & 1 canine boy.

Created in 2021, Elizabeth owns and publishes That Homeschool Family: a free resource for homeschooling parents and beyond! A seasoned blogger, Elizabeth previously published a popular location-specific family resource blog, but decided to “Pivot!” her blogging focus after she started homeschooling her two boys in 2020. In addition to this blog, you can follow Elizabeth’s homeschooling and family adventures on Facebook, TikTok, Instagram, YouTube, and Pinterest. She can also be found in her Facebook Group: That Homeschool Family Hangout.

When she’s not busy taking over the world or homeschooling, Elizabeth can be found listening to music (especially The Beatles & Harry Styles!), being silly with her boys, watching movies with family, shopping, or traveling!

Have a question or want to work with Elizabeth? Send her an email!

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