Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Santa Gets Sacked

One of the unmitigated joys of childhood is the frantic ripping of wrapping paper on Christmas morning. One of the unmitigated chores of parenthood is the careful wrapping of all those gifts on Christmas Eve. Until three in the morning. While slurping eggnog so fast your head spins.

Oh, is that just me?


No matter how organized my Advent is (or is not), I always seem to be left with more than a few gifts to wrap in the eleventh hour. If I'm lucky, then I'll catch It's A Wonderful Life or A Christmas Carol on television while I'm working. If not, then I usually end up seeing something like The Terminator. 'Cause nothing says Christmas like a robot from the future on a deadly mission, right?

So this year I decided to take a page out of my parents' playbook because why mess with success? I'm giving up the wrapping paper, and I'm using a Santa Sack for each child and one for myself and the Mister.

A Santa Sack is a large cloth sack that can hold tons of goodies, with not a single one of them wrapped. Sort of like a giant stocking, I guess. It maintains the surprise element since the kids can't see through it, and we go even further and only allow the child to snake one little hand in and withdraw one gift at a time.

Another good thing about Santa Sacks? They are reusable for years, and that makes my frugal heart happy.

Oh, and they are also great in those days after Christmas when all of the little gifts and toys that were so neatly stacked under the tree become a foot ensnaring booby trap to unsuspecting passers-by. You can easily tell the kids to put all their things back into the Santa Sack and haul that puppy out of the living room.

And wait, wait! Don' forget that you are saving trees when you don't use all that gift wrap. That was one advantage thought of by my tree-hugging daughter.

So far, I'm not seeing a downside to these little beauties.

We used these when I was growing up, and I have so far suffered no deleterious effects of a wrapping paper-free Christmas. I still have my childhood Santa Sack, and it is still put to good use every year.

The sacks that I bought for the kids are from LL Bean, and they are wonderful: very sturdy and very large (My five year old can fit into his sack). Plus, they only cost $10.50 for the large size. And double plus, LL Bean has free shipping going down until Christmas. When you consider the fact that they are used for an entire childhood, you can bet you are looking straight down the barrel of a bargain, my friends.

I also got each sack personalized with my kids names (for an extra fee), so that Santa would know which bag belongs to which child. Very important details. (You can also go the way my mom did and write your child's name on the front in a big black marker. She's got great handwriting, so it looks pretty, and it serves the same purpose).

Let's review:

Santa Sacks = no wrapping paper, tape, or scissors, no bad movie-watching, no eggnog hangover, no wrapping frenzy induced exhaustion on Christmas morning, no tree killing, and no big piles of new toys laying on the living room floor waiting to get broken.

All of the above = saving money, time, and sanity.

So according to the Transitive Property (if a=b and b=c then a=c), Santa Sacks save money, time, and sanity.

And, apparently, they help me remember math.

Works for me.


  1. those are great. my parents gave up wrapping gifts from santa YEARS ago. everyone had their "spot" on the couch where their gifts from santa were placed. gifts from mom & dad were wrapped and under the tree.

  2. That is such a good idea!! I've seen them in magazines, but I didn't know where you could get one.

  3. That is a great idea. But I must admit to actually enjoying the wrapping of the presents. I like doing it. I have a problem. I bought white craft wrapping paper this year and some rubber stamps and I'm going to decorate some of my own paper! It is a sickness, really.

  4. I saw big(huge) stockings at Dollar Tree and thought that I could use that instead of a sack.

  5. Awsome! I'll have to look into that.

  6. That is brilliant. I have never thought of doing that. And I just got the LL Bean catalogue.

  7. Terrific idea. Doesn't work for the bike, pony or pool table, but for 99^ of the stuff that should do 'er!

    Great thinking.


  8. Santa sacks . . . what a wonderful idea! I'm one who actually likes to wrap (therapeutic for me!), but this idea definitely has its merits. Thanks for sharing!


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