On the other hand, a clever or unique gift reveal shows someone you really made an effort. For example, when the tooth fairy visits your kids, she might leave behind a trail of pixie dust (gold glitter) as well as a gold coin. Try coming up with creative ways to present your gift to further add to the element of surprise. Here are some other suggestions...
Instead of handing over a gift-wrapped box, give your friend or partner a clue that leads them to where the gift is. Feeling particularly clever? Make it a full-scale scavenger hunt, where one clue leads to another. Make the clues riddles or inside jokes that only you two would know. But don’t get too clever – with a group of friends we once pretended that a present had been kidnapped and sent the receiver to a series of telephone boxes where we called in clues, but it only took one out-of-order phone box to bring that scheme crashing down.
It can be boring to be handed a wine-bottle-shaped gift that turns out to be just that. A bit of creative packaging can make your gift look like something completely different. The key here is to make the pressie look less appealing than it actually is – not the other way round! Giving someone a pair of socks concealed in the packaging of a flat-screen TV is just mean; presenting your partner with a toaster that turns out to be a Fitbit gift pack is more like it.
THE TROJAN HORSE
Let the Sack of Troy be your guide, but with a pleasant surprise instead of a war-losing one. Give a book you know he wants, but with gig tickets hidden inside. Or secrete a pair of Belle of the Ball Gala Stud Earrings inside the pocket of her beautiful new dress.
This is where you hide your gift somewhere the recipient will stumble upon it, getting a pleasant surprise. It needs to be somewhere they go regularly, like a sock drawer (but probably not if the gift is socks!), the bathroom cabinet or even a bicycle helmet for regular cyclists. Be mindful of potential damage and never, under any circumstances, use the oven – many a chocolate Easter bunny has been murdered that way.
If it’s a birthday or anniversary, your target will be on high alert. The secret here is to surprise them with your gift at an unusual time. Send it to work, wait until the end of the day when they think you’ve forgotten or catch them out first thing in the morning.
Your friend or partner will expect the gift to come from you, so mix things up a bit. Go out to dinner and arrange to have one of the waitstaff to hand over the present. Does the recipient have a dog? Try attaching the gift to the pet’s collar, though remember the less human a delivery person, the greater the risk!
THE GREAT DIVIDE
If your gift comes in several pieces hand it over at a few different times throughout the day. Like a magician pulling a coin from the ear of an unsuspecting child, the recipient will never know what to expect next.