Tell me about your best sneaky gift-wrapping

I bought my nephew a season pass to a local amusement park for Christmas. I wasn’t sure how best to present it. Then I found a horrible lamp at Goodwill. The base is an outhouse with a door that opens. Yup, the pass will be in the outhouse.

The first Christmas I was married, I got my husband a pocketknife. I put it in a box of his favorite flavor of Captain Crunch- inside the plastic bag. I resealed the bag and glued the box shut. He was very polite about his crappy present, since we were pretty broke at the time. I told him maybe he should see if there was a prize inside.

So, what kind of gift-giving tricks have you pulled?

Not me, but when we were teenagers my sister gave me a gift that I unwrapped and found a box full of random crap…rubber bands, a maxi pad, restaurant packets of Saltines, that kind of thing. I can’t even remember what the real gift was, but it was hidden in there somewhere.

Target has a few “Prank” gift boxes, like this. I thought about getting that one but didn’t partially because it was $5 and partially because I worry that the parents of the two year old recipient would just spend the rest of the night mad at me if they didn’t open the box to see what was inside of it.

One year, my brothers and I wanted to give our father a koi. You can’t really put a fish under the tree, so we thought we’d get a little creative.

First, for the fish: We took a picture of the fish we wanted (and had the store set it on hold so no one else could buy it). We printed that picture on a color printer, using a normal print and a reverse print. Cut out the fish and glued the two sides to a piece of cardboard and then laminated that.

Next, the box. We took our laminated fish and put it in a bag of water. We put the bag of water in a box and wrapped the box. In a fit of whimsy, we stabbed holes in the box as if to provide air holes for the fish.

When my father opened the box, there was our fake fish, looking quite dead. In fact, the lamination was not perfect and a little water had caused some of the colors to run. Seriously, Hollywood would have a hard time creating a zombie fish of that quality. The look on his face was priceless as he tried to figure out how to tell us that an $80 fish could not survive in a box just because we punched air holes in it. Then we told him to look a little closer and let him on it. :smiley:

As another story, a friend of mine once gave me a birthday present by taking a box that was probably 3’ cubed. Inside was a box about six inches smaller, and another and another. Like one of those Russian dolls. Each box had way more tape that anyone could ever need. In the very middle was a computer game.

My wife and I do letterboxing. Basically, you follow clues you find online to find a series of boxes hidden in the woods, in each box there is a handmade stamp that you place in your stamp book.

Anyway, I hid my wife’s birthday present in the woods and I made a fake series of clues that I told her that I found on line. So then we followed the clues to the spot where the box was hidden and the stamp said Happy Birthday, with the present next to it.

Not “wrapping” but when I was 13 my mom and I shared a bachelor apartment. She hid my presents inside our suitcases that were stashed between my bed and the wall. She thought it was pretty funny that I had been sleeping beside my Christmas gifts for weeks and had no clue.

I don’t even remember what the present was but when my husband went on a business trip to Australia for 3 months a couple friends and I spent the time he was away working on the wrapping. He had a lovely carved chest in which he stored his dice. We put the gift (computer game maybe?) in the chest and then began wrapping it in coloured hockey tape and duct tape. 3 months of additonal layers in all directions and each layer wrapped differently enough that he couldn’t just cut it off. I think it took about 2 days of unwrapping for him to get to the center.

It wasn’t even partial payback for me having to move by myself while he was away. In fact, I think it’s time to bring that up again :wink:

I’m not proud of it but when I was still a kid my brother & I got help from my sister in wrapping presents. Well we slipped her present into the pile and she wrapped her own. That was pretty sneaky. And I know it was a rotten thing to do. I think I was 10 and I can blame my older brother at least as it was his idea. But I went along with it.

I’d put things like loose marbles inside the boxes. That way when the kids shook the presents, they’d think that there would be a toy, but it would be clothing instead.

I worked for a small fambly-owned company that wrote and sold a cash register app.

For the Christmas party one year, we drew from a hat to see who we would each give a gift to. I drew the Big Boss.

We had been stress-testing a new up-coming release with an automated script that rang up sales, rapid-fire, for hours on end. We had huge piles of miles of cash register receipts that it printed, faster than we could toss it all in the trash can.

Simultaneously, our receptionist/clerk/office manager person had been madly working on updating the voluminous user manual. For months, she had been updating chapters, printing out draft copies, wasting reams and reams of dead trees, much of which I took home to use the back sides for scratch paper. The project had been going for toooooooo long and everybody was stressed out about getting it done already.

The gift I got was a smallish furniture item (a footstool) that I guessed (correctly, it turned out) would be a good item for their little girl. Okay, now for the wrapping story:

I cut a bunch of those draft manual pages into irregular-shaped pieces and taped them all together to make a crazy-quilt, and wrapped the gift with that. Then I took a lengthy strip of the printed receipt and made a bow of that.

When receptionist/clerk/office manager person first saw the wrapped box, her immediate response was “Thanks. I needed that!” :stuck_out_tongue:

Back in the days of shaking presents, I’d put something inside a larger box than necessary and include a taped-shut tupperware full of broken glass.

My husband once put ten pounds of lead fishing weights in with a pair of earrings. Confused the hell out of me.

This year I’m giving my dad a biography of a famous physicist with NHL tickets for his favorite team that he’s never seen live before tucked inside. I haven’t done anything like this before so I’m pretty excited to see his reaction.

One year my brother put a large Chipotle gift card inside a DVD I wasn’t particularly interested in. I almost missed it.

OK, I find that really fucking funny. If my kids were still that young, I’d totally wrap that up and give it to my husband for Christmas.

I was giving cash to my nephew for Christmas so I opened 5 walnuts without breaking the shells and put a $5 bill in each one. I then glued then back together, spray painted them gold, and put them in a little drawstring bag. My nephew opened the bag and didn’t say anything. I found them in the trash about an hour later, and cracked them open in front of him.

I did relent and give him the money but not before making fun of him mercilessly.

I worked for COACH, makers of fine handbags, for a while. They were good people to work for especially since, just before the holidays, they had an employee sample sale. Bags would cost us 5, 10 or 25 dollars. (according to size)

So I have two nephews. Not the target audience for coach bags but I knew they had girlfriends. (one of whom would go on to be a Playboy playmate) So I bought the boys their traditional gift, a Best Buy gift card and put them in the bags. Wrapped the bags and sent them to the boys in Kansas. They opened the bags, and then gave them to their girlfriends, without looking inside. (Jesus, didn’t they ever watch reruns of Let’s Make a Deal? No they didn’t.)

I think they got the gift cards back.

Another time, I had movie theater. So my niece’s birthday came up. I bought her a shirt. I put the shirt in a plastic bag and put the bag in the bottom of a large popcorn bucket. Filled the bucket with popcorn and sent that to her party. She was pretty bummed but everyone sat around eating the popcorn. Finally she noticed the plastic starting to poke through. She yanked it out, sending the popcorn flying, and found her gift.

This isn’t exactly a present, but when my kid went off to college I told him I’d ship his bike, and I took it to a bike shop who said that for something like $30 they would box it up and he’d get it in about ten days.

A couple of days after that I was in a sporting goods store where I saw an exact miniature of his bike. The very bike, the very color. I bought it and put it in a padded envelope with a note: “I’m so cheap, I miniaturized your bike so it would be less expensive to send. Here it is. Add a little water and with the fairy dust, it should be full size in a week or two.” I added some loose glitter and sent it off.

As I figured, it arrived a few days before the bike.

Some years later this same kid was getting engaged. He and the bride-to-be went out to dinner where he popped the question (which was not a surprise, at all). But no ring. On the way out they stopped at the gumball machine. He suggested she try it. And yes! She got an engagement ring! Out of the gumball machine.

There may have been some sleight of hand involved.

I once did a take on that. We’d always written our “letters to Santa”, so that at least one of the things you got would be guaranteed to be something you really, really, really wanted, but one of my brothers had gone into this terribly angsty mood and refused to put anything down.

He likes boxes, cans; in general, packages and their design. I bought a set of three tin cans (something like 3€ from a street market), filled the smallest one with a kind of candy he liked a lot, put it in the next one, filled the space with another kind of candy he liked, did the same for the biggest box.

First he looked slightly less moody, then when he noticed the weight he looked intrigued, and when he opened the first tin it was a good thing that our other brother and I were on the alert for spilled candy: he was laughing so hard he almost managed to drop everything.

That reminds me of a similar story I read in a magazine. The young man telling the story got a pair of gloves from his Grandfather. He didn’t need or want gloves, but he thanked Grandpa and put the gloves in a drawer. Much later, he came across the gloves again and for some reason I can’t remember, put one of the gloves on and discovered a $20 bill in each finger.

I don’t remember all the details but this story from my family sticks out in my mind.

When I was very young, there was a big box (like big enough to be an old-style TV box maybe,) under the tree, wrapped and with my older brother’s name on it.

When he opened it, he found a somewhat smaller box, with some wadded-up newspaper between the two for padding. Open up THAT box, and there was some more packing material and a smaller box, and so on down for at least seven layers of boxes, until the last one was about the size of a jewelry ring box.

Inside that smallest box was a folded-up piece of paper, with a clue that led him to another clue hidden around the house, and so on for a merry treasure hunt chase. I think that the final prize was a new bicycle or something else fairly large and impressive. I’ll see if I can ask for more specifics when I talk to my mother next.