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5 Things You Need To Do *Before* You Wrap The Presents

things to do before you wrap the giftsCongratulations on another successful year of navigating the malls and snagging the perfect gift for your kids. You did it!

But your job is not done.

To avoid a chaos of crying, fidgeting, and people eager to play with toys that don’t work, can’t open, nobody understands, or don’t do anything – you need some preparation.

Nobody wants an empty iPad, a robot with dead batteries, or a doll house that takes 20 minutes to take out of the box.

Before you settle down to a night of Bailey’s, scotch tape, scissors, and wrapping paper there are a few easy things you can do to make that Christmas morning even more magical:

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  • Be Prepared 1 of 5
    Be Prepared
    When you buy the big train sets, car race tracks, or model whatever, chances are they are attached by dozens of little twist ties, and zap straps to the cardboard. This makes it look great in the box on the shelf at the store, but if you have a super excited kid because you just nailed the BEST. PRESENT. EVER!, then they will drive you batty wanting to play with it.

    Solving this problem is simple: unpackage it before you wrap it. The kid doesn't care how it looks in the box, they want the toy. So pull all those annoying straps off in advance, and then wrap it a separate box.

    Image via Crunchy Rock
  • Some Assembly Required 2 of 5
    Some Assembly Required
    Back in the day, bikes didn't come ready built at the store. You had to build them in advance. My mom and dad put it all together and left it under the tree. What a sight it was.

    This one could have an asterisk, because the bonding time of building something together is one of the joys of Christmas, but if it's a toy they'll want right away, make sure it's ready to go right away!

    Image via iStockPhoto
  • Batteries Not Included 3 of 5
    Batteries Not Included
    Devices not charged is the new batteries not included. If you're giving electronics for Christmas, make sure that baby has some juice in it so the kids can play with it right away. And that doesn't mean just taping batteries to the box. See above and load the batteries in the toy. Toys for younger kids come with complicated screw locked battery chambers. You won't know where the screwdrivers are on Christmas morning, so load them in advance.

    Image via GreenPhilly
  • Learn How It Works 4 of 5
    Learn How It Works
    A few years ago I bought my wife a GPS for Christmas. Before I wrapped it up, I used it in my car for a few weeks. I learned how it worked, made sure it was charged, and loaded in her address book. On Christmas morning, instead of waiting for it to charge, and reading the manual, I could give her a hands-on demonstration of how it worked and it was ready to go!

    Image via iStockPhoto
  • Load It Up! 5 of 5
    Load It Up!
    If they are lucky enough to be getting an iPod, iPad, or some other tablet or music or gaming device, why not load it up with some of their favorite games or music so it's ready to go? You can buy a pre-paid iTunes gift card at the store, sync the device to your local WiFi network, and download the stuff right there. An iPad or iPod is a fabulous gift (and the one kids want the most), but it comes empty so fill it up!

    Image via iStockPhoto

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Image Credit iStockPhoto

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