a box inside a box inside a box inside a box
December 12, 2006 4:00 PM   Subscribe

I've already got the xmas gift figured out, now I'm trying to figure out how to give it...so what are some creative/clever/funny ways you've given gifts?

I've got a digital camera and various accessories, and I'm looking for a fun way to wrap them or otherwise present (*cough*) them...

Also, what are other creative gift-giving methods you've come up with for gifts not necessarily digital-camera-sized?

No idea is too big or too small...

posted by 777 to Grab Bag (26 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
When I was little (10 or so), my parents took my two younger sisters (8, 6) and I to see a staged production of Winnie the Pooh at a local theatre company. We noticed as we were walking in that they were selling little stuffed animals of the characters. At intermission, we were standing in the courtyard when my father gasped, grasped his chest, and doubled over. We thought he was dying. He came back up, still gasping, with a small stuffed animal for my youngest sister poking out of his jacket Alien-style. Two more animals came out for the rest of us. That is one of my favorite childhood memories.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 4:10 PM on December 12, 2006 [2 favorites]

I you live with the people you're giving them to, you can give a little gag present (especially something that could almost seem like it's the real one) and don't mention the camera, but hide it (wrapped) somewhere where they will find it sooner or later. They have to be nice and polite when they get something a bit disappointing, and then a nice surprise when they do find the real one.

Or, I don't know, wrap it and tape it to the roof and see how long it takes them to get it down.
posted by twirlypen at 4:22 PM on December 12, 2006

I usually ask for nothing, so last Christmas I was taken aback when my brother and sister presented me with a large, carefully wrapped, box. Inside, cushioned by packing peanuts, was a shipping-style box with the label obliterated with marker. Inside that was bubble wrap, an antistatic bag, and another box. Within that box was a cushioned mailer envelope, and within that was a smaller box.

Finally, within the smallest box, was nothing. :)
posted by Myself at 4:26 PM on December 12, 2006 [3 favorites]

Myself, that made me laugh out loud :)
posted by homer2k1 at 4:37 PM on December 12, 2006

Assuming you have an existing photo of the recipient, take a photo of the camera you are giving them (or just a stock photo of its packaging or whatever) and photoshop that into the photo of the person so that it looks like they are holding the camera or looking at it or something. Then hide the actual camera in some obscure location (I don't know, car trunk, back of a cabinet, in a closet, whatever) and then just present to them a print of the photoshopped image of them holding their new camera, and a hint about where to find it. You could even go for the multi-stage approach, where you tell them to look in location A, which gives them a clue to location B, etc. You don't want to get too annoying here, so make it somewhat obvious and not an easter egg hunt.

Or, you could go for the misdirection route, take the box/packaging of some unrelated (and perhaps unwanted) present, and inside of that place the print of the photoshop of the recipient holding thier new camera. If you want to really fool them make sure to put the appropriate ballast in the decoy box so that it doesn't feel empty. The ballast could even be something humorous like candy.
posted by Rhomboid at 4:45 PM on December 12, 2006

Well, when I was a kid my birthday fell on Easter one year. So my parents hid my presents and I had to search for them instead of eggs (candy). That's the only childhood birthday I remember and it was great! So, okay, it's not Easter, but you could still play a hide and seek game. Maybe you could design some clues. This would be really good for Hanukkah since the gift giving is all week long. You could put them in odd places so the giftee would discover them throughout the day -- medicine cabinet, refrigerator, etc.
posted by Lockjaw at 4:56 PM on December 12, 2006

My mum and sister teamed up on my 11th birthday to get me a HUGE box filled with all sorts of random stuff. Most of the box was Styrofoam peanuts, but there were all sorts of things - CDs, underwear (o_O), books, who knows what else was hiding in there. Made for a fun little hunt.
posted by divabat at 4:59 PM on December 12, 2006

We have a tradition of obfuscated tags. So, you pick up a package, and try to figure out who it's for. this goes serially, and cand take a while for lots of presents. Sometimes it takes a very long time to figure it out: a puzzle, or a cleverly hidden word integrated into the wrapping style. It's tons of fun. Makes wrapping very time-intensive, though.
posted by RikiTikiTavi at 5:09 PM on December 12, 2006

I hate the "here's your present! (not really! lol!!1!!)" route. My parents did that to me with a Nintendo back in the day, and it just about ruined Christmas. I don't think they were intentional about it ... it just was hidden behind the tree. But, man. The whole morning I was opening presents that were obviously not a NES, and wasn't seeing a Nintendo-sized-box anywhere. Yar.

Who's the recipient? Adult, I'm assuming. Spouse? SO? Good friend?
posted by Alt F4 at 6:19 PM on December 12, 2006

Wrap it in one of these!
posted by phatkitten at 6:23 PM on December 12, 2006

I bought a friend a poster once for Christmas, (although this works for any papery type present), and was confronted with a way to wrap it that wasn't obviously a poster.
I took two wrapping paper tubes and fastened them together to make a cardboard sword, so one tube was the blade and a shorter tube the crosspiece. Follow up with some markers, stick on jewels an general decorating fun and you have an awesome rolled paper present delivery device.
The down side was that I had to explain to him that there was something -inside- the tube, because he was so excited he thought the cardboard sword was his present.
posted by billy_the_punk at 6:24 PM on December 12, 2006

Response by poster: These are all great so far! Keep 'em coming...
Alt F4, this is for a significant other...
posted by 777 at 6:29 PM on December 12, 2006

One year for my girlfriend's birthday I got her a hooded cashmere sweater. During the night I swapped the cashmere sweater in place of her regular hoodie on its hook, and in the morning I suggested we go for a walk. That went over pretty well.
posted by gurple at 6:33 PM on December 12, 2006

Put them in a mailbox under the tree
posted by chickaboo at 6:54 PM on December 12, 2006

I once gave my brother a DVD for Christmas that was wrapped, then covered in an entire roll of bubble wrap, then the resultant wad was wrapped in an entire roll of duct tape. One of the big rolls.

Took him nigh-on half an hour to get the thing open.
posted by DoctorFedora at 7:00 PM on December 12, 2006

I usually ask for nothing, so last Christmas I was taken aback when my brother and sister presented me with a large, carefully wrapped, box. Inside, cushioned by packing peanuts, was a shipping-style box with the label obliterated with marker. Inside that was bubble wrap, an antistatic bag, and another box. Within that box was a cushioned mailer envelope, and within that was a smaller box.

Finally, within the smallest box, was nothing. :)

That's really shitty.
posted by WaterSprite at 7:17 PM on December 12, 2006

Sorry, but I like the idea fo gift giving. Try this if it's your SO - get a stack of new $100 bills and crinkle each one and use them as packing material. This goes over great even without a gift inside.
posted by WaterSprite at 7:24 PM on December 12, 2006

Last year, I paid about three bucks for a huge, old book from a charity store and, using a craft knife, carved a "hole" out of the middle of it (the way they do in movies when they hide something like a key or a gun or something inside a book). Into the hole, I put the DVDs I was giving to my girlfriend, then I wrapped the whole thing. She loved the DVDs, of course, and I loved that struggling-to-maintain-a-smile, "oh.... it's....it's... a crappy old book" look as she unwrapped the present, knowing that the real (good) presents were inside.
posted by bunglin jones at 7:27 PM on December 12, 2006 [1 favorite]

I was head over heels for this girl. She was genius smart and beautiful. (never could resist those braniacs!) Also super-messed up and manipulative, but that's another story of how I learned the hard lessons . . .

Anyway, it was 1994 and Counting Crows had just come out. We were both pretty poor and she kept singing the Mr. Jones song all of the time. I bought her the CD and when she had me over for dinner that night, I slipped it into her CD collection while she was cooking.

At some point I complained about hearing the same old stuff again and again and asked her to play something new. I asked her what the latest thing she had was. Utterly unsuspecting, she pointed out some stuff she had checked out from the library. After about a minute of "there must be something newer you have" a light went on and she started to get a lot more excited than I had expected or even intended. She semi-frantically went through the whole collection until she found it.

Needless to say, she was thrilled. And I got a gift a little later than that.

I miss having my heart broken. Must mean I'm old.
posted by Ironmouth at 7:37 PM on December 12, 2006

My Uncle used to wait for a new person to come into the family and then get a big box to put the present in. Along with the present he would put a smaller box with enough broken glass to make a good amount of noise. This works best with someone who shakes packages but you can also make sure it sounds broken when you hand it to her/him. Make sure to display appropriate looks of horror at the sound of broken glass.
You could also wrap just the accessories, taking pictures with the new camera as they are opened.
"Oh wait, I guess this is yours too".
posted by BoscosMom at 8:03 PM on December 12, 2006

My family has a history, which I have continued with my kids, of having a treasure hunt. I write up a series of clues that take the kids on a chase through the house from one clue to the next until the final clue takes them to the hidden presents. Usually the presents are in a closet or under or bed.

The clues and the chase is what the kids love. My wife takes the kids for a 15 minute ride while I place the clues and put the presents in place. When I was a kid, my Dad would take us to McDonald's while Mom hid the clues. McD's was in and of itself a great present back then.

I get great pleasure in coming up with the rhyming clues.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 8:08 PM on December 12, 2006

It sounds like your gift has multiple items. I would wrap each of them separately, and have your person open them in the order of most confusing, preferably so that it only becomes clear on the final gift. One year my dad gave an indoor water feature -- my stepmom opened a large plastic dish, then a pile of stones, and finally the pump and explanation.

Or, if anything is small enough, you could hang it on the tree.
posted by Margalo Epps at 8:10 PM on December 12, 2006

Oooh, I have this idea for how to give a gift certificate to my sister this year:
Put the certificate inside of a cheap, ornamental box and wrap the box such that it looks like the box is the gift. I'm going to find something under $5 that is tacky and not her taste, but is just okay enough that she thinks maybe I DO think it's her taste. Then she'll open it and find the gift cert.
posted by Sprout the Vulgarian at 7:56 AM on December 13, 2006

Box inside a box inside a box idea is cool.

Cooler: Get another digital camera, and take a picture of each box in succession, and wrap each box in wrapping paper that is it's own picture tiled...
posted by Monkey0nCrack at 7:57 AM on December 13, 2006

Victoria's Secret box/bag.
Boxes in my house tend to get re-used every year and thus it doesn't surprise us any more, but if it goes to someone who doesn't expect it, the result can be amusing to watch.
posted by luftmensch at 8:21 AM on December 13, 2006

For a camera I like the take a picture of a place...she has to figure out find out where that place is... and there's a picture of the NEXT place she has to find.
A take on the ol' treasure hunt.

I did get a ring in the bottom of a glass of champagne.
Once I woke up to a rose petals all over the bed and a path of petals to a gift (could be done a bit more Christmas themed).

I THINK this year I may do the geocache thing but with a present.
posted by beccaj at 8:53 AM on December 13, 2006

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