12 Gift ideas disguised as Christmas ornaments

Hiding holiday gifts in plain sight is a sneaky Santa move. How else can you thwart prying eyes and peeping children from finding their presents early?

Going incognito with this year’s gifts could also save you from spending extra moolah on Christmas ornaments, and disguising gifts as tree decorations is a fun way to throw some frugal presents into the mix.

Sure, you can spend big Santa bucks on small presents too, but the idea here is to turn a few inexpensive, creative, and unique gift ideas into a fun holiday hunt.

These 12 gift ideas are admittedly a little unusual, a tad weird, and perhaps too wacky for families in need of a sense of humor. I understand, but maybe this year you’ll branch out and see that the holiday spirit can indeed grow on trees.

1. Panties in a knot

Getting underwear for Christmas is always bummer. I mean, no one wants to unwrap a stack of knickers when they’re hoping for something way cooler. So rather then present your kids with a pile of wrapped panties, why not just hang them in the tree?

worst christmas gifts

Just grab some funky underwear, roll them into a tube (kinda like packing a suitcase), and stick them in a dollar store sachet baggy. Finish the ornament with a little ribbon and some decorations left over from last year. Voila! You’ve just put your knickers in a twist! So much better than a lump of coal.

personalized gifts

My parents did this for the family growing up, and I turned out TOTALLY NORMAL.

2. You light up my life

Hang some real lights along side your Christmas tree lights this year. Pocket flashlights, handy head lamps, and tiny LED keychain micro-lights are great gifts for helping anyone out of the dark.

gifts for men

Pocket flashlights are great little gifts for men, women, and lost teenagers.

3. Reindeer noses

Santa’s reindeer sure are nosy. Can your kid figure out which cute little reindeer nose belongs to Rudolph?

christmas gifts

This is an easy homemade ornament for those rushed for ideas and time. Just stick a few M&Ms or Whoppers into a tiny Ziploc bag, add a ribbon, and hang from the tree.

4. Dinosaurs can decorate

Dinosaurs once ruled the world, so why can’t they decorate your tree?

unique gifts

Go ahead and turn your tree into a little Jurassic Park by sticking a few dollar store dinosaurs into a fillable ball ornament — a fun reusable craft for kids.

clear glass christmas ornaments

Perfect for entertaining future archaeologists, this ornament craft can be done with other pocket-sized toys too.

unique christmas ornaments

Dinosaurs make every holiday better, right?

5. Kittens found their mittens

My family used to call those dangly bits hanging from kids mittens idiot strings. This doesn’t say a lot for my intelligence as a child. It also didn’t say much for my ability to keep my mittens out of the lost and found.

hallmark ornaments

Anylittlekitten, if your cute kiddlet lost their mittens (give them a hug) and make ‘em find them in the tree. Idiot stings or not, these strands make ornamental hanging a breeze.

6. Tea in the tree

Make a tiny gift a great present by sticking it in a mini 4 oz canning jar. This ornament idea is perfect for those with a taste for tea.

holiday gifts

Buy some loose tea, put a lid on it, and wrap it for hanging.

christmas tree ornaments

Over the years I’ve stuffed a lot of cute gifts in jars. Check them all out here:

Oh, and send your tea lover these recipes: 5 Gourmet Herbal Tea Infusions for Your French Press.

7. Nailed it

Growing up in a house filled with teenage girls can be a nail-biting experience. When the teens have you down to the quick, gift them a cute nail polish kit hanging from the tree.

easy homemade gift ideas

Your local dollar store has all the goodies for this homemade gift set. Colorful emery boards, nail polish and remover, tiny decorative stickers, and yummy candy.

gift ideas

Bundle everything together in a sachet bag and finish with some pretty ribbon. Yeah, you nailed this gift idea.

8. You cracker me up

If Christmas crackers are good enough to decorate your holiday table, then they’re perfect for ornamenting your tree.

christmas ornaments

Making your own perfect little packages and hiding tiny gifts within is a snap with my DIY post, How to make your own Christmas Crackers.

9. Game’s on!

Used games can be bought for cheap on Craigslist or eBay, and hiding this gift in your Christmas tree is the prefect way to get your gamer into the playful spirit. This gift idea works for new games too, but current unplayed titles often cost more.

little big planet

I’m hoping for Little Big Planet 2 this year. Hint hint.

10. Lip smacking good

Lip balms, sticks, and glosses were great stocking stuffers as a kid. Well, as a girl kid. Smooch.

christmas ornaments to make

Tiny toiletries are awesome gifts for frequent travelers too.

11. Chocolate in a Santa sack

Food gifts are far tastier than traditional Christmas ornaments. Don’t believe me? Just ask my cat.

Eons ago the family kitty would climb our tree and knock it down EVERY YEAR without fail. Hairloom (typo, it stays) and expensive ornaments would break under our cat’s climbing prowess.

unique gift ideas

Perhaps the real reason we started making homemade ornaments was to keep the dang cat from breaking the pretty glass bulbs. Anyways, if your cat is on a tear, eat some chocolate … or get a dog.

12. Smile for dental hygiene

Your teeth are priceless and dentists are expensive. So after crunching on candy canes and dining on decadent chocolate, tell your loved ones that it’s time to get those pearly whites clean.

unusual gifts

Give the gift of good dental hygiene and your family will smile, ’cause you’re a fun kind of weird.

Love,
Kerry

Your two cents:

  1. Credit Sesame December 16th, 2011

    These are amazing ideas! Love the photos, too. We shared on our Facebook page this morning — have a great holiday!

  2. Crystal December 16th, 2011

    As an archaeologist, I must point out that the dinosaur folks are paleontologists!

  3. Maggie@SquarePennies December 18th, 2011

    Love the nail polish swag bags! I’ve seen people glitter up plastic dinosaurs & hand them on the tree as actual ornaments.

  4. Brad Moore December 22nd, 2011

    Kerry….cool post. I was struck by your pics. Incredible and made me want to buy all of it.

    How do you take pics like that? I never can quite do it like that. Thanks!

  5. Marcy November 19th, 2012

    I super love all your ideas! I am going to try a few of these this year. We are planning to pretty much not spend on extended relatives (instead send gifts to our Compassion children) but these would be awesome for neigbors, teachers, etc. Thanks!!

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