Do you find yourself buying a gift for someone months in advance, then being so overwhelmed by excitement that you just can’t help but let it slip what you bought? For some people, the biggest challenge of giving someone a surprise present isn’t making sure they don’t find out what you got. The biggest challenge is figuring out how to stop yourself from spilling the beans.
If you’re the kind of person who struggles to keep secrets, or you just constantly get caught out when you’re trying to keep something hush hush, here are some tips to make your surprises more surprising. Let’s get started.
1. Don’t Buy Too Early
Getting ahead of the curve and stocking up on gifts in advance is a great way to save yourself some money, and stress. However, if you’re the kind of person who loves telling people what they have ahead of schedule, buying too early is just going to put you in the path of temptation. Instead, think about how early you can reasonably buy something and still keep your mouth shut about it until the big day. For some, this will be just a couple of weeks, for others, a couple of days.
If you’re concerned that you’re really not going to be able to keep something a secret for long, it might be worth waiting until just a couple of days before the big event to buy something. Just make sure you leave enough time for delivery if you’re shopping online.
2. Out of Sight Out of Mind
When you’re not great at keeping secrets, it’s difficult enough to buy a great gift and not tell someone all about it. Unfortunately, if you then see a reminder of the gift sitting in a bag in your living room every day, you’re going to have even more trouble. Hiding a gift isn’t just something that you should do if you live with the person that you want to give the item to.
It might help to place the product out of the way in a closet, or under your bed, so you don’t have any reminders of it until the big day. You could even think about storing the present in a friend or family member’s house if you’re worried that they may accidentally stumble onto it ahead of schedule.
3. Have a Plan
Maybe the problem with you giving surprise gifts isn’t that you can’t keep a secret, but that you buckle under pressure. Maybe your friend keeps asking you what you bought them and you can’t think of an answer so you just give them the truth. Or perhaps someone in your circle points out something they love and you’re so overwhelmed with excitement that you tell them you’ve already bought it.
Think about situations when you might need to keep your cool, and keep the secret safe. Can you re-direct the conversation to something else, or just give an aloof answer to the question of what you bought? Practice the story you’re going to tell to stop you from giving anything away.
4. Hide the Evidence
If you’re struggling to buy a surprise gift for someone you live with and share a bank account with, then you’re going to need to get extra crafty. Using cash to buy a present instead of your credit or debit card will help you to stop anything from showing up on your statements or banking app. Just make sure that you keep the receipt somewhere safe in case you need to return it.
If you’re struggling to find something you can buy in person, and you want to order online, then you could consider using PayPal instead. This will allow you to buy something through your bank account without any obvious information about what you bought, or where you bought it from. Your loved one will still be able to see how much you spent, though.
5. When All Else Fails, Have a Fake Gift in mind
Finally, if your loved one knows that you’ll crumble the more they press you for an answer on what you bought, then make a big show of giving up and letting them know what you bought. The item you actually tell them about shouldn’t be the present, but something that seems like it would authentically come from you. Don’t tell them you’ve gotten something better than what you actually buy, as this will just be disappointing.
Let them know that the gift in question is on the way, so you can’t show them it right now, and they might just give you a break until you can surprise them with the real present.