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Adventures in Holiday Gift-Wrapping With Kids and Cats

Can you efficiently wrap presents while kids and cats are around? The answer is easy -- NO!

Angie Bailey  |  Dec 18th 2014


Being a parent of a cat or human around the holiday season presents challenges. Young children and curious kitties have been known to wreak havoc on Christmas trees and ornaments, making the festive fir look like a tannen-bomb went off inside of it.

And the gifts under the tree are magnets for kids and cats alike. Cats want to bat and claw at the wrapped gifts, and make beds inside the gift bags. Oh, and the wild chases that happen under the tree in which the frenzied felines kick all the gifts halfway across the room? Good times.

Kids are a different story. They just want to closely examine and shake every box and bag that has their name on it. And then they try to guess what’s in it — like I’m going to tell them. Still, they ask. I was a terrible kid when it came to Christmas gifts. I’ve never, ever liked surprises — they still give me little panic attacks. When I was a young, I’d un-tape my Christmas gifts, take a peek, and then re-tape the packages. I kind of always regretted my actions immediately afterwards, but quickly got over it. I just had to know what was in those packages. Stop judging me.

Speaking of Christmas packages, I have some parenting tips: Trying to wrap gifts while working around kids and cats is a total joke. As my 10-year-old self clearly demonstrated, kids are pretty sneaky. After I had kids of my own, those un-taping and re-taping memories flashed before my eyes and I decided I needed to meet the anticipated sneakiness head-on. I’ve always hidden the unwrapped gifts in weird places where I thought kids wouldn’t look — like in my hamper. I should probably hide them in their own hampers because they so rarely do their laundry.

Additionally, I use the good old “triple-taping” method. That’s right, I tape, re-tape and tape again. I thrice-tape. And if the item is in a box, I tape the box before I thrice-tape the wrapping paper. No sneaky fingers getting into the gifts I wrap.

Besides the whole hiding and taping challenges, I also have to find time to wrap presents when there are no kids around. This is easy enough when they’re in school, but when they were little and I worked full time outside the home, it was quite the feat. I either had to haul out the wrapping paper, scissor and tape after they went to bed and before I flopped, exhausted, into my own holidaze, or do it behind closed doors. You think cats hate closed doors? Try closing a door on a 5-year-old child. “Mama? Mama? Whatcha doin’? Can I come in?”

So I resort to wrapping gifts when the kids aren’t around and using industrial layers of tape. But then there are the cats. Anytime I’m on the floor doing anything that looks remotely interesting, the cats rush me like crazed Bieber fans. How irritating! And mostly I’m referring to how I just compared myself to Bieber.

Here’s what goes through my cats’ minds:

Gift bags? Thank you for thinking of me.

Wrapping paper? I feel the need to lounge.

Tape? That looks delicious.

It’s impossible to efficiently wrap anything while a crowd of cats is “helping” me. And to top it off, all my gifts have clumps of cat hair stuck in the tape. I suppose everyone with cats is used to that piece of the experience. I know I probably shouldn’t wrap on the floor, but it just seems easier. Or is it? Really, is trying to do anything productive while working around kids and cats easy? Stop laughing. No, you can laugh — it’s hysterical.

What are your kid and cat challenges while wrapping gifts? Tell us about it in the comments!

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About the Author: Angie Bailey is an eternal optimist with an adoration of all things silly. Loves pre-adolescent boy humor, puns, making up parody songs, thinking about cats doing people things and The Smiths. Writes Catladyland, a cat humor blog, Texts from Mittens (originated right here on Catster) and authored whiskerslist: the kitty classifieds, a silly book about cats wheeling and dealing online. Partner in a production company and writes and acts in a comedy web series that features sketches and mockumentaries. Mother to two humans and three cats, all of which want her to make them food.