Not everyone likes surprises, but I bet everyone likes a surprise gift!
It doesn’t matter what the age of the person, gifts make everyone happy. And what makes people smile (or scream with excitement) a whole lot more is when they get an unexpected surprise gift.
But the fun is not limited to just receiving, giving a surprise is so much fun as well even if planning it is not merely a simple task.
It is a combination of a lot of steps- planning a gift, looking for a place to hide it, planning a reveal and the biggest and the most difficult- trying to keep it a secret no matter the level of your own excitement.
Finding the gift is the easiest step in this process. If you need help finding the perfect gift, read my tips on how to find the perfect gift every time.
The next step is to keep the gift hidden until the right moment. This can sometimes be tricky.
If you bought a gift online then to maintain secrecy, it is a good idea not to get it delivered to your own address if you live with the person.
But If the recipient lives in another city and therefore the only option is to have the gift delivered to them straight. I have a fun tip for you to make the delivered gift even more surprising and heartfelt. Check out tip #9.
And maybe, not all of the times but sometimes, finding an opportunity to wrap the surprise gift becomes a bit of a challenge. This is the kind of situation that you can run into if you happen to share a small space (like my pigeon hole NYC apartment) with the receiver.
That just means that you have to plan it a bit in advance to squeeze out time for wrapping when they are busy or out of the house.
After all of these mini victories comes the most awaited moment- the time to reveal the surprise gift. And I have just the tips to make that surprise gift reveal a successful one.
11 Tips on how to surprise someone with a gift.
Here are some of the best ways to give a surprise gift.
1. Create A Treasure Hunt
This one is so much fun to plan.
The goal is to have the receiver figure out the location of the gift by answering a few questions or following a few clues.
The questions/ clues lead the hunter to different locations where they find another clue or a question. The answer to that question/ clue reveals the next location, so on and so forth until the person finds the hidden gift.
It is completely up to you to make this treasure hunt for the surprise gift as long or as short as you like.
I highly suggest using cute cards like these to make the hunt seem so much MORE legit!
Oh, and if you do plan on making this one the question and answer type, just be sure to have a few extra clues to each question as well.
You can hand in an additional clue if the player is not able to figure out the right answer. This will prevent the treasure hunt from falling apart.
2. Pack The Gift In A Prank Box
Pack the original gift in a prank box that will make them wonder if such a product really exists! Like this Earwax Candle Kit box.
There are different kinds you can choose according to the recipient.
A prank box is an empty box that could be used to pack anything.
It has a bit of a shock value that can sometimes lead the recipient to laugh hysterically or maybe sometimes feel too scared to open the gift :)!
3. Make The Surprise Gift Reveal A Magical Moment
If you have the time, decorating their room is an awe-inspiring way to make the surprise gift reveal even more special. The room decoration could be romantic, fun etc.
You can also decorate the room based on a theme, something that you think the person likes.
One of the ideas that I find very interesting and the one that I myself want to try out soon is the cotton clouds. I see so much potential in it.
You could take this idea from decoration for a kid’s surprise gift to even decoration for a romantic occasion like Valentine’s day surprise gift.
It all depends on what you add to the fluffy cotton clouds.
For some cotton cloud inspiration, check out Diys.com.
If decorating the room is too much of a hassle and you simply don’t have enough time then keeping it simple, but still special is the way to go.
For ages, candlelight has been associated with special occasions- birthdays, candlelight dinner, special or festive events etc. Lights are the hallmark of any celebration.
So go ahead and take out all the candles and starry string lights, like below for maximum impact, and go to town with them.
P.S: Check out these affordable golden lights that scream celebration!
It takes no effort at all, yet the payout is a big smile on the receiver’s face.
4. Surprise Them With A Clue
This one is perfect if you are planning on gifting a surprise trip.
Gift them a calendar with the dates of the trip crossed out. You can also choose to mark the days off by pasting airplane stickers or passport stickers on them to imply ‘booked for travel’.
Tell them what to pack for the trip, but don’t reveal the location.
Planning a vacation surprise requires a bit more planning than the usual gifts. You need to be sure that the person will be able to travel on those dates.
To be on the safe side choose weekends, long weekends or days when you know the person can have days off.
Also for a surprise like this, it is better to make sure that they don’t already have any commitments planned. All this groundwork will prevent any hiccups in the travel plans.
Vacation surprise gifts are the best. They are the crème de la crème of all gifts. Making the recipient dream of what’s to come. This is the type of surprise that keeps them guessing and excited the longest.
5. Plan A Day Of Gifts
Plan a memorable day full of surprise gifts. Keep small gifts throughout the house. And even if it’s a lot of gifts, this does not need to be too expensive.
A lot of gifts only means that you can give them a lot of big and small things they like.
It can be their favorite cookies or chocolate wrapped like candy placed on their study table, leaving a cute text note in their bag, new tea strainer in their teacup, making them something special to drink in the evening and a final gift right before bed to seal the amazing day.
6. Surprise Them With Tickets To An Event
Get them tickets to watch their favorite sports athlete/ team play or check if their favorite singer is playing in town.
Surprise your sports lover while they are watching their favorite team on TV. Place the tickets in a clear ziplock bag at the bottom of their snack bowl. Watch their reaction as they stare at the tickets in wonderment!
You can also gift them their favorite sports team or artist’s t-shirt as a gift with the event tickets attached to the t-shirt like a clothing label.
They would not be expecting show tickets when they open the t-shirt!
7. Hide The Surprise gift where the person least expects it.
To really surprise the receiver just let them stumble upon the gift.
A person’s reaction is magnified when they see something unexpected- like a spider etc… I am sure your gift will not shock them to that degree, but hey it depends on how you pack it!
Hide your gift in a place like a drawer, cabinet, etc that they use daily, but don’t expect to find a gift there.
Another option is to leave the gift out on the kitchen table in the morning, next to their bed, on their driving seat, on the coffee table, on their study stable…
If you want to surprise them during their work day, their bag is a great place to hide a small gift and make them smile.
A surprise is good any day, but keeping a small surprise in their bag is especially good for days when it is a BIG Event. For instance the first day at a new job/ position.
8. Drive Them To A Surprise Event
While it is common to plan a surprise party at the recipient’s place so they get a surprise the moment they walk in the door. Try not to plan the party at their place to make it extra surprising.
Act as if you have nothing special planned for the day.
Ask a family member or a friend to help host the party at their place.
Let the person feel a bit miserable before you take them to the BEST party in town!
9. Surprise Them With A Digital Copy Of Their Favorite Show/ Movie
A digital gift like a TV series, Movie, Music etc is very convenient to buy but it is difficult to make it look impressive or tangible.
There is no physical aspect to it that would make the person all excited and happy to hold and unwrap the gift. The wrapping and the big bows and ribbons are all a big part of the gift experience.
All of this, in all honesty, make the gift more exciting.
You can’t pack a digital gift but you can always pack a card with a few funny handwritten lines. The lines can be dialogues or lyrics from the movie, TV show, Music etc you are gifting.
Along with these lines add the instructions to where the receiver can listen to these lines in action as a digital download. This will be their cue to the present.
You can also hide the digital gift note in a memorabilia item from their favorite show etc.
For instance, if you want to gift someone all seasons of Game Of Thrones, place it in a memorabilia coffee mug to double the fan’s excitement.
10. Special Non-Boring Gift Delivery
At times, when the distance is an issue, getting the gift delivered to the person is the only viable option.
Receiving a surprise gift in the mail is a big surprise in itself. But to add to it make the gift box interesting as well.
Pack the gift in a boring regular mailing box, as usual, but decorate the inside of the box. You can use wrapping paper, tape, stickers… all the fun stuff to decorate the box.
Make it look fancy, artsy, romantic, birthday themed etc. Throw in some nice confetti while you are at it.
The box will be a big surprise and all the work you did to decorate the box will speak volumes as to how much you love them.
11. Plan A Surprise Picnic Party With All Family and Friends
For their special day plan a picnic with a twist.
Take them out for a picnic and have all the family and friends gradually drop in with their picnic baskets. The more people come, the merrier the surprise becomes.
If it is a birthday surprise have one of the guests bring in a cake with them to make the surprise tastier!
12. Surprise Them With A Visit
Everybody is so busy in their life that sometimes we don’t have the time or we just forget to go meet with our loved ones.
Has it been a while since you visited them? Maybe the best surprise gift they can get is to see you!
13. Surprise In A Cryptex
A Cryptex in itself would seem like a big surprise to the recipient. The novelty of opening one is an experience in itself that seems to fascinate almost every one.
Great for a romantic gift, you can pack a necklace, ring, dinner date invite etc, inside the cryptex.
This cryptex comes packaged in a nice box that makes it easy to wrap and gift, and you also have the option to set the password for your question!
How To Plan A Surprise Gift| Some DONT’s
Now, the above are all helpful tips to make you plan a surprise gift. But even if you aced all the above steps there is still a chance that your surprise gift can turn out to be not such a happy surprise.
There are a few missteps that you should avoid.
#1 It is probably not a good idea to prank them on their big day with gifts, in a BAD way.
For instance, you probably have seen the funny iPhone gift video online- someone getting the iPhone box as a gift but when they open it all excited and screaming with excitement it turns out to be something not even remotely as exciting as an iPhone.
That belongs in the prank category not surprise gift reveal, just saying!
#2 Another tip is to practice self-control.
That means not to keep telling them in advance how excited you are for their special day. They will probably figure out something’s cooking.
Hold off your enthusiasm before or on the big day. Just act like your usual self.
#3 Do your research to avoid surprising them with something they don’t like. For instance, giving them something they like but in a color that they absolutely hate.
Do you have any other tips on how you like to reveal your surprise gifts?