Santa Sacks: Simplify Christmas With A Wonderful Family Tradition!

Santa Sacks: Simplify Christmas with a wonderful family tradition! Santa has never left WRAPPED Christmas gifts in our home. Santa leaves gifts in the Santa Sacks to be opened on Christmas morning.

Santa has never left wrapped Christmas gifts in our home. Santa Sacks have been a tradition in my family for decades. What are Santa Sacks? They are reusable fabric drawstring gift sacks that are larger in size than a pillowcase. On Christmas Eve our kids leave their very own empty Santa Sack at the end of their sleeping bag (we sleep as a family next to our tree in the family room). Some families leave the sacks under the tree or beside their bed. Santa leaves gifts in the Santa Sacks (instead of under the tree) to be opened on Christmas morning. We do wrap our family and friends gifts for under the tree. By the way, we still hang stockings from the mantel.


My family is Australian (I’m half Aussie).  I’ve grown up with Santa Sacks and so have my children. This is a Christmas tradition in Australia and in other parts of the world. I’m not sure of the origins – but I was told that back in the day (decades ago) Christmas trees were expensive (they still are).  So for the families that didn’t have a Christmas tree – the kids would leave their pillowcases at the end of their bed so Santa would know where to leave the gifts on Christmas Eve. The BRILLIANT idea behind these sacks…there’s no wrapping of Santa gifts!!  Now I know every family does it different – some leave unwrapped gifts under the tree and some wrap each gift from Santa.  Maybe this will be a new tradition for your family??

Santa Sack from here.


Here’s how I simplify Christmas…

Throughout the month of December – I place all of the gifts that will be from Santa into 3 separate  trash bags (one for each of my children). I write their name on the trash bag and hide the bags in a special spot. On Christmas Eve after the kids are asleep, I empty the contents from each child’s trash bag and place it into the Santa Sack i.e. the contents of Cole’s trash bag goes into Cole’s Santa Sack (this way it is all organized and ready to go).  Who wants to spend extra time on Christmas Eve getting everything figured out and organized?? Not me!  Image from here.


Santa Sack image from here.


Image from here.


Why I LOVE Santa Sacks…

1. Have you ever found yourself staying up late at night on Christmas Eve wrapping gifts? Well, not with Santa Sacks – place Santa’s gifts in the sack and voila all done!! It takes me all of 5 minutes. There is no wrapping of Santa gifts – none, nada, not one bit!   Santa Sacks leave a lot less mess to clean-up Christmas morning!

2. Eco friendly. We’ve reused our Santa Sacks for years. Such a perfect way to prevent waste of money and gift wrap.

3. Do you have odd sized gifts? Those can be so difficult to wrap! Santa Sacks make it easy : ) Our Santa Sack measures 21″ x 32″

4. Each child takes turns “opening” their Santa Sack and pulling out one gift at a time.  Since it is a drawstring sack you don’t see all the gifts at once.

5. My children LOVE their Santa Sacks. They talk about how they will carry on this tradition when they have kids. My mom made their Santa Sacks for them when they were little – so they are very special to them.

Ideas on how to introduce the Santa Sack to your family:
Leave a package on your doorstep (from Santa’s elves) with the Santa Sacks and a note inside.  Explain on the note that these are special Santa Sacks from the North Pole and for the kids to leave them at the end of their bed (or under the tree) on Christmas Eve. On Christmas Eve Santa will deliver all their toys and leave them inside their very own Santa Sack.  This will make the elves job easier since they are so busy making toys – there’s no time for wrapping gifts this year!  Besides Santa and his elves would like to encourage us to reduce gift wrap waste : )

Instructions to sew your own simple Santa Sack. I would definitely add a drawstring or drawstring with elastic. I highly encourage Mom or Grandma to make these Santa Sacks. It will be a wonderful family treasure for many, many years.


Start a new family tradition: Santa Sacks! Use our printable to iron on a pillowcase. Kids leave these empty on Christmas Eve and wake up to find Santa has filled the sacks with toys! Design Dazzle

Check out our Santa Sack printable to use as an iron-on decal for a pillowcase. Super cute and easy!

Make sure the Santa Sack is large enough for what you need.  Here are a few S.S. for those who don’t want to make their own…

Personalized Santa Sack Christmas Gift

Santa Sack

Christmas Santa Sack

Santa's Bag
Santa’s Bag
Velvet Toy Bag
Velvet Toy Bag


I would love to know how your family does Santa presents. Please leave a comment on what works for your family. Who knows maybe you’ll want to give Santa Sacks a try…

Posted on December 13, 2010
Categories: christmas, Christmas Wonderful, creative ideas, diy tutorials & creative ideas, holiday awesomeness, holiday ideas, sewing, toni's projects, ideas and tips

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  1. SandyQuilts says:
    December 13, 2010

    I've been making my own gift bags for a very long time. I probably have over 200 now. Yes my family must return the bag for next time. I make bags for all occassions.

    Check out

  2. JC's Loft says:
    December 13, 2010

    My friend does this and I was wanting to do it this Christmas, but time got away from me! Maybe I can find a good deal after Christmas on a fab santa sack : )

    In our house each child has thier own wrapping paper. So every gift you receive is wrapped in the same paper, but different from their siblings!!


  3. PartyMom says:
    December 13, 2010

    I should introduce this idea to my parents. They're so busy they haven't wrapped gifts in years. I still remember the time they tried to convince me that it was to become more environmentally friendly (this from the couple with an electric bill that would give any sane person a heart attack)!

  4. Elizabeth Barnes says:
    December 13, 2010

    What a great idea! Love it! I think my kids would get into the whole sack idea too. I just launched a blog and will include you in my blog roll. You have a very cool space!

  5. Jenny says:
    December 13, 2010

    I really love this concept (makes it easy for me)! My kids will enjoy placing these next to their beds.

  6. HomebirthinMomma says:
    December 13, 2010

    beautiful idea! shared on my facebook!

  7. Ali Rockwell says:
    December 13, 2010

    This is such a fun idea!!! I love wrapping presents, but I definitely want to keep this in mind.

  8. Laura @ TheMeckleys says:
    December 13, 2010

    I absolutely LOVE this idea! I really dislike wrapping presents (I'm a terrible wrapper) and hate how wasteful it is so this is perfect!! With a new baby I've been thinking about what traditions I'd like for our family and this is moving to the top of my list!

  9. CraftCrave says:
    December 13, 2010

    Just a quick note to let you know that a link to this post will be placed on CraftCrave today [14 Dec 01:00am GMT]. Thanks, Maria

  10. Zaira says:
    December 13, 2010

    YAY! I am an Australian born, NZ raised, kiwi/Aussie living in Texas (lol!) with my American husband and I made a Santa sack for our son for his first Christmas. It is plain now, with his name on it but I add a little applique each Christmas and love the whole Santa sack idea! (I still wrap them though while he is little because he loves unwrapping things so much!) It was always my favorite part of Christmas growing up! We leave ours at the foot of our bed empty and wake up to it full!

  11. Lissa (The Wedding Bistro at Bellenza) says:
    December 13, 2010

    Our family does something similar, but actually for lugging the entire family's presents over to my parents' home on Christmas day…where we all open them together. (My parents are now great grandparents, so that's 4 generations worth of presents to transport!)

    But seeing your individual Santa Sacks…hhhmmm, sounds like a really practical idea. Thank you and Happy Holidays!

  12. autumn says:
    December 13, 2010

    i LOVE this idea! how great. i think i need about 33 of these babies…

  13. Candice says:
    December 13, 2010

    This is a great idea!

    Santa never wrapped gifts in my house growing up. We each chose a sofa cushion or chair Christmas Eve that was "our spot." In the morning, our unwrapped gifts would be there waiting for us. (We had to line up down the hall and come in the living room together.)

  14. Ina's 5 and our Native Homeschool Blog says:
    December 14, 2010

    We have one Santa sack. Ea h kid gets just one gift from Santa and a sticking so they wouldn't each need their own.

    I first made one because my mom wraps all her gifts in cloth bags (of various sizes) she made (no wrapping paper). So when I had my oldest I made my own set of gift bags (which safely got lost in a move) and while I was at it I made a Santa sac. I have had to make more over the years to be big enough for all the kids. We thought we were Ali e with our Santa sac. Now I know there is a while ci tinned doing a similar thing.

  15. laxsupermom says:
    December 14, 2010

    The Santa sacks are adorable!

    At our house Santa always brings the "big gift" whether it's a pro mountain bike or this year a new laptop(14yo) and XBox with Kinect(6yo) Santa's gifts are always unwrapped and by the tree. Wrapped gifts from us(small toys & clothes) and others are under the tree.

    Santa has special stationary that he uses to write each boy a note. The stationary is never seen at any other time than when it's attached to a gift.

    And no, the 14yo doesn't believe, but understands how important it is to believe for his little brother.

  16. sarahthings says:
    December 14, 2010

    These are cute, and great for going green! I don't think I can give up seeing kids tearing into the gifts one by one though, personally. Maybe once they're grown (it's funny that I'm saying "they" since I currently have 1 8 month old and no other children in the works lol). Still love the idea though and might look into using them for my parents!

  17. Karen@StrictlySimpleStyle says:
    December 14, 2010

    My aunt made all her siblings bags very similar to the one that says "William" back when I was a kid. My mom used them every year to transport gifts.

  18. The Herlings says:
    December 16, 2010

    Thank you for sharing this! I would have never thought of that. I always felt bad for my parents wrapping each of our presents and they never did a good job cause why? We were going to rip it off in 12 hours. Plus, it is such a waste of paper.

    I don't have kids yet, but I think I will keep this idea for when we do!

  19. Sea Cotton Cottage says:
    December 31, 2010

    Thanks for featuring my "How to Sew a Santa Sack" from Sea Cotton Cottage! I'll be doing another post of sewing that Santa Sack, trying to find an easier method! Glad you did this post, such an eco-friendly measure during Christmas (or any time of year!). Constructed a great Santa Sack with large bow this year! My friends and family LOVE getting Santa Sacks and they continue to reuse these each year! Thanks, Mimi!

  20. Anonymous says:
    June 2, 2011

    Hi, where can i buy one from ?? Love these bags!

  21. Aneta Hayne says:
    October 7, 2011

    I Love this idea, I have been making Christmas bags for my fiends, but never knew it was such a big tradition in Australia.It is absolutely brilliant!I have 4 kids and I really hate wasting paper and time on wrapping, every year I sneak few cloth bags, but making just one big one for every one makes so much more sense ! So now that I have a scientific prove that Santa's Sacks really do exist I will make Santa's life way easier this year. :)Thank you so much for sharing 🙂

  22. Sara Creasy says:
    November 2, 2011

    Love the Santa sack idea and I intend to make one for my 18-month-old this year. Still deciding on the design.

    Growing up, in our house we used plain pillow cases instead of Xmas stockings – we four kids put empty ones at the ends of our beds and in the morning they were full of little wrapped treasures, which we opened sitting on our parents' bed (AFTER 7am, never before).

    The big presents were under the tree, also wrapped. I'm afraid I could never not wrap gifts – I remember it was just too much fun guessing what they were and ripping them open. My parents did reuse the paper where possible, year after year, until it was worn and ripped and wrinkled.

  23. Bruce says:
    November 24, 2011

    Thanks for a great blog
    Christmas Decoration ideas

  24. Sanat's Letter Elf says:
    December 6, 2012

    I wouldn’t expect Santa to leave gifts any other way! I’ve always had a Christmas stocking (that is, a sack that is shaped as a stocking) for Santa. I still have the one I used as a kid (it was plastic and is a bit fragile now!) and my children all have their own now.
    I bought red felt stockings for my kids and have used puffy fabric paint to add their name on the front of each one.
    Stockings are left at the end of the bed. The kids grab the filled (hopefully!) stocking in the morning and run to open them together on Mum and Dad’s bed (this is what I did as a kid and my kids do it now.)
    Wrapped presents from Santa just seems weird 🙂 Digging in stocking/sack is so much fun!

  25. GW says:
    December 22, 2012

    I am so doing this It’s genius and so easy and fun!! Thanks!

  26. mobilize.Org says:
    June 30, 2013

    Remarkable! Its genuinely remarkable article, these Santa Sacks would be great for my kids!

  27. Deborah says:
    November 15, 2013

    I’m Australian as well, but grew up mostly in America. I have never heard of Santa sacks before, but I instantly fell in love. This is a new tradition for my family for sure!

    • Toni - Design Dazzle says:
      November 16, 2013

      You’ll love it!! It’s nice to have new family traditions. I’m glad you’ll have a new one! Most of my friends complain about wrapping gifts to Santa on Christmas Eve – it’s easy to do that last minute. But with the Santa Sack there is no wrapping of gifts. Enjoy!

  28. Preston says:
    August 3, 2014

    Thanks to my father who informed me about this blog, this idea
    is actually remarkable.

  29. photo sites says:
    August 10, 2014

    WOW just what I was looking for. Came here by searching for Christmas ideas for kids.

  30. Giselle says:
    August 17, 2014

    Thanks for finally writing about Santa Sacks: Simplify Christmas With
    A Wonderful Family Tradition! –

  31. Mauricio says:
    August 18, 2014

    You are so interesting! I do not believe I’ve truly seen something like this before.
    So wonderful to find somebody with an original idea.

  32. Isabel says:
    August 30, 2014

    Wow, that’s what I was looking for, what an idea and fun stuff!

  33. Anonymous says:
    September 1, 2014

    Hello, I would like to subscribe to this webpage to get most up-to-date
    updates, thus where can i do it please help.

    • Toni - Design Dazzle says:
      September 10, 2014

      There is a subscription box on the sidebar to sign-up for updates and a newsletter.

  34. Anonymous says:
    September 9, 2014

    I enjoy the Santa Sack idea, I discovered exactly what I was looking for.
    Have a great day.

  35. Janet Fazio says:
    November 28, 2014

    I love this idea – especially having kids fill them with toys they have grown out of for Santa to take to other children.

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