Have you ever received a gift all wrapped up and thought “OMG, I know exactly what that is,” only to find out you were completely wrong?  I know I have.  Sometimes, it can be a slightly disappointing experience (like when it turned out to not be Brad Pitt but instead was a floor lamp... don't ask). But the rest of the time, it's a good thing as it makes the surprise even better!

Like on Christmas Day 2014 when the whole family had just gathered round the tree to open our presents.  Everyone was so excited (especially Annabelle!). Everyone except me, that is.  The minute I laid eyes on the massive, bulky box next to the tree, I knew what it was.  We had needed a new slow cooker for months, I just didn’t think I was going to get it for Christmas!  I mean, I'm pretty good at hinting to (specifically telling) Marcus what I might like, and I had not so subtly suggested that I would love a fine gold necklace, so you can imagine my disppointment when I saw the box.

As I ripped open the gift, I began my over-rehearsed “Wow... this is exactly what I nee….” But then my heart stopped.  There, sitting on the huge flattened piece of cardboard lay a tiny blue box. I realised what it was (I’ll give you a hint, it was not a slow cooker!) and it was the best!  I couldn't believe how good he got me just through disguising my gift through the package! What a trickster!

So yep, it turns out Marcus had not gone to Bing Lee for my present (as I had suspected). Instead, he had gone to Tiffany’s and bought me a gorgeous necklace.  I think it’s safe to say, I was far from disappointed.

In my opinion, this is exactly what makes gifts so special… they’re a surprise!  I feel like all the magic and excitement of Christmas is lost when you can tell exactly what your present is, based on the shape and size.    

That’s why this Christmas, Australia Post has come up with a plan. It’s called ‘Disguise Packaging’ and it’s going to totally change up the way we send gifts to our loved ones.  Basically, it's a range of wrapping and packaging designed to disguise your presents or online shopping. And with cute names like the Designer Decoy (a box shaped like a handbag) and The Total Mystery (sure is... this box is shaped like a pyramid), amongst the range, you'll be keeping your loved ones guessing until the very last minute. LOVE it!

You can click here to learn more about keeping Xmas a surprise and to get your hands on Australia Post's Disguise Packaging.

There's also a bunch of new products and a few nifty services that have launched in time for Xmas. The service I love using is the ‘ShopMate’ program, where you can buy stuff from US stores that only ship to US postal addresses. Previously this would mean game over but now ShopMate essentially is your US postal address that then sends your stuff to you back here in Australia - amazing when you've got your eye on something you want from LA or New York or Vegas or Miami or anywhere in the US (guilty!) and can't justify having a holiday just to go and pick it up ha ha!

There are also a few new storage features at Australia Post, which are super handy for Christmas time.  Parcel Collect gives you the choice to collect your online shopping and Christmas gifts from any Post Office which is perfect if you know you're not going to be at home when a delivery is expected. 

You can also send your online shopping to a 24/7 Parcel Locker, instead of directly to your house. I'm going to be using this one because I have a mini-me (Miss Annabelle), who is extremely curious when it comes to packages and deliveries and wants to rip open each one herself - meaning trying to get any of her presents past her is near on impossible. Definitely a good option if you want to hide the pressies from prying eyes!

You can find out more about these services right here and get sorted in time for Christmas.

This post was sponsored by Aus Post