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3 ways to keep your Amazon gifts a surprise this Christmas and holiday season

Just think about Christmas morning. It’s snowing outside but it’s cozy inside with the fireplace crackling and your kids or grandchildren warm and toasty in their flannel pajamas.

You watch with delight as they unwrap their presents. Each one is a surprise to them and they love the thrill of unwrapping the presents as much as the presents themselves.

That sense of surprise and wonder is one of the things that makes Christmas so much fun, and almost too hard to wait an entire year for. Which is why your kids try each year to figure out what presents you bought them.

They’ll shake the wrapped boxes underneath the tree and they might even try to carefully unwrap them so you can’t detect their handiwork. You might hear them opening up closet doors or going in the basement or your car gifts.

While you’ve become an expert at hiding their gifts, the digital age is giving them an easy way to blow your cover. Worse, you may not even know how they’re doing it.

We’ll tell you how they’re tracking your purchases on Amazon and we’ll tell you how to hide your gifts from them. Just follow these three straightforward steps to keep your Christmas gifts a true surprise.

Hide Christmas presents from your kids

You don’t want to ruin the excitement of opening presents on Christmas morning, or on any of your kids’ birthdays. So, make sure you hide your Amazon purchases from them.

One easy way to do that is with an Amazon Household account. You can share your Amazon account and Amazon perks like free movies on Prime with your family — there’s no additional cost.

That includes one adult. They’ll have access to your stored payment methods and Prime perks, like free shipping.

You can also share it with up to four teenagers and four kids 12 and under. This way, teenagers and kids won’t have access to everything you’re doing on Amazon.

Teenagers will have their own login and you will either receive a text to approve their purchases or you can put a spending limit on their accounts. Kids will have access to free, kid-appropriate digital content, like Amazon FreeTime.

Note: You still can’t hide your purchase history from another adult with an Amazon Household account. But hopefully they’re not trying to find their Christmas presents.

Hide presents in your archive

You’re a parent or someone’s child, so you know that no Christmas gift is completely safe from early detection. Somehow, there’s always one or two gifts that don’t elicit squeals of surprise.

There are ways to make it tough for anyone to see what you’ve purchased, though, including your Amazon online purchases. One way to do that is to archive your order history.

That’s fairly easy to do and it’s tricky for anyone to find those archived orders, although not impossible. Here’s what you do.

Go to your Amazon homepage. Click on Orders in the menu to the right of Account & Lists.

You’ll see your orders. Click on Archive Order on the right side of each item.

Here’s the point: it’s a little difficult to find those archived purchases. To find yours, go to Orders, then click on the drop-down menu where it says Past 6 Months and select Archived Orders — you’ll be given the option to unarchive an order.

Remove your browsing history

Your kids are smart or tricky, or both. They know where to find your Amazon purchases, and the items you’ve been searching for on the site.

Christmas morning could take a sour turn if they know everything you bought them long before they open their presents. So, make it tough for them to find anything there.

It’s easy to clear your browsing history on Amazon, although it could take several minutes if you’ve ordered a lot of items. Start by opening your Amazon homepage.

You’ll see Browsing History on the upper-left side of the homepage. Hover over the drop-down menu.

You will see your most recent purchases along with the date you purchased them. Hover over that date and you’ll see an X and the word, “Remove.”

You can also click on the Browsing History link the menu. You can remove one item at a time or click on Manage history in the upper-right side to remove all items or to turn off your browsing history.

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