Classic Covers: Hiding the Christmas Presents

Cover artists over the years have provided us with a visual “how-to” guide on hiding gifts. Or perhaps, how not to.

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Post cover artists over the years have provided us with a visual “how-to” guide on hiding gifts. Or perhaps, how not to. Just remember, when you bring presents home to hide: Spies are everywhere!

Christmas in Hiding
George Hughes
December 10, 1960

Rule No. 1 in hiding Christmas gifts: Before you stash goodies away in the closet, do a reconnaissance of said closet for undercover agents. The clues in artist George Hughes’ December 1960 show you what to look for: small bare feet under the coats and a little face, eagerly peering out.


Hiding the Presents
Richard Sergeant
December 7, 1957

Less subtle than the other pint-sized secret agents are the kids in artist Richard Sargent’s 1957 cover. Hey! There’s a crane sticking out from that bag—the rest of it has got to be cool. The boys might want to make haste before Mom discovers their spying mission.


Christmas Peek
Mary Ellen Sigsbee
December 22, 1934

Now this is a covert agent. The tiny girl in pink pj’s is peeking between the cracks of a double door. We’re not sure how much confidential info she is gathering from her stake-out, but maybe she can spot a dolly from there.


Doggy Basket
Charles Kaiser
December 19, 1942

Even Fido snoops, and he isn’t happy with what he sees. In a December 1942 cover, the doggy basket appears to contain flea powder, soap, and grooming stuff … Not a rawhide bone or rubber ball in sight. Or, maybe the good stuff is better hidden. Aw, let’s hope so for the puppy’s sake.


Hidden Gifts
Constantin Alajalov
December 10, 1949

Shame on her! The woman in Constantin Alajalov’s December 1949 cover is sneaking up in the middle of the night to shake a package she isn’t supposed to know about. Well, it’s too small to be a toaster, so maybe it’s jewelry! It may be “for your eyes only,” but not until Christmas morning, lady.

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  1. Love the top cover also. I almost didn’t notice the child hiding behind the garments. He might get away with it at first, but he can’t do anything about his feet. Notice the clothes and hairstyle on the lady, a definite shift from the ’50s.

    In #2, yes, those boys had best make haste, posthaste. The little girl in #3 hopefully remembers to pick up her teddy bear if she has to make a run for it.

    Yes, hopefully this puppy will receive some fun doggie chew toys to destroy in #4. In #5, I can almost hear this nosy woman shouting “Abner! Abner!” for an answer to her sleeping husband in the tradition of Alice Kravitz on ‘Bewitched’. Oh yes.

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