I have always LOVED wrapping presents. I can remember having a pretend Christmas party every year for all of my stuffed animals and spending hours wrapping gifts for each one of them...little trinkets I had laying around my bedroom. It brought me so much pleasure to try to make them look pretty and inviting to all my "friends". My father was not a gift-wrapper and every year he had me wrap my mother's Christmas gifts. I felt so privileged to be entrusted with such a task as to wrap gifts for the one who always made everything beautiful. I tried so hard to do it well and put thought and care into each one.
I am still that way today. Rarely do I use gift bags, because I like taking the time to wrap each person's gift with care and thought. I don't know if the receivers of my gifts ever notice, but I know that I did it for them with love. Even as I become more "green" in my living, I don't know if I will ever completely give up paper wrappings! But there are many wonderful ways to wrap our gifts and here are some creative ways to keep the wrapping of Christmas gifts simple, creative, and pretty too!
- Just keep solid red and green paper year round. Instead of having a perpetual stash of Christmas paper, I now just keep red and green on hand. I use it for birthdays (it's great for both sexes!) and for "just because" gifts. I keep different styles of ribbon and raffia in my wrapping station ( a long under-the-bed rubbermaid bin that I keep scissors, tape, ribbons, bags and papers in!) according to the different occasions. I like polka dots and gingham ribbons for birthdays. Snowflakes and snowmen for Christmas. Raffia looks great for all occasions and I like to insert a fresh flower with it.
- Use brown mailing paper or plain white wrapping paper. These are great to use for all occasions too and can be embellished easily with children's drawings, stamped Christmas symbols, stickers, etc. Use last year's Christmas cards that you received to cut up and paste on the sides of these gifts. Simple twine can be used to tie these up for a natural appearance.
- Use the comics. The kids would love to wrap up gifts this way and to receive gifts this way. It would even be cute to wrap up their stocking stuffers with the funnies.
- Consider purchasing reusable cloth gift bags. I have enjoyed giving these and the wondering at where my little bag will journey over the course of its life! It would be great for whole families and extended families to use these and just keep giving them around over the years. My sister and I are planning to do a Christmas-in-July crafting time together next summer and I would love to make my own!
- Use fabric cut-to-size or scarves to pull up around your gift and tie it with a pretty ribbon.
- Baskets! These can usually be found at thrift shops for about 25 cents. Just give the person their gift in this as-is or with it wrapped up with paper or fabric remnants.
photo courtesy of Picnic by Ellie