Friday night after the kids went to bed (and before I went into labor!) I wrapped presents for those who will be opening presents with us on Christmas day. I think of gifts as part of the decorating scheme at Christmas, so I like to make them special and pretty. Here are my gift wrapping thoughts:
1. Save wrapping paper.
Every year I save any wrapping paper I get that still looks nice, as well as nearly all the ribbon on packages (I don’t generally save the big plastic 1908s type bows, just nice ribbon). That way, all of the packages under our tree look different. I’m not big on having all the presents share the same type of wrapping. At after Christmas sales I sometimes get a roll of paper to save for the next year, but even then I only use it on one or two things, so it’s not overkill.
2. Use past prime wrapping paper on kids’ gifts so they can rip it.
Paper that has been in rotation a few years, no matter how awesome it was at first, will be a little the worse for wear. I use that type of paper on the kids’ gifts, so they still look nice under the tree but I don’t mind if we throw that paper out this year. I do still put nice ribbon and beads or ornaments on the kids’ packages, because those don’t rip and can be saved, plus they make the package look nice even if the paper is a little worn around the edges or has a tape mark on it somewhere.
3. Always use nice ribbon, and don’t be skimpy with it.
You can get great wired ribbon for 90% off at after Christmas sales too, which makes it economical, as does saving it from year to year. The wired ribbon keeps well, because you can just remake the bows and fluff them up so they look new. If I’m going to use ribbon on a package, I generally use an entire spool. That way I can make a great bow, plus have enough to wrap the package in both directions. If you’re re-using ribbon, be sure to re-cut the notches at the ends because otherwise they might look frayed instead of crisp and pretty.
4. Add interesting things to packages.
This year my packages almost all have beaded picks in the bows, but some years I put in bells or gold-painted pinecones or ornaments, depending on what I have that matches the paper and ribbon I’m using. Again, those 90% off after Christmas sales are a good place to stock up. I find that a lot of times the decorating stuff I would not use in regular decorating like wreaths and garlands looks great on packages – you can get away with more glittery things and odd colors on a present and it doesn’t have to match your whole decorating scheme.