Wrapping Gifts

I love wrapping gifts 7.31 times more than buying them. It’s a fact confirmed just now by a made-up statistic.

{ I would make an ideal candidate for the mall gift wrapping table during the holidays, I am sure of it. }

For better or worse, it is not rare for me to spend more time thinking about how I might wrap a gift than on what to buy. And thanks to my endless hording of craft supplies and strange objects, I have successfully gotten people excited about the most mundane gifts simply because they were wrapped so beautifully and with so much care.

Considering that many of you might be in the gift wrapping stage of the holidays, I am curious as to how you approach this task. Does it stress you because it needs to be done secretly when kids/adults are away? Does it annoy you because of the odd shapes of the objects you are giving as gifts? Does it confound you because why the hell do you need to spend more time wrapping something after you have already spent all your energy and money on buying it? Does it feel wasteful? Or are you just indifferent about the whole thing?

I, as stated above, am a bit of a gift wrapping fanatic. So, I thought I’d share some quick pictures of how I accomplished this task for this holiday season. It wasn’t my fanciest year, but I still had a lot of fun. My three go to objects to use as wrappers this year included:

  • Newspaper (Thanks to my Sunday New York Times subscription)
  • Painter’s brown paper roll (large, cheap, and endless; available at any paint store including Sherwin Williams where I got mine).
  • Gift Wrap ( personalized with your favorite photo; I got mine done at Pinhole Press)
Personalized Gift Wrap from Pinhole Press

Over the years I have gotten more conscious about the waste that is created after all the gift opening that takes place. As such, I have made more conscious choices in using twine instead of plastic ribbons and bows. Using recyclable or made from recycled paper. Or using things like fabric (old sheets, curtains with cute patterns, linens) and even burlap bags from my favorite coffee roster in town (Hey Larry’s!)

Burlap gift bag I made last year with some felt polka dots sewn on

For flat objects like gift cards, checks, and money (latter two being my favorite cheat gifts to give), I tend to put them in a white envelope and then use scraps of the gift wrap to decorate the outside of the envelope.

Big odd shaped objects are best wrapped with flexible newsprint. Bonus points if you are able to get your hands on a fun newspaper section like travel, books, art and leisure.

Painters paper is really good to customize with stamps, doodles, and drawings should you have kids around who want to help with the gift wrapping. I have slipped here a few times as not all kid craft items are environmentally friendly – think foam stickers, plastic eyes, glitter, etc. But I do try to stir them to use stamps and doodles more than the other stuff if I can help it.

Every holiday season, I can’t stop thinking about how lucky we to have the privilege of giving and receiving gifts – regardless of how it is wrapped. From the holiday cards I receive in the mail, to the yummy cookies and things that our neighbors bake and leave by our door as surprises, to yes, all the gifts we get – I feel indebted to the universe and the kindness it has shown me.

I hope you are enjoying this wonderful time of the year by being the best and most grateful version of yourself.

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