Wrap It Up - I'll take it!

Wrapping gifts is a holiday hassle that's all about the preparation!  Whether you bask in the glorious glow of an elegantly wrapped gift OR hope you have enough tissue paper to "hide" the gift you dropped in the bottom of the gift bag, a little planning goes a long way here.  If you're a basic wrapper with no ambition greater than covering each gift with paper, use this list as a supplies checklist.  For those of you who are more ambitious, we have included some creative ideas and links.  If you hope to create something personal, unique, or special in your wrapping remember the styles, items, and themes that you enjoy and go for it. 

Themes - 
Green is in.  Reduce and reuse.
Nature is organic.  Unbleached paper, raffia, twigs and nuts are in.
Bling gets noticed.  Add some sparkle with metallic ribbon or gems.
Tis' a gift to be simple.  Pick a color and stick with it.
Pick you own, or pick a theme the recipient will favor.
Wrap - 
Heavier paper looks and handles better. (Hobby Lobby has some great selections every year.)
Wrap every gift in the same (or coordinating) paper.
Or use creative or "green" alternatives like newsprint, the comics, let the kids (or you) design your own.
Print a photo collage at home, or order custom paper online.
Bows - 
Buy a big bag and use tape to attach them (when you arrive, if you're traveling, to avoid smashed bows.)
Order pull-string bows.
Make your own bows.
Ribbon - 
Consider choosing a HUGE roll of a single color that will coordinate with every package.
Use plain paper and highly patterned ribbon.
Boxes - 
If you want orderly squares and rectangles under your tree, every gift will need a box.  Get one when you buy the gift, save some good boxes throughout the year, or buy what you need before wrapping day.
Store boxes that are elegant (or from trendy stores) don't need paper, just a ribbon to hold them closed.
You can buy sturdy hat-boxes in a variety of shapes and sizes.  Some are already decorated, so you can skip the wrap.
Tape -
Don't run out... Buy a extra package!  It doesn't go bad.
Bags -
Gift bags are simple and reusable.
Pick bold solid colors and prints for maximum impact.
Pick whimsical designs for personalized wrapping.
Design your own bags with stamps, marker, and other craft supplies.
Tissue -
Use coordinating colors of tissue to wrap gift in boxes and bags.
Tissue can also make an elegant wrapper by itself.
Labels -
Personalize them.
Make your own.
Cards -
Handmade greeting and gift cards are irreplaceable.  Even if you've never done this, go to your local scrapbook store for supplies, assistance, and ideas.  (Many stores have a table and equipment you can use.)
Decorations -
Tie something natural, meaningful or whimsical on the package. (Sticks, candy, action figures)
Use everyday, inexpensive, useful items.  (Candy canes, silk flowers, dried leaves)
Edible Treat Packaging -
Chinese take-out boxes are perfect and come in colors, sizes and patterns you'll like.
Clear or print plastic treat bags with ribbons, a card, or decoration attached.
Tins and reusable food containers can be as inexpensive as disposable packaging.
Other Creative Ideas-
"Wrap" in a reusable grocery bag or tote.
Bring gifts in a large (red?) fabric sack and simple hand the gifts out unwrapped. (Ho! Ho! Ho! optional.) 
Make a gift pouch.

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