In the past two evenings, I’ve wrapped most of my presents. Man, how do people with tons of kiddos handle it? For my small family plus several friends to whom I ship presents and a few local friends we exchange with, I felt like it took hours. I know my mother in law wraps things across several nights, which is probably the right approach. Wrap until juuuuust before you start smooshing the ends closed out of boredom and frustration. Then break for the evening and enjoy a cocoa with peppermint schnapps. (I have no idea if this is part of my mother-in-law’s strategy, but I’m imagining it will be part of mine in the future, heh.)
I have a cousin who is a master wrapper. I used to love to come babysit her kid during the holidays, because her wrapping station would be in full swing, with baskets of gorgeous ribbon and thick luxury paper strewn about. The most I can handle is some accidentally-coordinated paper from Target (I tend to gravitate towards the same kinds of colors and simple graphics every time I need to pick up something new), which tears on the corners if you pull too hard. I also have a few spools of bakers’ twine which I’ve been using to excess (though I do have a plastic bin corralling all of my ribbon and bow options, of which I decent selection, generally left over from craft projects). I theoretically like the idea of package tie-ons, and I read enough blogs that try to convince me that’s what my elegant wrapping is missing. I know that I do not have the patience to gather little bits and bobs for sheer festivity, or the energy to make 30 air-dry-clay ornaments with people’s initials stamped in them. Thank you, blogging world, but I’ll pass on the tie-on.
I do, however, indulge in gift tags. Sure, we have the peel-off kinds, 25 to a sheet, artwork comprised of a haphazard assortment of clip-art-looking Christmas icons. I also have an impulse-control problem when I go shopping for cut-price holiday accoutrements just after Christmas (it’s why I don’t let myself do it every year, but I also have gotten some drop dead gorgeous cards this way), so I’ve picked up some nicer adhesive tags along the way as well. However, my favorite gift tags are the ones that I’ve designed myself.
For the past 6 years, I’ve put together a mix CD for some of my friends and family containing holiday songs that includes old school standards (Bing on “White Christmas”), oddities (“Mele Kalikimaka” always puts a smile on my face), familiar songs done in fun ways (“O Little Town of Bethlehem” as performed by Belle and Sebastian), lovely instrumentals (the stunning version of “O Holy Night” that was featured on an episode of Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip played by displaced New Orleans musicians), and originals (Guster did an amazing song called “Tiny Tree Christmas” that is probably one of my top ten Christmas songs now). If you know me at all, you probably can guess that I design artwork to go in the cover of these mix CDs, with a track listing and everything. If I’m feeling super amibitious, I adapt that artwork into some gift tags to use for that year’s presents. I know the Internet is just riddled with adorable free gift tags for you to snag, but I thought I’d share mine with you now, in case you’re staring down a mountain of unwrapped gifts, with gift receipts to be attached and price tags to be picked off, and boxes to be located and tissue paper to be smoothed down. Lovely tags always motivate me just a tiny bit more to see it all finished off, here’s hoping you get some use out of them! Click inside to get the goodies!