You love the holidays. You love the tinsel. You even love that one guy who coordinates his Christmas lights to music despite his insistence upon playing an all-day loop of “Santa Baby.” And whether you love giving handmade gifts or prefer a trip to the mall, adding a little extra TLC to your gift-wrapping game is a sure-fire way to make the season brighter and cheerier for your friends and family. Here are our favorite ways to elevate your wrapping this year.
The Tea-Towel Wrap
Wrap your gift in a gift that keeps on giving -- a decorative tea towel that’s both eye-catching and environmentally friendly. Particularly well-suited to culinary gifts or wine, tea towels look crisp with little effort. Simply roll or drape your gift in a new or vintage tea towel, then top it off with a big, silky ribbon or natural twine. This beautiful package will not only delight recipients and lessen your wrapping carbon footprint, but after the holiday season is over, your recipient can reuse the towel in their kitchen. It’s two gifts in one.
Don’t stop at a monogrammed gift when you can design paper to match. Buying a set of alphabet stamps will cover the whole family, and there’s no limit to the original patterns you can create. As for ink, match the color to each gift, choose an overall palette for all, or fall back on seasonal red and green. Choosing a solid, light-colored wrapping or kraft paper will ensure your family members’ initials stand out under the tree, posing a classy solution to gift mix-ups and extra tags.
Chalkboard Your Cheer
For an unexpectedly chic look, go against your instincts and buy black paper this year. Make sure to throw in white paint markers, too, to create a dramatic chalkboard design. Keep it simple by writing the recipient’s name directly on the paper next to a bold, shiny bow, or ask the artist in your family to create a graphic, geometric design that will make your dark present a showstopper under the tree.
Courtesy of McDonald's
The season will be here before you know it, so warm up to the holidays with something sweet from McCafé. Treat yourself to an all-new chocolate dipping sauce for your cinnamon-sugar Donut Sticks, and kick off your morning with a cinnamon cookie latte, made with milk, cinnamon-sugar syrup, and freshly brewed espresso. The holidays might creep up faster every year -- but this year, you’ll be ready.
Garnish With a Snowflake
You’ve spent hours shopping for all the “special snowflakes” in your life — time to throw in a more literal snowflake to remind them of how one-of-a-kind they really are. Wrap your present with your paper of choice, then garnish with a paper snowflake cut-out, tied on with natural twine or decorative ribbon. If you have kids, make them a part of the process by asking them to contribute their own original flakes. For the family members who love putting handmade art on the fridge, you’ve just given them a bonus gift.
Whether it’s holly leaves, berries, or evergreen sprigs, most people love a good natural gift topper. But nature’s winter offerings don’t end there: Use a small bouquet of winter herbs -- think pine or holly -- for a pop of color, or add a single stalk of wheat to a neutral paper for a classy natural look. The pièce de résistance? Soak a sprig of rosemary in water until it’s pliable enough twist into a circle and dry, then attach tiny rosemary wreaths to your gifts for a sensory surprise.
While you can find plenty of music-note wrapping paper in stores for your caroling- and choir-inclined family members, you can also upcycle old sheet music books from thrift stores and repurpose the pages as wrapping. If you’re feeling particularly festive, you can even find the music charts from favorite holiday tunes online and have them printed as custom wrapping paper. Then turn it into a post-unwrapping activity by having family members pick their favorite pages and take a swing at singing them together.
We’ve all heard of a gift that keeps on giving, but Japanese furoshiki cloth is the wrap that keeps on wrapping. Designed to be reused again and again, this decorative cloth is perfect for avoiding environmental waste this holiday season. With a wide variety of wrap styles, furoshiki cloths can be styled as architecturally or playfully as you’d like. Although the cloth is usually given back to the gift giver, consider including yours as an additional (and functional) present, or start a family tradition of reusing the cloth every year, passing it from member to member.
Brown Paper Packages (The Remix)
Yes, the classic brown paper package has a nostalgia that just can’t be beat. But your own original design will surely give plain brown paper an upgrade. Transform large pieces of kraft paper into works of art with carefully painted patterns, abstract brushstrokes, or colorful polka dots. Ask kids to paint original work for grandma, or employ the colors of your family’s favorite football team -- the possibilities are endless.