Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Stress Buster: 3 Tips to Make Wrapping a Snap

Yesterday, I worked on wrapping gifts. Even though we are not giving as many as we have during other holiday seasons, it still took the afternoon and evening. It's amazing how much time wrapping can take, isn't it? And, of course, the gifts have a way of trickling in as family members finish making gifts or bring home their purchases -- or as boxes arrive in the mail. So it can seem like we are never finished. Every year finds us wrapping as long as the season is underway.

Gift-giving is a part of the holidays. So wrapping is a part of our essential chores. It can be labor intensive and messy. But you can make it easier. A lot easier.

Here are 3 simple ways to make holiday wrapping a snap:

1. Use gift bags and decorative boxes so you don't really have to wrap. Just a bow and a tag completes each "wrapping" project. These are available for very little cost at Dollar Stores and Walmart.

2. Buy all your paper and bows in the same basic set of colors. This reduces wrapping choices and lets you wrap assembly-line style. This can help you wrap the same set of gifts in a fraction of the usual time.

3. Set up a wrapping center in your home. You can use a table you already have or set up a card table in a quiet spot in the house. Depending on the dynamics of your family, you may want to consider putting your wrapping center in a room behind a closed door for privacy. An enclosed porch, a guest room, , even a formal dining room will work. Set your rolls of wrapping paper upright in a container like a cardboard box, clothes hamper, or waste basket. Put the bows in a basket or box or bucket. Put the tags nearby. Set tape, scissors, and pens in a pencil holder or flower vase.

Leave the wrapping center up for the holiday season. As family members need to wrap, you can send them to the same spot without having to pull out the wrapping supplies or set it up for them each time. All the mess stays in one place, and wrapping becomes an easy quick job that's done as needed.

Gone will be the awkward and back-breaking episodes of wrapping on the bed or floor. Gone will be the annoying and time consuming set-up for the job each time you need to wrap a gift. With a wrapping center, you can take advantage of shorter pockets of time for wrapping, too.

And with your new streamlined approach, you'll save time. Lots of time. That means more time for the important things -- like reading stories and cuddling under the tree.

Do you enjoy wrapping? Or is it a "chore"? Do you have any favorite tips for making it easier and quicker?


  1. Alone I hate it. With my husband or children, it's a blast. We do ours on the floor, just because there's enough space for everyone to sprawl and work. We play Christmas music, and laugh together.

    One or two years the gift-wrap was stored in our shower on the mainfloor. It was great because I could quickly box everything and set it in there and pull the curtain. No one was the wiser. It was a bit unconventional-lol.

    Tips? Share the load. The children LOVE it even though their skill does not always meet my own standards. Grandparents and aunts and uncles do not mind the imperfection of their loving expressions(and humor).

    Other gifts can be set aside for special attention later.

  2. Great idea about sharing the load, Julie!

    I was thinking the same thing after I wrote this post, and I am really glad someone brought it up. Mom doesn't have to do it all!

  3. I actually really enjoy wrapping gifts. I like taking my time and trying to wrap presents as neatly as I can.

    And guess what? We are getting a lot of snow right now! Woohoo! I love snow! It is very picturesque when you look out our front door windows to see the snow covered street and beautiful house across the road as well as all the trees.

    Hope you have a great evening!

  4. So glad you're enjoying your beautiful winter scene, Karen. I think many people are getting to share in that joy this week with this big storm!


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