Every year I look forward to wrapping holiday presents. I imagine Christmas music playing in the background, a steaming mug of coffee nearby, the children quietly playing with a festive spool of ribbon, the perfect creases in the brightly-colored paper surrounding the boxes, the sense of reward and accomplishment afterwards.
Ha. Ha ha. HA HA HA HA HAAAAAA.
Ahem. Let’s just shine a brief and unforgiving light on the reality, shall we? Tantruming children demanding attention, wads of dog hair stuck in the forty tons of tape I’ve used to hold together a crushed and lumpen package, a growing sense of hatred for all things holiday-related, the mug of coffee gone long cold and probably spilled down the back of someone’s pants. The sense of irritation and exhaustion afterwards, when beholding the stack of coyote-ugly boxes that look like they’ve been wrapped during Craft Time at the mental institution.
For my fellow wrapping-haters, here are a few ideas for non-traditional present-presentation ideas that might make the whole process a little easier, or at least give you the illusion of having creativity, spare time, and a quiet household on your side:
Gift bags tied with ponytail holders. Some fancy tissue paper, an eye-catching ponytail holder, you’re done. Note: this probably works better for girls, unless you have a Fabio on your list.
Can it! Find a metal can at a craft store or re-use a cookie tin. Festoon with stickers, add a bow.
Cover it with a scarf. Cover your present with a present: a pretty scarf or dishtowel, tied with string.
Get crafty (paper). Buy a roll of butcher paper or craft paper, and use that as wrapping along with some string or a pretty ribbon. Bonus: have the kids stamp or color the paper first.
Bag it in fabric. Make your own, or buy from the growing number of fabric gift bag sellers. Reusable!
Use the funny pages. Comics, old newspaper pages (although these options seem hand-ink-stainy to me), or old maps make unusual and cool wrapping options.
Go metallic. Here’s a wrapping idea even I can’t screw up: cover the box in aluminum foil. No tape necessary!