Keep Calm and Wrap On

Instagram Message: Are you done wrapping your holiday gifts yet? Check the blog.             Facebook Message:  Are you chillin' because you're done wrapping all your gifts? Check the blog. 

Instagram Message: Are you done wrapping your holiday gifts yet? Check the blog.             Facebook Message: Are you chillin' because you're done wrapping all your gifts? Check the blog. 

Since January the topic planned for this week was all about the little holiday thoughtful pinches I bought when everything was 50-75% off.  I couldn’t wait to show off all the wonderful deals I was able to score after Christmas last year. The plan was to show you how I take Xmas 2015 bargains and put them together nicely to make lovely 2016 Holiday gifts. As I was typing away and taking photos, I started to think: Is it a good idea to reveal my Christmas gifts on social media?  What if some of my family and friends actually read my blog and sees what I’m giving them? The magic of Christmas would be lost.  Cue the sad music.  So instead of “Look what I bought at half off” I'll share what I use “to present our presents” during the holiday season.  

This year for all the female teachers we are giving a Stella & Dot tassel and a personalized initial sticker for their purses.  The key to our gift is the gift tag itself.  It either says, ”Keep Calm, I have the receipt” or “Keep Calm, you can always exchange.” Even though purse accessories are all the rage, inevitably when you are giving eleven female teachers a gift, someone is not going to like it.  So I hope they would exchange it or re-gift it to someone who would LOVE it. The gift bags below are not exactly the Stella & Dot esthetic I was hoping for but I wasn’t about to go buy boxes in order to wrap them up. Usually S&D sends their items in packaging that is as pretty as the items themselves, so I was surprised to get the cheesy plastic wrap.  Most likely I will end up wrapping each in tissue before wrapping them in festive paper. I can always use these bags for the little pinches we may give to the classmates. 

The male teachers will all receive Amazon gift cards. Not as sexy as purse accessories but they will be a hit since you can buy anything on Amazon. They will fit nicely in these retro gift bags with the string loop closure. 

Gift card in the retro bag for Xai, our Culligan delivery guy. He has been delivering water to us for 9 years!

Gift card in the retro bag for Xai, our Culligan delivery guy. He has been delivering water to us for 9 years!

We got some Target gift cards for the religion teachers at our church and they will be presented in these pre-wrapped gift boxes that I got last year at half off - four for $5.00.  

One of my favorite ways to present my holiday thoughtful pinches is in a stocking!  These were fifty cent (or cents if you are not into rap).  Hello? Even cheaper than the dollar store! Throw in as many stocking stuffers as you want and this is a fun way to give a gift.  For a holiday party I went to this weekend, I put a single serving bottle of Prosecco, a package of snarky cocktail napkins and a lottery ticket for each of the hostesses. Little pinches put together in the stocking to make one gift. 

My cousin sends me wonderful stuff for Christmas every year.  Her gifts always arrive weeks before the holidays and they are all wrapped pristinely. I usually put them upfront around the tree because they class up the joint.  Over several years I have collected a few items that come in handy when transporting my stuff during the busy season.  This lined lunch bag is a must for my daughter this year because she will need snacks/meals as she waits to be one of the mice in Loyce Houlton’s Nutcracker Fantasy. I will also send items to keep her occupied in this cute “Thirtyone” bag I received last year.  This giant bag, also made by “Thirtyone”, has helped me keep my outgoing gifts organized so that when we hand out gifts at school, it’s a cinch.  I also love that my cousin sends gifts in these re-usable gift bags.  I have a small collection from years past and I plan on using all of them this year in hopes to save a tree. 

I also love that my cousin sends gifts in these cloth re-usable gift bags.  I have a small collection from years past and I plan on using all of them this year in hopes to save a tree. 

Speaking of re-usable.  I bought these gift tags about 8 years ago and I love them.  The woman who made them re-used felt from past projects and made these gift tags which can be used multiple times. The concept was new to me back then and I wondered if paying a higher price for each tag would be worth it.  Even if they were each $10 back then, which they weren’t, I have used them every single year so it would be worth it. I write my sentiment on a card and slip it in the tag.  It’s fun to read the prior year’s card as I’m replacing it with my current wishes. Obviously, I only use these tags for my family which explains how I can re-use them every year. But wouldn’t it be great to see how long the tag would last if it was passed along to a different recipient every year? Keep Calm, there are others who re-use. 

I try to buy my holiday wrapping when my nieces and nephews have school fundraisers. Yes, it is more expensive and paying for shipping sucks (so spoiled by Amazon Prime) but it helps the schools AND the quality is so worth it.  I try to wrap gifts as much as possible even though it is much easier to use tissue (which btw Costco sells 400 full sheets for $5.99 - can’t beat it) and throw it in a very cute bag.  I just feel like there is something to be said for the struggle in ripping thru wrapping paper. Back when I was a kid, wrapping paper was all I knew because there was no way my mom would spend money on a bag. Speaking of which, I have had to hide my wrapping paper because my daughter figured out a couple of years ago that Santa’s wrapping paper looks a lot like ours. The job of a parent is never easy. 

We took home a bunch of tree branches after they trimmed the bottom of our tree.  I had fantasized that I would have time to make a wreath.  Now I’m thinking that adding a sprig of fresh Christmas tree for gift decor is a much better use of the tree branches (wink, wink).  Add a candy cane to the sprig and you’re good to go. 

Pinches,

Barb

C-H-R-I-S-T-M-A-S

Stop the Clock!