Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Our Christmas Traditions: Wrapping the Gifts

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

Last year was a tough year for our family's Christmas traditions because we traveled so much. We went to Michigan for Thanksgiving, Denver in early December, and Florida for Christmas. I wouldn't trade the memories made on those trips for a million family traditions (that Thanksgiving was the last time we got to see my Grandma before she passed away, we had a wonderful fondue dinner with my sister and my dad who has Alzheimer's, and we went to Florida for my brother-in-law's wedding). Nevertheless, it made for a very chaotic season, and we didn't even get a Christmas tree. So this year, although life is still busy, I'm enjoying decorating the house and planning all the little traditions our family enjoys. I thought it would be fun to share some of those here.

Christmas Tradition #1: Wrapping the Gifts

I could never have been one of those professional gift wrappers at the department store (do they still have those?). My seams never line up, my ends are haphazard, and I can't tie the perfect bow. Still, that doesn't mean I can't be creative. One year I waited until the last minute to wrap the kids' gifts and realized Christmas Eve (or more likely it was already Christmas Day) that I was out of gift tags. At first, I figured I would just make labels out of the wrapping paper itself, but then I had a better idea.

I wrapped each child's gifts in one pattern of paper. Then I made a card for each child that said they needed to find the gifts with the matching paper. This was so much more fun than Marc and I simply distributing gifts to the appropriate kid -- it turned into a game. A tradition was born!

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These pictures are from two Christmases ago.

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This next picture is from last year when we brought all our gifts down to Florida. I didn't have time to make the cards before we left, so I just made some quick freehand monogram cards the night before. I made all the pom-poms one afternoon while the kids played in the pool.

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I haven't yet had a chance to wrap this year's gifts, but looking at these pictures makes me ready to break out the scissors and tape.


  1. Love of our traditions when wrapping is using recycled boxes (granola bars, frozen waffles, cereal boxes, etc...). Pulling a hoodie out of a Rice Krispies box gives us all the giggles.

    1. That's fantastic! And a clever way to find boxes that are the right size! Maybe I shouldn't have Marc go to the recycling center until after I've wrapped our gifts. : )