Dos and don'ts of Christmas gift wrapping

Christmas traditions – dos and donts of Christmas gift wrapping

I love Christmas although we do tend to wait to put up decorations, mostly because the OH would rather it went up on Christmas Eve.  But I do as much of my Christmas shopping as early as possible.

I tend to make lists of presents I want to get and have bought – we have 5 nephews and 1 niece, although for their parents I usually make a foodie gift, my brother, and in laws. I also buy for a couple of friends and this year have done 2 secret santas.  I love to really think about presents that they’d really love, I’ve also 6 birthdays in December and January, so have struggled with one of the nephews this year.

Dos and don'ts of Christmas gift wrapping

One of the things I really love is wrapping Christmas presents.  I set everything out on the table, grab all the presents down from upstairs, turn on the Christmas music, grab a drink and some snacks, and spend a couple of hours Christmas gift wrapping.  I’ve even been known to do my brother-in-law’s wrapping and did my mother-in-laws for a couple of years too.

The essentials

While I’d love to say that all my Christmas gift wrap coordinates with my tree decorations, and are all similar tones and colours, they’re not.  Mostly because I always have previous years paper left, and then go out and buy new stuff.  I also try and have paper for adults presents, and then a different paper for the children.  I’m never sure whether Father Christmas wraps presents, but have opted for another paper entirely for those stocking fillers.

christmas gift wrapping essentials
  • Wrapping paper.  The better quality the easier to cut (with sharp scissors you can make an initial snip, then push the scissors through good quality paper rather than having to actually cut), but because of the amount needed for many children’s gifts, I’ll opt for cheaper paper.  I do tell myself I’ll print or stamp brown paper one year, but I never get round to it.
  • Scissors – good ones, see above.
  • Something sticky – I tried the Scotch wrist tapes which are brilliant (you have it on your wrist, then you’ve got one hand to hold paper and one to stick), but I ran out really quickly, and at £3 for a pack of refills, it’s too pricy.  I tend to use the little sellotapes on the ‘wheels’ which are easy to break them off.  I did buy some sticky dots to use this year which would be perfect for invisible fixing, but didn’t use them in the end.
  • Gift tags.  I have various types, stickers on a roll (great for the kids), plain silver pre-stick, various tags that I mix and match, and recycled tags from received Christmas cards.
  • Ribbons. I think the people I generally buy for aren’t really into ornately wrapped items, so I don’t use them as much as I used to.  But simple wrapping paper can be really set off by ribbon or twine.
gift wrapping labels

My final suggestion is to wrap presents when there’s no-one else around.  With a young child around who adores cutting bits of paper up and sticking things, it’s not easy to gift wrap in peace, so I managed to do some presents while he was out with his dad on the farm.

Typically he didn’t stay out long on the day I needed him to, so I ended up trying to hold him off my wrapping bits, and letting him have his own to chop up and do what he wanted.

choosing a present to wrap

Needless to say, non-presents were being tied up and wrapped.

N wrapping kitchen chairs

He was so chuffed when he managed to wrap something up…if you can call it that.

pleased with his gift wrapping

So my dos and don’ts of Christmas gift wrapping include:

Do’s of Christmas gift wrapping

  • Have plenty of wrapping paper.  Make your own if not from brown paper and stamps or paint
  • Use clear sticky stuff.  It looks so much neater
  • Put odd shaped presents in a box, it’s easier to wrap
  • Don’t have too much spare paper when wrapping. It means it’s harder to fold.  You only need a small overlap so cut to size, and give offcuts to children to use in crafts.
  • Recycle used wrapping paper afterwards
  • Use decorations or craft items as wrapping decorations.  I had some little wooden snowflakes I used last year which were lovely.


  • Worry about coordinating paper. If, like us, you get sent presents in the post, they’ll always clash anyway. Children won’t care
  • Wrap presents when you’ve got children wanting attention and wanting to look in all the present boxes or bags.
  • Reuse paper.  Ok, you can, but I personally don’t for wrapping presents again. I either recycle or donate to N so he can do his own wrapping.
  • See it as a chore. There’s lots of tips and books about gift wrapping, and it’s not as hard as people think. Set yourself up a place to wrap, get everything set out, and put some music on while you wrap presents.
wrapped christmas presents - bubbablueandme

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How do you wrap your Christmas presents?

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  1. For the last two years we’ve used brown paper that the children have decorated with paint.

    I like the uncoordinated paper look. I think it looks more exciting as it suggests presents from lots of different people!

    1. I like the brown paper idea. I know what you mean about mix of present donors. Apart from secret santa and one from his god mother, most arrive on the day because we see all family then, so most under the tree is just from us anyway.

  2. We always end up with uncoordinated paper too because I seem to end up with loads from previous years and the sales! Have to admit to using the Scotch tape wrist band just because it’s so much easier. Some lovely tips here, thanks for linking to Christmas Countdown. Merry Christmas! 🙂

    1. I do love the wristband thing. Shame N decided he was going to steal it. I’m a sale wrapping paper/card shopper too. But definitely causes the uncoordination

    1. I admit I do get lazy on the kids presents…they’ll just rip it all off and not care what it looks like. But I do like them to look nice and neat otherwise.
      Thanks for pinning and commenting.

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