The Christmas Wrapping Paper Solution. Frugal, functional and fabulous dahlings.

A couple of weeks ago I bemoaned the very very serious dilemma I was mulling. That of Christmas wrapping paper. To recap: the cheap stuff, is cheap..and nasty. It looks bad, cuts bad, covers bad. It's just bad. Apart from the fact that it is cheap, and it probably recycles better. Those things are good.

So what is a girl to do? Such problems. Such problems! Buying the glossy thick paper which will be ripped and cast aside on Christmas morning seems like literally throwing one's money away, but it is so much nicer to wrap with, it cuts more easily, it does not tear at the slightest provocation. Do I dare? Do I splurge? Buy the nice wrapping paper? Oh the agonizing. It just struck me that this paragraph is really pretty tragic.

So here's what I did. I bought huge rolls of brown wrapping paper (the type you use to wrap packages for mailing) on sale and at the Dollar Store. There's scads on a roll. I have yet to see the end of one. And it is thick, and it is durable. It cuts like a dream. It leaves no hint of what lies beneath. It is a veritable Fort Knox in the world of wrapping. But's brown. Not all that festive.

I disagree, gentle reader, I disagree. I see the brown paper as quite charming. It brings to mind memories of getting "parcels" from my granny. Brown paper packages, tied up in string? I mean it's on the original Favourite Things List people! Before Oprah even!

Ok, then what you do is go to Big Lots. (There will most probably be Big Lots in heaven. I just wanted to let you know so there would be no surprises when you get there), and you buy some home-spun looking ribbon, and you tie those brown paper packages with that ribbon. That infinitely recyclable ribbon. And it looks delightful, and enticing and heart-warming and wholesome . Everything Christmas is supposed to be. And I'm not just telling myself that because I'm cheap. Really. It's quite lovely, and I probably will never go back. The other is starting to look quite garish in comparison. That's how wholesome I am becoming. Of course you could also break out the crayons and let your kids make the paper festive. But I am not quite that wholesome yet. I am a work in progress.

And then..behold-in the words of 4 year old Finny when he woke up to find the tree skirt buried under brown paper packages tied up in (pretty) string. "Now that's what a Christmas tree looks like!"
PS: In the past we have bought different paper to differentiate each kids' gifts without them knowing which is whose. This reduces the success of the guessing-what-is-inside-the-package- through-diligent-daily-fondling process slightly. Of course, now that we've gone all brown all the time, we can't do that anymore. So we assigned each kid a symbol which we drew at the bottom of each package. They are going crazy trying to figure out the gig this year. Of course you could have a different type of ribbon for each kid. But that seems less Alias-ish somehow. And we must get our kicks wherever we can find them.

I'm reading: The Christmas Wrapping Paper Solution. Frugal, functional and fabulous dahlings.Tweet this!


Stephanie said...

What a seriously cute idea! I'm all for it--cheap and cute.

So so sorry about all the sick kiddos. Hopefully all is right with the world now--or will be in a little while.


Heather said...

Oh, I love this idea! I wonder if it's too late to unwrap my presents this year and rewrap them like this? ;)

Rebecca said...

I am all over this terrific home-spun idea! I have yet to buy any wrapping paper or wrap our gifts....for once being last minute will pay off for me as I still have time to do this!!!!

Hadley Coble said...

great idea! you could also let your kids loose with the fingerpaints, stickers, and markers to make them festive too....they might not look as cozy as yours, but it would keep the kids busy a while!

nyn said...

Love it, right up my alley cheap, easy and gorgeous. I am going for this next year for sure!!!

BarbaraLee said...

Brown paper grocery bags work the same. I love the look too.

Alison Burns said...

In my household, we call that being frugal. Don't sell yourself short, you're not cheap. Instead, pat yourself on the back and congratulate yourself for adopting a midwestern mentality!

Kirsty said...

Thanks Alison. Aaron informed me today that our recycling center will also take brown paper, not so for wrapping paper so I have adopted the Californian mindset too ;)

I really should not call myself cheap. It's more-poor ;)

sara l said...

I love "now that's what a Christmas tree looks like!"

I knit and crochet so I also save pieces of yarn that are too small to make anything and use them to tie up packages.

Gift Wrap and Tissue said...

Good solutions for gift wrapping paper. This is excellent guidelines for visitor.