That’s a Wrap!

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Maybe one day I’ll have a creative space to call my own.  Hey, some girls grow up dreaming of their wedding day.  Me?  As a child, I fantasized about a craft room, complete with rolls of wrapping paper bolted to the walls.  Sadly, I’m not making this up.

But for now, I’ll work with what I have, which is admittedly more than most in the world.

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At the risk of sounding redundant,  I need stress again here, less is more.  When choosing papers, think of simple, but elegant patterns.

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And here’s a little secret worth sharing:  if you have a solid box, don’t even bother with paper.

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Tie a bow on it, affix a trinket and a gift tag…considered it wrapped.

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You would be surprised at the things in your house/yard that can serve this purpose. No need to actually pay for anything.  Cinnamon sticks, pine cones, leaves, berries, twigs…they’ll all do the trick.

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Last Christmas, my mother-in-law gave me a magnolia branch from her garden club and I wasted no time systematically pulling off the deeply colored green, waxy leaves.  I hole punched them and wrote on them with a gold pen.  Voila- instant gift tags, no additional charge or waste.

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Now let’s talk about brown construction paper.

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I’m sorry, but it doesn’t get much better than that.  Target and Michael’s both have this in large rolls, at minimal cost.

And don’t think for a second you need fancy ribbons.  This twine, bought at Home Depot for $3.99, makes an equally strong statement.

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Au naturale just isn’t your thing?  Too boring?  I get it.  I don’t love vanilla ice cream either.  In that case, choose a fun paper, but keep the rest simple.

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Now what about gifts that don’t necessarily fit into a box? No worries, use a cellophane bag (sold at Michael’s, Target, & Paper Source in various sizes) and place in a tin pail.

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Still tempted to use a cheesy gift bag and tissue???? FINE.  I give up.  But wouldn’t you want to open one of these?  After all, presentation is everything.

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It doesn’t need to be complicated or time-consuming.  Choose your wrapping materials wisely and don’t become overwhelmed by choices.  It’s not a big deal unless you make it one.

Merry Christmas & Happy Wrapping!

Stay tuned for holiday tablescapes.

 

 

 

Less is More. Period.

When it comes to holiday decorations, it’s all too tempting to pull everything out of the garage, attic, or basement and just go to town, ideally with the Charlie Brown Christmas album playing on repeat in the background.  Believe me, I’ve been there too many times, and before you know it, you’re on a second glass of wine and the house looks like Clark Griswold’s in National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.  The problem with this scenario is that in no more than 2.5 days the dust will literally begin to settle on your winter wonderland and your house will feel cluttered, especially as you continue to shove shopping bags in closets and tuck wrapping paper rolls in corners, hoping they won’t get smushed (don’t worry, they will).  And before you can say, “Merry Christmas,”  you’re qualified to be on the season finale of Hoarders, hopefully minus the dead kittens and mice (but honestly, who knows, anything is possible this time of year).

I encourage you to resist using every decoration you’ve acquired since birth and instead be more selective about your holiday theme.  That’s not to say we won’t use grandma’s hand-embroidered table runner another year, but rather just that this year it stays neatly in its box, as it should.  After all, wouldn’t she want your house to be classy and clean for the holidays?  I know mine would.

So without further ado, here are just a few of my favorite no fuss decorations…

Instead of Poinsettias, which drop leaves and require a lot of water, consider decorating with branches.

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These were about $2 each from Michael’s, but they don’t look fake.  Bam!  Place them in a vase and the holidays are here.

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Check out your local supermarket’s holiday section, but I caution you to have an open mind when you do so.  Wrapped in cellophane, anything looks cheap, but with the right accessories, even the Grinch himself will believe.

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Or, if you simply can’t be bothered,  just pick up some sticks or branches from your yard and put them in a red vase for a pop of holiday cheer.

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Now, when it comes to decorating the outside of the home, you certainly won’t find a plastic Santa on my rooftop, but that said, I am from Atlanta, where growing up I single-handedly aspired for my family to earn the prestigious placement of the Garden-of-the-Month sign in our center pine island (never happened).  I have an almost primal urge to do something festive, but also can’t be bothered to make a big deal out of it, especially considering we live on a dead end street where Uber can’t even find us. So this year we elected to just put up a simple boxwood wreath, which I found at Trader Joe’s for $9.99.

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I tied a recycled, ironed red ribbon around it, hung it on the fence, and called it a holiday.  And the best part about this wreath is it doesn’t drop pesky needles that will invariably get dragged into the house, adding to the inevitable clutter of the holidays.

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SO…there you have it folks.  Less can indeed be more.

Stay tuned for gift wrapping ideas and tablescapes.  Tis the season!