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Christmas Gift Wrapping

After a frantic couple of weeks wrapping gifts, assembling hampers and printing shipping labels here at The Paper Package, it’s so nice to be able to sit back for a while and browse the internet for fantastic and creative Christmas gift wrapping ideas.

You can never over-emphasise how much the enjoyment of a gift begins right from the moment of receiving it, and how much fun it is to be given a present that has been wrapped with care and creativity.

So heading into the final days before Christmas,  I hope you enjoy some of this inspirational gift wrapping eye-candy…

Natural Style

Adding embellishments to a gift package can be a great idea – and what’s more traditional and festive than red berries, greenery, holly and ivy…

Christmas gift wrapping

Sources – clockwise from top left:

Sweet Paul  :  Decorative Country Living  :  Spread Decor  :  Older and Wisor

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Red and White Stripes

Red and white peppermint stripes are the perfect fun touch for Christmas…

Christmas gift wrapping

Sources – clockwise from top left:

Paper Crave (with free printable “no peeking” gift tag)  :  Country Living  :  Good Housekeeping  :  Elle Decor

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Vintage Post Packages

There’s no denying the nostalgia of Christmas past with these fun takes on the Christmas post…

Christmas gift wrapping

Sources – clockwise from top left:

Lololina  :  Willow89  :  Stylizimo  :  Bugs and Fishes

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Fabric Style

Using lovely scraps and different textures of fabric can be a stylish and original way of decorating gifts…

Christmas gift wrapping

Sources – clockwise from top left:

Older and Wisor  :  Southern Living  :  Pen ‘n Paper Flowers  :  Original Home

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Photo Finish

Finishing off your gift wrapping with a photo or picture is a great way to personalise your present…

Christmas gift wrapping

Sources – clockwise from top left:

Oh Hello Friend  :  A Well Travelled Woman  :  Creature Comforts  :  Older and Wisor

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Paper Packages

As alternatives to the usual printed wrapping paper, these lovely parcels use paper from books or sheet music…

Christmas gift wrapping

Sources – clockwise from top left:

SC Johnson  :  Holly Mathis Interiors  :  100 Layer Cake  :  Source not known (via Pinterest)

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Patterned Perfection

And finally, for a change from the understated plain paper look, these patterned papers are striking & stylish…

Christmas gift wrapping

Sources – clockwise from top left:

Original Home  :  House and Home  :  Mondocherry  :  Jones Design Company (includes printable gift tags)

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This is the last post for The Paper Package Blog for 2011… thanks so much for reading, and we’d like to wish you a very merry Christmas and happy new year!

p.s. Good luck with the gift wrapping and here’s hoping you don’t have to stay up too late wrestling with the sellotape on Christmas Eve! (been there – done that, lol)

 
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Posted by on December 18, 2011 in Christmas Planning, Gift Wrapping

 

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Christmas Gift Ideas for Men

So, did you know that married couples have differing views over whether they share the gift buying responsibilities evenly at Christmas?

Probably not surprisingly, only 20% of women agree that responsibility for choosing and buying gifts is shared evenly with their partner, while slightly more men (33%) think that they shoulder half the burden. Ha!  I bet these numbers don’t only apply to married couples either.

What it means in practice though is that women are often the ones who have to choose gifts for the range of men in their life – fathers, fathers-in-law, husbands/partners, sons, brothers, brothers-in-law etc.

This can be quite a hard job… so to help you out this Christmas we’ve firstly compiled a few tips on choosing gifts for men, and then we wanted to show you our top 9 picks for Christmas gifts for guys from The Paper Package.

1. Some general gift choosing tips for guys:

Of course this is all very stereotypical, but you might like to keep in mind…

  • Most men prefer to receive gifts that they can put to immediate good use in either their work life, their home life or their spare time. So in terms of gift buying, this means thinking along the lines of practicality rather than sentimentality.
  • Following on from the above, consumables such as food and drink, and useable items such as golf balls, fishing bait/tackle, even socks (!) can in many situations be good, practical gift ideas for men.
  • Electronic items such as gadgets and games are popular gift choices for a lot of guys. You just have to be a little bit careful because men can be pretty specific about what they want (for example, about what exact game they want, or what exact model/version of gadgets they like). Exchange cards could be helpful here.
  • Tickets or arrangements to go somewhere/experience something can be a fun gift. It’s important to make sure you think about where he would really like to go (and this is sadly, not necessarily where you would like to go :)) Depending on his interests this could be a restaurant, sports game, concert, adventure experience etc.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask men directly what they would like for Christmas (see points on practicality and specificness above). But also don’t assume that “nothing” actually means “nothing”… it’s much more likely to mean “nothing in particular” or “nothing I can think of at the moment”.
  • If you’re having trouble choosing something and are just not sure what to give, then be careful not to over-compensate by spending more money. Lavish spending never guarantees a good gift.
  • Remember that when you give something to someone, you are also communicating something to them. So an interesting way to think about gift buying is to firstly spend some time thinking of what you most want to say to that person, and then try to choose something that reflects this. ie. focus first on the thought behind the gift rather than the physical gift itself.

2. Christmas Gift Ideas for Men from The Paper Package:

Our top nine picks for Christmas gifts are shown below, but be sure to also check out our full range of gifts for men & Christmas Gift Hampers for more ideas.

Christmas gifts for men from The Paper Package

Top row (L to R): Vintage Leather Satchel  :  Ciak Golf Notebook  :  Sweet & Savoury Gift Box

Middle row (L to R):  The Connoisseur Gift Package  :  It’s a Man’s Xmas Gift Hamper  :  Classic Moleskine

Bottom row (L to R): Xmas Chocko Box  :  “Masterchef” Gift Package  :  Leather Card Case

Thanks for reading and we hope some of these tips/ideas help with your Christmas gift shopping. Next post, because we’re starting to head into the Christmas party season, we’re planning to show you some fun ideas for food/nibbles and decorating. Hope to catch you again then :)

 

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Christmas Gift Ideas for Women

In this era of gift cards and downloadable gifts it can be a real thrill to have a proper present to open on Christmas Day.

Gift cards etc, while they might be what people ask for, do lack a lot of the magic of a physical gift. Let’s be honest, you can’t really have the same fun opening an envelope with a plastic card in it that you can with a lovingly wrapped present. With a traditional gift there’s the whole anticipation and experience of unwrapping… picking it up, holding it in your hands, feeling the weight of it, bringing it up to your ear to listen as you shake it a little, and then finally starting to unwrap it. Great fun!!

One of the main reasons people don’t give each other actual gifts so much anymore is that we’re apparently all stressed by not knowing what to buy or worrying whether the recipient will like the gift. But this is a problem we can help you solve! With just a little bit of thought and some inspiration from our gift selections below, you can bring back all the charm and nostalgia of a traditional Christmas present to someone you care about (even if you do want to slip them a little gift card on the side as well!)

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Selection 1: Natural Simplicity

Top row (L to R): Gardener’s Hand Cream : Botanical Cards Boxed Set : “A Day For Me” Gift Package

Middle row (L to R): O-Check Library Notebook : Sweets & Nibbles Gift Box : “Garden Notes” Gift Package

Bottom row (L to R): String, Spool & Scissors : Galison Weekly Organiser : Au Jardin Sticky Notes

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Selection 2: Elegance

Top row (L to R): Holy Night Gift Box : “Keep Your House in Order” Gift Package : Harmony Notebook

Middle row (L to R): Moleskine Book Journal : “Hello” Boxed Card Set : “Family Recipe” Gift Set

Bottom row (L to R): Vintage Album Gift Package : Passionflower Room Fragrance : “For Her This Christmas”

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Selection 3: Traveling with Style

Top row (L to R): “Stylista” Gift Package : French Card Boxed Set : Paris Sticky Notes

Middle row (L to R): Ephemera Stickers : “Notes from Paris” Gift Box : “Vintage Golf” Gift Set

Bottom row (L to R): Vintage Crackle Leather Satchel : “Vintage Travel” Gift Package : Paris Notebook

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Selection 4: Family and Friends

Christmas gifts for women - collage 4

Top row (L to R): Christmas Cookie Care Package : Talking Family : Moleskine Recipe Journal

Middle row (L to R): Butterfly Pocket Journal : Christmas Wishes Gift BoxAssorted Dog Card Set

Bottom row (L to R): Rosehip Organiser : Kitchen Care Gift Pack : Retro Housewarming Gift Box

♥♥♥

 

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Christmas Gift Ideas for Children

Continuing on with our Christmas gift guides, today’s post is all about choosing gifts for children. Now, we’re not really talking here about parents choosing gifts for their own kids for Christmas (that is outside our expertise as mainly selling gift basket-type products), this is more a guide for extended family or friends who may not have a lot of day-to-day contact with the kids but would like to give them a present at Christmas.

In this post we want to start with some of our top tips for choosing gift ideas that kids will love, then go on to showcase some of our children’s gifts from The Paper Package, and finish up with a few fun examples of homemade gifts kids will love…

1. Top 5 Tips for Choosing Children’s Gifts

Tip # 1 – If at all possible – check with the parents first

Children’s interests can change markedly from year to year, so a quick email or phone call to the parents could be the best step towards finding that perfect gift. They often have interests (obsessions?) related to what is currently popular at school or on TV, and although the trend usually only lasts for a little while, at the time it can be all they want.

Tip # 2 – Online toy stores can have great gift buying guides

It’s really hard to keep up with what stages kids are at, so online stores where you can research what’s age-appropriate and popular can be a great help.

IQ Toys (www.iqtoys.co.nz) is an example of a great website in NZ for checking out kids toys. They have “shop by age” and “shop by price” categories, buyer’s guides for different age groups and customer reviews of products (note: we aren’t affiliated or associated with IQ Toys in any way :) )

Other good places to look for ideas include lists of the latest book award winners (try NZ Post Children’s Book Awards Finalists) or toy awards.

Tip # 3 – There’s always the classics

There are just some gifts for children that never seem to go out of style – for example Lego, Barbies, crafts, stationery (especially for girls), stickers, magic tricks, bouncy balls and books.

Tip # 4 – Family presents make great Christmas gift ideas

Giving a gift to the whole family at Christmas time can be a nice idea. For example – movie passes, tickets to the local swimming complex, vouchers for a simple meal out or items like board games that the whole family can play.

Similarly, a family gift basket can make a great present. A family DVD with a big bag of popcorn (or packets of microwave popcorn if you’re posting the gift) and chocolate bars, minties etc. makes a great movie night basket. Or try a new tray of cupcake tins with cake mix, icings, liners and lots of sprinkles and little sweets for decoration – kids love making and decorating their own cup cakes, and this makes for a fun family-orientated holiday activity.

Tip # 5 – If in doubt – add something sweet!

A few lollies or sweets added to a gift for children always has the effect of turning it into a huge hit! It’s  especially fun to add things that sensible parents might cringe at – like those huge lollipops as big as your face, or their own individual boxes of chocolates. 100% Guaranteed to please.

So, on to some of our own lovingly wrapped gift ideas…

2. Children’s Gifts from The Paper Package

First up, gift boxes. Although it might not be the first thing you think of in relation to children’s gifts, receiving their own “brown paper package tied up with string” in the post or in person can be a fun idea for Christmas. In our Christmas gift basket range we have 4 that are particularly suitable for children (as well as anybody else who is young at heart :)) Please click through the links or images for more details.

Little Xmas Treat Box

Just like the name says – a nostalgic little package of treats…

Christmas Gift Baskets for Children

Jolly Sweet Gift Box

A traditional taste of the tuck shop in a box – with lots of freshly made old favourites like sherbet, candy rock, gingerbread, cola fizzies…

Christmas Gift Baskets for Children

Xmas Chocko Box

This is a guaranteed to please idea for most teenagers. Chock full of chocolate and wrapped in a lovely vintage-style…

Christmas Gift Baskets for Children

Christmas Bluebirds Gift Box

Particularly suitable for tween or teenage girls, this lovely gift box contains cute stationery and more…

Christmas Gift Baskets for Children

As well as these Christmas gift baskets, we also have available a small number of quality paper products for children that could make a great Christmas gift.

For example, these puzzles from the multi award-winning Mudpuppy Press, New York.

Christmas gifts for children

Around the World Puzzle  :  Fairytale Puzzle  :  Pirates Puzzle Package

Or these imaginative and creative gifts with a nostalgic twist…

Christmas gifts for children

Clockwise from top left: Robots Create-A-Card Set  :  Crafty Flowers  :  Little Robots Package  :  Fairytale Theatre

In the final part of this post we’d like to show you a few homemade gift ideas for children this Christmas…

3. Homemade Children’s Gifts

Candy Cane Playdough

A cute and inexpensive idea for littlies…

From The Artful Parent

Picnic / Adventure Basket

This awesome gift was given for a wedding, but the idea could be wonderfully adapted to make a children’s version (or an adventure basket). Thinking along the lines of… a butterfly catcher, binoculars, magnifying glass, notebook & pencil etc. along with the blanket and drink bottle (absolutely love the idea of the viewfinder too!)

From Tiger in a Jar

Ice-Cream Sundae Kit

Along similar lines, this collection of toppings, sauces and cones makes a perfect summer Christmas gift…

From Family Bites

So that’s our guide to children’s Christmas gifts… the next post planned is gifts for women so stay tuned for some nice eye candy :)

 

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Christmas Gift Ideas for Grandparents & Extended Family

Continuing our series of Christmas gift guides, today we’re focusing on reasonably-priced gift ideas for grandparents and extended family.

It would be interesting to know how many of us still buy or give Christmas presents to our extended family?  A lot of people seem to have agreements to just give gifts to their immediate family members or they run things like ballots or secret santa’s within the family to keep the costs and stress levels down. But, not-to-fear, if your grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins etc. are still on your gift list, here are some great ideas…

Firstly, from The Paper Package:

1. Lavender Gift Box  $56.00 including delivery

This lovely gift box features high quality, NZ-made lavender products and old-fashioned sweets. It makes the perfect Christmas present for a grandmother or older aunt…

Christmas Gift Ideas - Lavender Gift Box

2. Talking Family $52.00 including delivery

This is a fantastic gift idea for your grandparents, or as a combined gift for your whole extended family. It’s a set of Table Topics conversation starters focused on family history and stories.Ideal for when you’re planning to spend some time with the whole family, this game can be great fun and who knows, you might even discover some hidden family secrets!

Christmas Gift Ideas - Family Gathering

3. Merry & Bright Sugar-Free Gift Box $58.00 including delivery

Thinking of older family members again, many of them may be diabetic or pre-diabetic. We have designed this Christmas gift box to be as sugar-free as possible, so it makes a great choice for anyone who needs to regulate their sugar intake…

Christmas Gift Ideas - Merry & Bright Sugar Free Gift Box

4. Jolly Sweet Gift Box $49.50 including delivery

For the younger family members, this gift box of tuck-shop treats would be perfect to send to nephews or nieces this Christmas. Packed with old-fashioned sweets like sherbert fizzies, fruit jellies, candy rock and gingerbread and wrapped in a gorgeous, nostalgic style with a handmade “jolly snowman” gift tag…

Christmas Gift Ideas - Jolly Sweet Gift Box

Christmas Gift Ideas

5. Ciak Golf Notebook $38.00 including delivery

The Ciak Golf notebook is handmade in Florence from soft leather. It makes a high quality gift for under $40.00 and is perfect for the golf enthusiasts in your family (women or men)…

Christmas Gift Ideas - Ciak Golf Notebook

6. Winterthur Flowers Flip Top Notecards $29.00 including delivery

These fabulous note card sets make a great Christmas gift for your nana, aunty or sister-in-law. Made by Galison, New York, this lovely set contains 12 gorgeous note cards and matching envelopes in a keepsake magnetic-closure box. The beautiful “Winterthur” flowers vintage design comes from a 19th Century book of watercolours, originally produced for the porcelain work of Thomas Dimmock & Company in Hanley, England.

Christmas Gift Ideas - Winterthur flowers notecard set

So that’s our top selection of Christmas gifts for grandparents and extended family… but of course there are plenty more gift ideas on our website that you might find suitable for Christmas this year, including some from our ranges of  gifts for men, gifts for women or Christmas gift boxes.

Now on to some other great gift ideas that you could make at home…

DIY Photo Coasters from Lee La La

Christmas Gift Ideas - Homemade Photo Coasters

These would make a fantastic gift idea for grandparents!

(note: in NZ Mod Podge is available online from http://www.artsupplies.co.nz)

Map Coasters from Martha Stewart

A similar idea that could be great for a grandfather (especially if you were able to use maps of places you had visited together or that were close to his heart…)

Christmas Gift Ideas - Map Coasters

Felt Christmas Decorations from Bugs and Fishes

These are very cute ideas for giving to extended family or friends (popped inside a Christmas Card maybe?)

Christmas Gift Ideas - Homemade Felt Decorations

If you have children at home it would be a great project to do together (especially if they don’t turn out looking this good – then you could blame it on the kids lol :))

Personalised Guess Who? Game from obSUESSed

This is a really fun idea for the whole extended family. Use an old “Guess Who” game to make a personalised version for your own family members…

Christmas Gift Ideas - Personalised Guess Who Game

Imagine the fun you could have asking “Does he look prematurely bald?” or “Does she have a silly expression on her face?” Could get the Christmas Day get-together off to a great start!!

Grandpa Photo Collage from Women Living Well

We first came across this idea when looking for Homemade Father’s Day Gift Ideas, but it works equally well for a Christmas present…

Christmas Gift Ideas - Grandpa photo collage

(of course you ‘d have to have the right number of grandkids in the family for the name you use!!)

Candy Cane Mice Decorations from Martha Stewart

Another great little gift idea from Martha Stewart. These look fairly easy for children to make with just a little bit of help, and would also make great little gifts for their friends…

Christmas Gift Ideas - Christmas mice decorations

And finally…

This last gift idea we found COULD be fun to give to your grandparents (but only if they have a nice and dark sense of humour!)

All My Friends Are Dead $14.12 from Fishpond

Christmas Gift Ideas

 

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Christmas Gift Ideas – For Neighbours, Colleagues & Acquaintances

We are starting our series of Christmas gift guides with this one for “neighbours, colleagues and acquaintances”. It is probably fair to say that these are people who you need/want to give Christmas presents to, while at the same time you don’t want to spend TOO much money on.

We’re thinking here of gifts for people like your neighbours (especially if they’re collecting your mail or feeding your cat over the holidays), your boss or co-workers, your customers or business acquaintances, and your children’s’ teachers, doctor or nurse etc. etc…

Some general gift buying tips:

  • Because these are people that you may not know very well personally, it is probably best to choose gifts that are fairly generic and non-personal (a good rule of thumb is that the less personal the relationship you have with somebody, the more generic the gift should be)
  • A good price range for these types of gifts would be around the $5.00 – $30.00 mark
  • You really want to avoid anything that has religious overtones, is tasteless or trashy or, worst of all, comes within the “humorous rude” category (especially for gifts that people have to open in front of others!)
  • And, as with all gifts (but especially inexpensive gifts), presentation is everything.

 

So, on with the gift suggestions. Firstly we will feature some suitable gifts we have available at The Paper Package, then we’ll go on to some other great gift ideas that you can put together yourself.

Gifts from The Paper Package:

We have a number of products available in the gifts under $30.00 price range that we particularly like as Christmas presents for your neighbours, colleagues or acquaintances.

1. Little Bottle of Gift Tags – Nature ($16.95 including GST, delivery & gift wrapping)

A cute little bottle of woodland/nature themed gift tags – perfect for Christmas-time gift giving.

Christmas Gift Guide 2011 - Little Bottle of Gift Tags

2. Banks & Co. Body Bar ($24.00 including GST, delivery & gift wrapping)

A lovely, luxurious gift for women, prettily wrapped up for Christmas…

Christmas Gift Guide 2011 - Banks & Co. Body Bar

3. Gardener’s Hand Cream ($29.90 including GST, delivery & gift wrapping)

A very popular hand cream for men and women, gardeners and anybody working outdoors…

Christmas Gift Guide 2011 - Scully's Gardener's Hand Cream

4. Italian Leather Notebook ($29.00 including GST, delivery & gift wrapping)

Handmade in Florence, this is a high quality, stylish gift for under $30.00

Christmas Gift Guide 2011 - Ciak Lined Pocket Notebook

5. Butterfly Notebook ($29.90 including GST, delivery & gift wrapping)

This is just the most adorable Christmas gift… a gorgeous purse sized notebook from Cavallini & Co.

Christmas Gift guide 2011 - Butterfly notebook

and last but not least, a gift that will probably suit everybody…

6. Merry Christmas Paper Package ($29.00 including GST, delivery & gift wrapping)

A cheery little gift box of Christmas treats!

Christmas Gift Guide 2011 - Merry Xmas Paper Package

There are plenty more Christmas gift boxes and gifts under $30.00 to check out on our website, but for now we’ll move on to some fabulous, inexpensive gifts that you could put together yourself…

Christmas Gift Guide 2011 - Vintage Xmas Postcard

Food items make an ideal little gift for Christmas, especially when they’re presented creatively…

Homemade Biscuit Dough Roll

This is a great idea for an inexpensive Christmas gift from Southern Living… your favourite biscuit dough in a roll, wrapped in a printout of the recipe/baking instructions (note: this does have to be kept in the fridge – but wouldn’t it be a great Christmas gift for your neighbours?!)

Christmas Gift Guide 2011 - Cookie Dough Roll

Cupcakes

Cupcakes might be so last year, but how could you not love these!

Christmas Gift Guide 2011 - Hot Chocolate Cupcakes

Hot Chocolate Cupcakes from Frog Prince Paperie

And how cute are these…

Christmas Gift Guide 2011 - North Pole Cupcakes

North Pole Cupcakes from Kara’s Party Ideas

Or, moving on from cupcakes, what about a plate of these fun melting snowman biscuits from Crazy Domestic? Love them!

Christmas Gift Guide 2011 - Melting Snowman Cookies

No-Cook Food Gifts

But if home baking is not your thing, there’s this idea for a hot chocolate mix in a jar (I know these ideas aren’t the most seasonally appropriate for a summer Christmas… but they all look so great!)

Peppermint Stick Cocoa from myrecipes.com

Christmas Gift Guide 2011 - Peppermint Stick Cocoa

And a couple of other non-cook food related gift ideas that we’ve come across:

  • a pretty old teacup & saucer from a second-hand shop filled with an assortment of herbal teas
  • custom spice blends or bbq rubs in jars with recipes to accompany

Gifts in Jars

Talking about jars… turns out just about everything can look better in a jar!

Like mini marshmallows (from delia creates – a lovely blog that has some great ideas for neighbourly Christmas gifts)

Christmas Gift Guide 2011 - Snowman Jar

Or bath salts

Christmas Guide 2011 - Bath Salts

[Click through the image to the recipe for these homemade bath salts, or there is another great tutorial here]

Or some gorgeous-looking homemade vanilla extract

Christmas Gift Guide - Vanilla

This beautiful DIY project from Style Me Pretty involves vodka, vanilla pods and 2 months infusing… so just a heads-up that if you’re interested in making it for Christmas gifts you will need to start it within the next couple of weeks :)

Other things that look good in jars…

Gift Cards!! (when they look like snow globes that is!)

Christmas Gift Guide 2011 - Snowglobe gift cards

Such a clever idea to make gift cards more fun from One Charming Party

And moving on from jars… a lovely fresh herb plant also makes a festive & inexpensive Christmas gift

Christmas Gift Guide 2011 - Christmas Herb Plants

And finally, here’s one to appeal to the guys… reindeer beer! An inspired idea from Life of a Modern Mom

Christmas Gift Guide 2011 - Reindeer Beer

So that’s about it for our Christmas gift guide for neighbours, colleagues and acquaintances. Hopefully you’ve found something to inspire your Christmas giving… and remember to keep checking The Paper Package website for other great gift ideas (we’re busy adding new products all the time) ♥

 

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Christmas Gift Planning

Christmas Gift Guide 2011

As part of our Christmas Guide for 2011, today we want to share with you some hints and tips on Christmas Gift Planning.

Wouldn’t it make Christmas so much easier and less stressful if we could have all our gift buying planned and organised in plenty of time?

Well we’ve discovered that by following 4 important steps you can successfully plan your gift purchases in advance, leading to happier, worry-free Christmas giving.

Here are the steps:

1. Start Early and Be Prepared

Those boy scouts had it right! (or was that the Mounties?) Anyway, it will make your life a lot easier and less stressful if you start your Christmas planning early. As of today, there are 86 days to go until Xmas and it is not too early to start thinking about your gift buying now.

2. Make a Master Gift List

We will go into more depth about this important step very soon, suffice to say that using a list like this can take you from procrastination and panic to calm, cool and collected. We promise.

3. Prepare a Budget

Did that make you shiver a little? Preparing a budget isn’t the most fun part of Christmas planning, but if you want to look forward to a relaxed, happy, guilt-free and worry-free holiday time, then this step is essential.

4. Research Online

You are now able to find information and pricing on just about any gift you may want online (even handmade goods), so this makes the research step of gift planning very simple.

With your master gift list and budget close by, you should spend time researching prices and options for gifts online. Then once you have finalised your choices you can either buy directly from the websites or go directly to the physical retail store with your list in hand. No more stumbling from store to store in a daze of Christmas panic… just in and out with your list and that’s it!

Vintage Christmas Card Image

OK, so those are the four steps, but how actually do you go about making a Master Gift List and Christmas Gift Budget? Here are some tips…

PREPARING THE MASTER GIFT LIST

Start by listing all the names of people you will have to buy gifts for. Make sure you include:

  • Immediate Family – children, wife/husband/partner, parents
  • Extended Family – grandparents, aunties/uncles, nephews/nieces etc
  • Friends & Neighbours – for looking after the cat etc.
  • Colleagues/Co-workers/Customers – including secret santa gifts etc.
  • Professionals – teachers, doctor etc

Once you’ve got everybody listed then next to that note down any gift ideas you might have for that person (or leave a space if you are drawing a blank). This doesn’t need to be too specific eg. dvd, novel, jewellery, homemade sweets, children’s school calendar etc.

Next to that you will want to note down your budget and/or cost for the gift(s).

And next to that, an indication of whether the gift will be delivered in person or if it needs to be mailed (and if so, by what date).

You can make this list up on your computer or there is this very handy printable…

Master Christmas Gift List

(click through for link to pdf. document)

… but I’d probably prefer a good old notebook or journal. Then it’s easy to pop in your handbag or in the car for when you’re out and about (in case you need to jot something down), plus you can keep it from year to year which could come in handy.

CHILDREN’S CHRISTMAS GIFT LISTS

If you are the parent of children who are still at home, especially young children, you might want to keep a separate gift list just for them.

With children you often want to spend the same amount of money on each child, and you might even want to make sure that they have around the same number of gifts to open. A master gift list is a great way to keep things like this organised (just make sure to hide it from prying little eyes!)

Overall, the idea of making a Master Gift List seems pretty straightforward and useful. Definitely worth a try this year.

Santa's List

PREPARING A CHRISTMAS BUDGET

Having a general budget for your Christmas spending is also essential. By doing a budget you will be able to prioritise and record your goals for Christmas in financial terms and that is GOOD.

It can be hard to remember sometimes, but Christmas is only ever as “commercialised” as people want it to be, and it can be a happy and joyful time on any budget. It’s therefore up to each family to decide for themselves what’s most important to them at Christmas, and prepare a budget that reflects this.

For example, for one family the annual Christmas holiday may be more important than Christmas gifts or social events, and so their budget should be focused on this. For another family it might be most important to give to a charity at Christmas, and so this is where they should put most of their resources.

Doing a Christmas budget will mean that you’re more likely to end up having the kind of Christmas you really want as well as avoiding the stress, upset and guilt of over-spending.

Father Christmas

CHRISTMAS GIFT BUDGETING

In terms of specific gift budgeting for Christmas, here are a few things worth noting:

  • You can either start with your master gift list, estimating an amount that you want to spend on each person, or you can start with your budget and divide this up amongst the names on the gift list. Either way you might have to keep adjusting things to ensure that you end up with both a total amount that is affordable and reasonable, and a gift list that you are comfortable with.
  • The value of a gift is not the price you pay for it – it is the thought and feeling and preparation you put into it. Beautiful or creative presentation also adds to the perceived value of a gift.
  • Remember to include the cost of gift wrapping supplies (cards, gift tags, paper, sellotape etc.) and postage costs in your gift budget.

A Joyful Christmas

So that’s some words of wisdom we have discovered about Christmas gift planning… if you have any tips or tricks on how you manage your Christmas gift buying we’d love to hear them as well ♥

 

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