Unique Wrapping Ideas

I don’t know about you, but wrapping is my least favorite part of gift giving. And of course, I always leave it until the very last minute. For example, I’ve yet to wrap any of my gifts for this year!

When I do get around to wrapping presents though, I like to make it extra special. Here are a few wrapping ideas I’ve got:

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No Nametag – I’m not sure if this is the definition of genius or laziness (or both?), but for as long as I can remember, my mom hasn’t put nametags on our presents. Instead she wraps each person’s presents in a particular wrapping paper and then wraps a candy bar in the same wrapping paper and puts it in the bottom of our stocking under all of our other stocking stuffers.

It’s a win-win for her. She doesn’t have to write out lots of nametags and we can’t peek at the presents since we don’t know which are ours!

Inception – A box inside a box inside a box inside a box. Frustrating for them but hilarious to watch!

The Big Box – One year my parents gave my brother an iPod and I came up with the (genius) idea of taping it to the bottom of a massive box filled with tissue paper. Another hilarious outcome!

“Takeout” Containers – this one might not be unique but I just love these containers. Michael’s and other craft stores have pretty take out boxes which you can decorate and fill with a present – candy, tickets, gift cards and more!

Fake Out – When we were younger, my brother hated getting clothes as presents. I mean, what boy wouldn’t? So one year, I got him a cool video game or something but I wrapped it in a leftover gift box from some clothing store. He was so disappointed when he peeled back the wrapping paper but so excited once he opened the box itself!

For other fun and crafty ideas, check out these links: Martha Stewart; Southern Living; Tips from Buzzfeed

Good luck with wrapping your presents, everyone! Hopefully the thought of how happy your recipients will be gets you through it – it works for me!

Stocking Stuffers

Stockings are a huge part of my family’s Christmas celebration. We all have knit stockings that my grandmother made us long ago and they’re usually so stuffed they’re too heavy to hang!

We have certain things we always buy for everyone’s stockings but we try to change it up every once in a while too! Here are some things we’re planning on this year:

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For the Ladies
-Nail polish
-Makeup brushes
-Good quality moisturizer
-Hair gel, mousse, etc.
-Cute or funny shot glasses

For the Guys
-Cologne
-Hat for favorite sports team
-Sunglasses
-Deck of Cards
-Scratch Tickets

For the Kids
-Matchbox cars
-Books
-Legos
-Costume jewelry
-Small stuffed animals
-Car-sized board games

For Everyone
-Inexpensive gloves, since we’re always losing them!
-Mouthwash, floss, toothbrush, toothpaste
-Candy
-Gift card to Amazon, Target, Walmart, etc.

What are your key stocking stuffers to buy?

Gifts For: The Girls

This is the last post in my “Gifts for: 2014” series. Check out other posts under this category. Other topics to include: boyfriends/husbands, moms, dad and kids!

With Christmas right around the corner (just over two weeks to go, folks!), delivery of online purchases before the 25th is generally no longer guaranteed. So for this post, I thought I would share some of my favorite stores for gifts for my girlfriends.
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The Paper Store has lots of fun wineglasses, stationery, jewelry and decor items. If you’re a Lily Pulitzer or Vera Bradley fan, you can get some accessories from there!

Tuesday Morning is a newfound favorite of mine I’ve heard the quality can vary from store to store but I consider this store similar to TJ Maxx or Homegoods, but with discount craft supplies as well!

Yankee Candle is always a good option, since who doesn’t love having your home smell nice? They often have good sales or coupons this time of year, so keep an eye out for those!

Francesca’s not only has cute jewelry, clothes, purses and scarves but they also have fun little gifts such as flasks, stationery, phone cases and more! Great for a gift with a price limit, like a Secret Santa

Michael’s or other craft stores are a go to if you are a crafty person. You can make a custom-decorated wineglass, jewelry or knit them up something pretty. Be sure to check their app before going to the store. I know Michael’s almost always has some kind of coupon available.

Happy shopping!

Yankee Swap Gift Ideas

Yankee Swaps are a great idea when you have a large group or family. Not only do you get a better gift, you have fun getting it! My family and I get competitive every year. Here are some fun ideas:
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Do It Yourself
Fleece Tie Blanket
Custom Coasters

Purchase Online
Family Recipe Box
One of these inexpensive gifts – plenty to choose from!

Gag Gifts
A bag of “coal”
One (or a few) of these hilarious ideas

What’s been your favorite Yankee Swap gift in Christmases past?

Gifts For: Kids

Whether it’s your own kids, younger siblings or cousins, or other children in your life, kids are lots of fun to shop for!
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Board or Card Games
I think kids spend way too much time playing video games these days. Get them away from the TV or computer with a classic game. Monopoly, Sorry, Uno and Phase 10 all come to mind.

Hat, Scarf and Glove/Mitten Sets
Kids are notorious for losing things. So stock them up on some cute outerwear accessories. If you live anywhere in the Northeast, you’ll recognize how necessary these are!

Custom Ornaments
I have an aunt who gives me and each of my cousins a unique ornament each year, with our names and the year on them. I love this idea because now when we decorate our Christmas tree, I have lots of family memories to think of when I’m hanging all of my ornaments. You can get them on Etsy or at any engraving store.

Savings Account Deposit
The little one might not appreciate it now, but if you and other family members deposit $50 or $100 into an account in the child’s name, starting when they’re very little, they’ll have a nice little nest egg waiting for them when they graduate college and money is tight. I wish someone had done this for me!

What are your favorite gifts to give to kids in your life? Do you give each child something different or pick a theme for everyone’s gifts?

Secret Santa Gift Ideas

When you have a large group of friends, it’s sometimes easier for each person to buy one nice gift, rather than trying to buy something for everyone. I do two of these “Secret Santa” swaps each year – one with my college roommates and one with my boyfriend and all of his friends. It’s so much less stressful and you end up with one gift that you really love.

I try to make my gifts really special, since they’re just getting mine! Here are some ideas I’ve had in the past…

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“Survival Kit”
Last year, I picked my friend who takes the train to work, is a Starbucks addict and loves beauty products. I got her a pair of headphones, some travel makeup essentials and a Starbucks giftcard. I wrapped it up in an adorable box and called it a “Salina Survival Kit”. It was a big hit!

Fleece Tie Blanket
I love pillows and blankets. I have a ridiculous amount and I am completely OK with that! One of my favorite blankets is a fleece tie blanket. It’s super warm, can be made in any color and is easy to make. Find more details here.

Personalized Gifts
Whether it’s an engraved wallet, monogram necklace or pretty bag with their initials, your friend will love something that is unique and just for them. Etsy is my go-to for all personalized gifts. There’s an option on there for every friend.

Beauty Products
Let’s be real – girls love to pamper themselves. But beauty products can be expensive! Treat your friend to that eyeshadow palette or expensive foundation she’s had her eye on. And for the fellas, a nice cologne is always a welcome idea!

What have you given as Secret Santa gifts? I could use some creative ideas for this year!

Gifts For: Your Dad

This is the third post in my “Gifts for: 2014” series. Check out other posts under this category. Other topics to include: boyfriends/husbands, moms, kids and the girls! Posts will go up every other Monday through early December.

I always find my dad hard to shop for. He’s such a sweetheart that he’ll love anything that I get him, but I always want to make sure it’s very special rather than your run-of-the-mill kind of gift.

IMG_2385.JPGSports Memorabilia
My dad is probably the biggest Red Sox fan I’ve ever met, so getting him something Sox related is always a hit. I have bought him some really nice shirts and jackets that he wears all the time. But another thing he loves is the memorabilia, such as baseballs, framed photos or signed items. MLB.com has a shop for every team, so check it out!

Office Decor
One thing I’ve noticed about my dad is that he loves to have framed pictures of us all, but he never frames them himself. Getting him a nice framed photo or an engraved name plate for his desk is a great unique idea.

Golf Course Gift Card
Personally, I don’t like to give generic gift cards, like clothing stores or dining. But when it’s to a specific place that’s meaningful to the person, that’s a different story. My dad golfs almost every weekend, so he would love a gift card for a round of golf at one of the nicer courses in the area.