Start your Holidays: Holiday Organization Part 3

The aspect of Christmas that tends to be the most chaotic for me is shopping for and wrapping gifts. I tend to leave it to the last minute and part of that reason why is that I always think I may add just one more item to the gift.

So I wait to wrap it until it’s too late, and I end up throwing the whole gift in a bag with tissue paper. Now, there is nothing wrong with that, but my creative side enjoys the wrapping process and I always regret not leaving enough time for it.

I recently shared a few apps and printable sheets to help organize your Christmas shopping list. Those will help me keep all the gifts straight this year, so I’m planning on having plenty of time to wrap. And since I’ll be checking off everything on the list, I’ll know that the gift is complete.†

I like to shop for gift tags, ribbon and other wrapping accessories at either Hobby Lobby or Target. Both stores have a good variety and their prices are pretty fantastic.

When it comes to ribbon, my mom taught me the quickest way to curl a pile of ribbon.

I used to cut individual pieces and curl each one. Then gather them up and tie them into a bunch.

My mom taught me to cut a long string of ribbon and curl the entire piece until you have a good pile. Then, “fold” it onto itself until you have a center point to tie, and tie it into a bunch!

When you are wrapping your gifts, sometimes less is more. My childhood was filled with trying to tear the impossibly tight ribbon off of a box. My mom would always laugh and hand the pair of scissors my way. A great stocking stuffer would have been a pair of scissors …to open the rest of the gifts!
I like to add unique pieces to the outside of my gifts. For example, if I’m gifting a hair accessory, I’ll attach it to the outside of the box. It distinguishes your gift, and it’s a pretty way to creatively wrap.

I also like to use unsuspected items as gift toppers. I made these gold dipped feathers for myself, but thought they would be the perfect gift topper. They were cheap, simple to make, and it’s possible the recipient of the gift may use them as well! It’s a little more interesting than a bow.†

So while the wrapping can be time consuming, it always pays off to see the eyes of the recipient light up at your beautiful gift. And my favorite part of Christmas is sitting in the circle, with my family, and watching everyone open their gifts.†
What is your most favorite holiday tradition?†Answer that question, and you will be entered for a chance to win a $50 Starbucks gift card, courtesy of BlogHer.
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  1. says

    Our family reads through the Christmas story in the book of Luke prior to opening presents…and now that the grandkids are getting older, they each take a turn to read several verses!

  2. says

    Mine relates to wrapping…in an attempt to reduce the expense of Christmas we started a gift exchange last year. However, we wanted the process to still take some time so we could enjoy it so we started a contest surrounding wrapping efforts. There are prizes for: best overall, most formal, best creative use of material, funniest, most improved, etc… Loads of fun and keeps us focused on what the holidays should be about—laughter and celebrating family!

  3. says

    I love going to Christmas in St. Michaels (MD) – its a smalltown celebration that includes a parade, gingerbread house contest, shopping, etc. My boyfriend and I go every year and it really kicks off the holiday season!

  4. says

    Once my siblings and I were too old to get into the whole tree-and-presents thing, our new tradition as a family was to drive to Florida and spend Christmas at a theme park together, usually Universal. We always had a blast and had great pictures for Christmas cards! :)

  5. says

    My favorite holiday tradition is going to my grandma’s house on Christmas Eve and opening gifts with my cousins. Now that we’re grown, it’s fun to watch our children open their gifts.

    I typically have many gifts to wrap for work colleagues and volunteers. I wanted a cheaper way to wrap the gifts. I purchased a package of brown paper lunch sacks, decorated them with a Christmas stamp, and tied a cute gift tag with bakers twine. They turned out very cute!

  6. says

    My favorite holiday tradition is actually one that my husband’s family celebrates and that I have now become a part of. On Christmas Eve everyone opens 1 present – and it’s always an ornament that represents something that happened to the individual that year. Then, once they kids grow up and leave the house, they get to take all of their ornaments to their new tree! We now have ornaments dating back to my husband’s first Christmas!

  7. says

    since my daughter was born 6 years ago, we bake a cake for baby jesus on dec 24th. we might do cupcakes this year! she is quite the baker at 6 years old. merry christmas!

  8. says

    My favorite holiday tradition is getting together with my parents, brother and sister for Christmas morning breakfast, and opening all of our Christmas cards together.

  9. says

    My favorite holiday tradition is staying a night in and relaxing with my husband by the fireplace. We’ll make hot chocolate and watch the movie, Home Alone.

  10. says

    My favorite is something my husband and I started with our kids several years ago.. We have a Silly String Fight on Christmas eve.. :0) Love it!

  11. says

    The gift wrapping is so creative! My favorite Christmas tradition is eating coffee cake and opening gifts at 7 in the morning. We couldn’t wait any longer as kids and we still get up early to do so!

  12. says

    For years my family has drawn names and now my husband joins into that too. I love spending so much focus on making one family member’s Christmas morning super special and exciting. =)
    Alesha <3

  13. says

    Kate, that is my favorite part too! I love sitting in a large circle at my aunt’s house and watching everyone open their gifts. The room fills with so much laughter and love! Happy holidays!

  14. says

    I love my husband reading from the Bible Christmas Eve in front of a fire. All the busy stuff is over and it’s just our family and God’s gift to us

  15. says

    My holiday tradition is every Christmas Eve my dad and I make a huge lasagna feast of a dinner for our whole family. It’s so fun to spend all day in the kitchen prepping the meal, and hanging just the two of all day drinking wine and singing christmas carols!

  16. says

    Since getting married I have taken on some of his family traditions and my favorite is on Christmas Eve any one older than 12 gets to stay up late and enjoy a giant spread of assorted cheeses,fruits, crackers and sparkling cider. It’s a right of passage for the kids as they get old enough to join in on the late night treat.

  17. says

    One of my absolute favorites is on Christmas Eve night we have “Santa” call and talk to all the kids about making sure they get their rest tonight and listen to their parents before he makes his arrival. Watching their face expressions is PRICELESS.

    I also love the family time that we get to send together with a lovely meal and Christmas music playing :-)

    Merry Christmas!!!

  18. says

    All of my siblings coming to our parents house on Christmas day to open presents. We all are off doing our own thing the rest of the year (plus one of us lives 1,000 miles away in NC, and until 2011 my husband and I lived there too), so it’s awesome that all of us can be in one place for a while.

  19. says

    My family really only has one tradition right now and that is getting together on Christmas Eve for an evening of yummy food and a small gift exchange for the children. I hope to begin some new traditions with my little ones.

  20. says

    Now that I have two little boys, we’re making our own traditions. Our new favorite family tradition is heading to the Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago and checking out the lights the night before Christmas Eve. We walk around sipping hot chocolate all bundled up, dance to the holiday music, and just be grateful for each other.

  21. says

    Now that I have two little boys, we’re making our own traditions. Our new favorite family tradition is heading to the Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago and checking out the lights the night before Christmas Eve. We walk around sipping hot chocolate all bundled up, dance to the holiday music, and just be grateful for each other.

  22. says

    Either on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day Day my father makes a fire in our living room stone fireplace built by my great grandfather. We all sit and enjoy each others company while my sister and I tend the fire and more often, roast marshmallows for s’mores.

  23. says

    My very favorite holiday tradition is going to see the Nutcracker with my mom and baby sister. It’s such a special tradition and I hope to continue it when I’m a mom as well!

  24. says

    We love to open stockings after 7 a.m., eat breakfast, get dressed, and then open presents. It makes for a much more restful, peaceful Christmas day for us and since it’s our tradition, our boys don’t think/know it’s different for so many.

  25. says

    One of my favorite traditions is the “fake” present. Under a small tree in our entryway we have always had fake presents – except for one. The kids have to find the real one – usually a game for the whole family!

  26. says

    I love our tradition of going to my MIL’s house on Christmas morning. We bring my little pup over there to play with their lab. They wear each other out running around and playing in the wrapping paper, bows, and ribbons.

  27. says

    I love the gold dipped feather! So pretty. This is my first year decorating and I think I’m going to love it as a tradition. I’ve been listening to Christmas music, lighting holiday candles, and enjoying the Christmas tree.

  28. says

    My most favorite holiday tradition is being the first one up on Christmas morning so that I can get the traditional cinnamon rolls in the oven – this not only gives me a chance to create something delicious for Christmas morning, but I get to see the smiles and anticipation on the faces of the little ones when they first spy the presents under the tree.

  29. says

    On Christmas Eve, my family and I have ugly Christmas hat contests. Instead of the sweaters, which has become so popular, we do hats, and we have to make them ourselves. They always turn out hilarious. Then whoever wins gets a prize, and the next year the winner gets the prize for that year. It’s so funny to see what everyone comes up with.

    Julienyland14 at yahoo dot com

  30. says

    the most beautiful time for me is staying up all night with my mom to wrap presents for my younger sisters and nieces. when we’re done and the dawn is peeking through the windows, it is an incredible feeling to see everything under the tree and have this special moment with my mom.

  31. says

    Every year, while growing up, my family would attend Christmas Eve services together. On our way home, we would take a leisurely drive home through neighborhoods and enjoy all the Christmas lights. Then, we’d get home and pull out all our best dishes and have a TON of hor d’ouerves and a Christmas movie. And, until the year before my sister married, we would sleep in the same room and let Christmas music play softly in the background. I miss those days like none other!

  32. says

    This is a great post and very pretty wrapping ideas. I try each year to get better and more creative with wrapping but I get lazy about it too. Anyway my favorite holiday tradition is the one my family has on Christmas Eve (we call it Wigilia). I am 100% Polish and most of our festivities are celebrated on Christmas Eve. We eat dinner when the first star appears in the sky, we share 12 traditional dishes symbolizing the 12 months out of the year and always set an extra place at the table in case someone drops by unexpectedly. We also don’t eat meat during this meal. There are lots of little traditions and symbolisms throughout this meal that I love. We also go to midnight mass that evening. You can read more about it here: Merry Christmas everyone!

  33. says

    Making the kids, 12 and 9 now, wait at the top of the stairs as we make sure Santa stopped by. We rustle things around and start the coffee. The anticipation makes for a burst of excitement as they run down the stairs. Btw, love your wrappings.

  34. says

    Our favorite tradition is playing James Taylor Christmas CD every morning while the coffee is brewing and baking candy cane cookies, a tradition passed down from my mom! (Sometimes we eat the cookies for breakfast:)

  35. says

    One of my favorite traditions happens on Christmas Eve. We all get together for dinner and the person hosting hides a almond in the dessert. Whoever gets the almond in his/her dessert gets a gift that has been teasing us through out the night on the dining room table (usually a yummy edible suprise!).

  36. says

    My favorite part is:

    We have a family tradition that we go to grandma’s house on Christmas Eve and after dinner and (massive) desserts we all head to the family room and listen to a story that the oldest grandchild reads. Usually half way through, we all hear jingle bells and the youngest grand kids scream because they know it’s Santa! Then he “somehow” leaves little stockings for all the grand kids in the other room and the little ones race to them to see their little surprises! It’s the best to see their faces and how excited they get!

  37. says

    My family – brothers and sister – celebrates together on Christmas Eve with snacks, fondue and silly gift exchanges. Sometimes we even wear our favorite holiday pjs, too!

  38. says

    About 4 years ago, my family started celebrating Advent. The four Sundays before Christmas are spent together, sharing a spiritual thought about Christmas, singing our favorite Christmas songs, and then enjoying a special dessert. This is the first year that we haven’t done it (due to conflicting schedules) and I REALLY miss it. It hasn’t felt like the Christmas season without Advent. I will definitely be carrying on the tradition next year!

  39. says

    It’s hard to pick just one! I think maybe I’ll go with Christmas eve service at church. There is something so holy about gathering in the dark and singing Christmas carols. It just solidifies the Reason we celebrate Christmas.
    That and the eating of chocolate with total abandon. :)

  40. says

    btw, I LOVE your hair tutorials! I’ve done a couple and always get compliments! I feel like I’ve finally grown up and am able to do cute things with my hair. That and discovering good product. Thanks so much!

  41. says

    I love being in Indiana with family. Sadly, this year we are staying in Texas. I haven’t quite accepted this fact yet, but I am looking forward to starting new traditions with my husband.

  42. says

    Loving the gold feathers!!! I saw the same thing on The Nester a few days ago too – so cute! As far as favorite holiday traditions, I think waking up Christmas morning and opening stockings with my whole family is still my favorite part of the day.

  43. says

    My favorite part of Christmas is enjoying the morning with my family. My husband reads the Christmas story to us, we pray and then take our time opening our gifts. I make a delicious breakfast we enjoy in the middle of our gift opening. It is such a special family time.

  44. says

    My parents and siblings get together in our home town a few weeks before Christmas to celebrate together, so that we are then able to spend Christmas with our in-laws or whomever else. It’s so special. And it forces me to finish my shopping earlier and be more organized!

  45. says

    My favorite holiday tradition is gifting and opening new jammies on Christmas eve so everyone has new warm ones to sleep in and wear while opening presents on Christmas morning.

  46. says

    My most recent favorite tradition is the trip that my brother and I take right before Christmas. It brings a whole new meaning to coming home for the holidays! This year we’re going to your hometown of Chicago. I also love all the Christmas spirit in the decorations and flavors especially @Starbucks. Merry Christmas!

  47. says

    My favorite tradition is spending Christmas morning with my family especially as I get older and truly appreciate that we are still able to all be together in one place with significant others in the mix and babies on the way. It is a low-key, relaxed morning, and I’m so thankful for it!

  48. says

    I love waking up super early every Christmas morning with the rest of my siblings so we can open our stockings and fall back asleep until my parents wake up! We’ve done this as long as I can remember and now, as college graduates, we still do it.

  49. says

    My favorite tradition is attending Christmas Eve mass then coming home and cooking a great holiday dinner and spending quality time with family from out of town!

  50. says

    My favorite tradition is our newest one… Elf on the shelf. My daughters love looking for the elf every morning and I love the huge smile on their faces when they find it. It makes for the perfect morning.

  51. says

    being that I am a full time student and working two jobs, my favorite time of the holidays is taking time off to just relax and spend a lot of time with my family! and the wrapping ideas in this post are adorable! LOVE!

  52. says

    My favorite holiday tradition is hunting for the pickle. My grandmother hides the pickle ornament in the Christmas tree. Whoever finds the pickle first gets $50. This game can get pretty rough.

  53. says

    My favorite time is the “the veg” after Christmas. I used to get depressed after all the fuss, and my anxiety built up the day that I would fall into a lull after it was all said and done. Now I just bask in the opened boxes and the bags of torn wrapping paper and ribbon for a day or two. I take the time to enjoy the gifts I received or simply sit back and relax while watching Christmas movies and shows in my jammies and slippers. Eventually, I will get up and clean up the piles and put away the gifts, but for just a little while I simply AM!
    This year will be a bit different as my 10 month old granddaughter will dictate a lot of what follows. I am excited at beginning a new tradition of watching my grandchild (and grandchildren to come) experience all the joy Christmas offers.

  54. says

    My favorite holiday tradition is the baking night I have with my mom and sister-in-law. We get together and make lots of goodies to give out over the holidays.

  55. says

    I’m not a US resident, so I can’t win the giveaway…but I’m going to comment anyways! My favorite part of Christmas: the Nutcracker!

  56. says

    I make Christmas pajamas for my 3 boys every year that they get to open on Christmas Eve and wear all day on Christmas Day. That is, without hesitation, my favorite tradition. I know I won’t be able to dress them myself forever, so I definitely cherish it!

  57. says

    My favorite tradition was sitting at the top of the stairs with my brothers on Christmas morning, waiting for my father to set up the camera so we could finally go downstairs to see what Santa brought.

  58. says

    Simply having one day a year that I know I’ll see my parents and grandparents in the same day. My family and I live in a different town so I don’t often see them all in one trip!

  59. says

    My favorite tradition is the cookie baking marathon my mom and I always have and then the joy of delivering them to friends and family.

  60. says

    My favorite tradition is simple: getting the whole family together. We all live in different states so we are never together at the same time. But on Christmas, I can count on us all being together and it just warms my heart and puts a smile on my daughters face, and that’s also the best gift. :)

  61. says

    Over the last couple of years, I have really become a scrooge about Christmas – the amount of work involved has just left me not wanting to do any of it. Period. And this year is even harder as I unexpectedly (isn’t that how God works) lost my dad 4 months ago. So I think I need to find a new niche. (next year :) BUT I do love having bruch at my brother’s every Christmas morning. Being with family. Celebrating the Birth of our Savior. Peppermint White Mochas. Time off from work.

    Merry Christmas!

  62. says

    My parents and I make spring rolls and dumplings together for holidays. We also play games and watch shows together. Thanks for the giveaway!
    songyueyu at gmail

  63. says

    My most favorite holiday tradition is hosting a gingerbread decorating party for my daughter and her friends and a cookie decorating party for my son and his friends. So fun to see my making memories with dear friends every year.

  64. says

    My favorite tradition is driving around looking at Christmas lights in our pajamas with hot chocolate or apple cider in hand, while listening to Christmas music.

  65. says

    My favorite tradition is simple but it means a lot. My extended family gets together on Christmas eve and does our gift exchange and goes to mass. Christmas day is reserved for everyone to be with their immediate family, and although that’s fun, our Christmas eve traditions are what gets the holiday started.

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