Last week I hosted my first gift-wrapping party, something I’ve thought about doing for years. Unless you are some sort of party-throwing ninja, it’s too late to arrange a party this year, but keep this fun idea in mind for next Christmas. A gift-wrapping party is the perfect way to spend time with friends and family while knocking out what some folks see as a huge chore—wrapping that growing pile of gifts.
Confession: I love to wrap gifts. I truly do. And sitting around chatting and laughing with friends, listening to Christmas music, drinking a little vino while wrapping Christmas presents elevates gift-wrapping to a new level.
Since I’d never hosted or attended a party quite like this, I did what made sense to me. Everyone left with happy tummies, bags of wrapped gifts, and a little more Christmas spirit, so overall I’d say it was a success.
Invitation. I created my event on Facebook which is easy and works well if your invitees are Facebookers, but you can invite friends via paper invitations (what?) or e-vite. The important thing is to get the word out in advance because the Christmas calendar fills up FAST with parties and school events. Don’t stress about your invitation. Here’s what I included on my “invitation” which took all of one minute. (Feel free to copy.)
Food and Drink. Set up a buffet of hors d’oeurves and a few sweets. Keep the food simple and easy to eat. The point of the get-together is to wrap presents, but let’s be real, a party without food is no party at all. It’s a meeting. Arrange food on the kitchen countertops or island to free up table surfaces for wrapping. My party was a BYOB event, but I had extra wine and beer on hand, along with a few soft drinks and a pitcher of water. Gift-wrapping makes one parched.
Gift-Wrapping Stations. Designate your dining room table and/or kitchen table for gift wrapping. Pull out leaves in tables to provide as much room as possible. Remove tablecloths, table runners, centerpieces, etc. Add folding tables if necessary. This is serious gift-wrapping business—think Santa’s Workshop… Have rolls of paper within easy reach. And don’t forget tissue paper.
Ribbon, Paper, Scissors. Since I am a gift-wrapping freak, I already had lots of ribbon and gift tags. Even so, this was a good excuse to pick up cool new paper and embellishments like glittery stars. Flea markets have lots of interesting vintage items for gift decorating. Start collecting now for next year (and forever).
Gift-wrapping supplies become the decorations for your party. Arrange spools of ribbon and tape in bowls (first picture). Egg dishes make great containers for tags, jingle bells, etc. Personal Motto: There’s no such thing as too many egg dishes.
Wrapping. Wrap until everything is wrapped. Wrap each other’s gifts. Be sure to take pictures.
Leftovers. At the end of the night, if there are leftovers, get them out of the house asap unless you are trying to gain weight over the holidays in which case we can’t be friends. Just kidding (no really). Provide your guests with Ziploc bags or plastic containers for take home treats.
Alrighty, that’s a wrap on this year’s gift-wrapping party. The best thing about it? When everyone leaves and you are left with the wonderful messiness of a fun evening, your heart is filled with gratitude for a season that brings friends together.
Merry Christmas and may all your gifts be beautifully wrapped. Or at least have fun while wrapping:)
Grace Grits and Gardening
Farm. Food. Garden. Life.
Pretty Paper – Willie Nelson