Forethought makes unwrapping fun

SIMPLE AND EFFECTIVE: Sometimes a simpler packaging product can give you a more effective wrapping option for Christmas presents.
SIMPLE AND EFFECTIVE: Sometimes a simpler packaging product can give you a more effective wrapping option for Christmas presents.

A much anticipated Christmas tradition that often turns ugly is the opening of gifts.

In larger groups, it can quickly transpire into a paper ripping frenzy, a garbage bag overflowing with haphazard bits of festive paper left in its wake.

To avoid this waste, why not create something that demands attention and uses bits and bobs found in your home. After all, sometimes it’s what’s on the outside that counts.

Investing in a roll of brown paper, or cutting up paper bags from the grocery store allows you to personalise each gift in a myriad of ways. Effectively leaving you with a blank (brown) canvas, you could try decorating the package with any of the following.

Use red and green tape to wrap alternate horizontal and vertical strips around the gift, mimicking ribbon.

Use coloured wool instead of ribbon, wrapping horizontally and vertically numerous times for best effect.

Tear out a page from an old Golden Book and glue it to the paper - if you can find one with Christmas stories, all the better.

Kids’ books aren’t to everyone’s taste, so consider sticking unwanted postcards or the front of last year’s Christmas cards to the front of the wrapped parcel.

Attach a small Christmas tree ornament to some string that’s tied around the paper. This not only looks pretty and festive, but doubles as something to hang on their tree for years to come.

Tie a small object to the paper that is seemingly random, but actually unique to that person -  for example, a playing card for the poker champ, bookmark for the bookworm, or a feather for the nature enthusiast.

If adorning brown paper doesn’t inspire, why not give your gifts in one of these wrapping paper alternatives.

Use the pages from an old map or atlas that is no longer current, or (thanks to the digital age) you’re no longer using.

Find some old sheet music, ideally for Christmas carols, with the name of the carol in full view on the gift.

Using your children’s artwork is a very personal and smart way of recycling all those finger paintings.