Christmas is coming, Fa La La La La, La La La La!
In case you couldn’t tell, I’m beside myself excited for the upcoming holidays. This is the time of year where the nog is flowing freely through my veins and I am LOVING LIFE. This has only come about in the last few years, as I learned how to reduce my holiday stress, but now that’s (mostly) under control, bring on ALL THE THINGS.
One of my stress-reducing tips is to WRAP EARLY. And my favorite way to do this is by hosting a Wrap Party! Now for those that just rolled their eyes because you are the classic Christmas Eve wrapper, just hear me out, and see if any of these tips might help you live your best Christmas life this holiday season.
Wrapped and Done by December One
Call me selfish or vain, but I truly enjoy looking at the pretty things of Christmas; this is not limited to the packages under my tree!
I remember a couple years back, when we had a newborn and two toddlers under the age of 4 and life was CRAZY town to say the least. I stayed up WAY too late on Christmas Eve with paper cuts galore, trying frantically to wrap all of the presents for everyone, when all I really wanted to do was snuggle my newborn baby and sit by the fire to take in the last night of the season. Fast forward a couple hours to the excitement of Christmas morning, and I felt SO DEFEATED when said toddlers TORE like the savages that they are into all of those hours of wrapping that I had just done. This is the point of wrapping a present, I know but STILL. It was so defeating to spend so much time wrapping, and we didn’t even get to enjoy the fruits of my labor! I decided then and there, I was going to do it different from there on out.
The beauty of wrapping early is getting to relish in your beautiful wrapping the entire month of December. Yes, this means shopping in November. Yes, this means budgeting time and money maybe earlier than you have in year’s past, but the payoff of having your wrapping done by December 1st will help you alleviate so much holiday stress, and will free up brain space on your never-ending checklist to enjoy more of the good stuff during the season!
Under the Tree By December Three
This year, schedules don’t permit for the Wrap Party to happen on the first, so I came up with the tagline Under the Tree By December Three. It’s fine, there are no hard and fast rules on the exact date, the point is rather to be intentional with your gift buying and wrapping, knocking it out EARLY in the season.
Host the Wrap Party
So you want to know how do you exactly host a wrap party? Steps are super simple, and are basically a Christmas version of our summer staple – the Crappy Dinner Party.
1 Send out the Invite
Invite via Etsy
There are SO many cute options on Etsy and there are several free options (this one is my favorite) on your favorite electronic invite company (Evite, Paperless Post, etc.). My personal favorite, which is admittedly a little extra of me, is to purchase a digital card from Etsy, have it personalized and then upload it for free and send out electronically. Voila – a cute personalized card that only cost you about $10-$15!
2 Prep for the Party
Like I said, I advise keeping your standard right around Crappy Dinner Party level, but the beauty of the wrap party is that there is freedom within the framework. My girlfriends and I prefer a more cozy vibe, so Christmas jammies are advised. But I found all of these hilarious T-shirts that would be super cute to wear as well. We have an open concept floor plan, so it’s easiest for me if we shove the couches to the sides and everyone just spreads out with all of their stuff on the floor, dining table and kitchen island. Again, there are no rules – do what works best for you!
The key point is to do as much, or as little, to prep as you feel comfortable!
This is the best part. Turn up the Christmas tunes, spike the cider and the ‘nog, maybe throw out those similar-to-crack Trader Joes frosted Gingerbread men and CALL IT GOOD. You don’t have to clean, your floor will be covered in tape and glitter by the end of the night! I ask people to bring their own tape and scissors, but I also do set out extras that we have. The dollar store is a great place to stock up on tape pre-party.
It is so fun for me to see which direction everyone goes with their wrapping. Personally, I put time and thought into my “theme” for each year, but the giant bag of Costco shiny bows is also welcome (#okayestwrappers). You get to do you. No need to impress or go above and beyond what you would normally do. Just grab your gifts, your wrap supplies and spend a couple hours with your best girlfriends and neighbors, choosing to do what you already would be doing, just with the benefit of being together.
But Ashley, it’s next to impossible for me to get all of my gifts done by December 1st (or 3rd)!
Fine, I’m not looking to force you to do anything you don’t want to do. Bring what you HAVE purchased and wrap that! I’ve had SEVERAL girlfriends who simply bring their Christmas cards to stamp and address those while we wrap. There have also been years (especially newborn years) where some friends just come for a fun girls night and help wrap others gifts or just sit and gab. THERE ARE NO RULES.
This wrap party started as a means to gather a bunch of lonely, never have enough adult conversation moms and has subsequently turned into not only one of my favorite events of the year (because its at the beginning of the season!), but also one of the single most reasons that my holiday stress has reduced.
What about you? When do you typically wrap your presents? I’d love to hear about ways that you creatively gather your girls during the holiday season! Leave a comment below!
As always, come hang out with my on Instagram and share your crappy wrap party with the rest of us. 😉