Traditional Christmas Wrapping. Simple, Classic, Plaid.

I kept the wrapping simple this year.


Just a simple bow …

some gold chain, to tie in the hunt club theme …

… several hand cut pieces of leather in the shape of family name crests …

… with some stick on glitter letters that I had to make myself by scrounging together sparkles because I was all out of the letters I needed, which gave me hand cramps and an eye headache …

… and when I finally ran out of sparkles, a few hand painted, stencilled letters that I knew I had to get relatively perfect on the first shot because I hated freestyle cutting the “crests” out of leather plus my scissors were getting so dull I was 2 cuts away from having to chew the leather into a general crest shape.

Like I said. I kept it simple.

They aren’t ingenious or shocking or anything like that. But what they are is perfect for the whole English Christmas theme I have for this year.

They’re classic.  Like a shortbread cookie.  Or a jungle gym.  That’s a classic in a playground, not necessarily for  Christmas although a Christmas jungle gym would be a) awesome and b) obviously have swings made out of wreaths instead of tires.

O.K. they weren’t entirely simple, they just look like it.  Which is the worst kind of simple.  It’s like being sick, but not sick enough that people notice so you don’t get lots of sympathy looks.  You’re sick enough to feel awful but not sick enough to go to bed and burrow under the covers.  Which is the worst kind of sick.

I have to say though, these are among my favourite presents ever because they make all of the other decorating in the house come together.

Plus of course, they were simple.

So what did you do for wrapping this year? Upload a photo if you have one.  ~ karen!


  1. Nichole says:

    Who’s the dude draped in greenery? What is he reading?
    Sorry I did not read this earlier, as I may have hired him to look at my presents too, so he could advise on how to iron out the wrinkles from last yrs. ribbons.
    See that’s what happens with a winter coma. Months pass and I don’t catch up on the blogs!
    BTW, congrats on suffering through the SEO. Ain’t a pretty thing.

  2. Gaeyl Kanter says:

    I rubber stamp on coloured tissue paper for books , scarves & sweaters I gift to friends . Thanks for doing all the big blogger boss lady things you have been putting off. I guess eating the frog is safer than kissing a toad these days . Glad to hear your taking up another hobby birding is great. Enjoy Your I T things . We’ll be here when you return.

  3. Barbara Fanta says:

    This year I chose three coordinating papers and used either red or gold ribbon. I made the gift tags from kraft paper.

  4. Jo says:

    Great wrapping and even greater picture – of the woman reading. Have I managed to not notice it before in your various tours? Or is it a new one, or newly placed (up from a stack of to-be-framed like I have but never seem to get to doing?

  5. Nancy Blue Moon says:

    I used to love wrapping Christmas gifts in fact I made money doing it for other people!

  6. Thera says:

    As for my own wrapping a few years ago I figured out that having the brown wrapping paper from Dollarama is a great base, so a few are wrapped in that, then depending on what I like, what is available etc I add a clear wrap to go on top or on white boxes, this year its black, white and teal snowflakes, one plain metallic, this year is gold and one pattern, this year is again snowflakes, black background with white and red snowflakes.
    Twine, black grosgrain and silk ribbon, burlap and black raffia for bows.

  7. Alena says:

    Not a fan of the centipede ribbon, sorry.
    I have no pictures to upload – because there are no presents. For years, BF and I donate money to animal charities on behalf of each other. That works fabulously – nothing to wrap and I am happy to know that our $ helped to pay for some unfortunate critter’s surgery. I only wish I had more money to give – what ‘s happening with the Spanish galgos makes me cry.

    Although this year I saw a box of those Merci chocolate bars somewhere (I am sure you have seen the commercials) so I picked that up. (He is big on chocolate, I am not – somehow, everything is upside down here).

  8. Elaine says:

    Smashing! Brilliant! I’m absolutely Gobsmacked!

    Sorry … I got carried away! But I simply had to use my British words today, Karen, to go with your very English style wrapped gifts! They are simply stunning … you just amaze me! Your creative brain never seems to quit!

  9. Gael says:

    So I looked up lots of nifty ideas for wrapping on Pinterest per the list. And then I looked at all the rolls of paper and ribbon that I already had stockpiled…and decided to keep those nifty ideas for Christmas 2018…or Christmas 2019…while I wrap my way through my current supplies!

  10. Ev Wilcox says:

    The Sunday comics is my go to for Christmas and birthdays, Mom’d Day, Dad’s day! I do use purchased wrap for big packages, partly to use the wrap up. When it runs out, I will buy a large roll of light brown recycle paper and stamp it appropriately! Or sticker it-whichever works. Karen, your presents are really wrapped well, as usual. Merry Christmas to you and yours!

  11. I used an old school label maker for name tags this year, but other than that, pretty basic.

  12. susang says:

    Love your wrapping idea. Because of people traveling etc only gift cards. Where did you get the ribbon? Happy Holidays

  13. Brenda says:

    I was just thinking of you yesterday as I was wrapping presents! I was wondering if you were going to share what you’d finally decided on – love them – they go very well with the overall decor.

    I was thinking…you do things so beautifully when it comes to Christmas that here’s a thought I had for next year. What about shaking it up completely and going a little “trailer trash” for Christmas. I really would love to see what you could do if you wrapped presents in the plastic bags from the grocery store!! If there’s someone that can make that happen and have it look amazing…it’s probably you!!!

  14. Jenny says:

    My Christmas wrapping isn’t done yet, but I have some leeway since we aren’t doing our big Christmas (with my husband’s family) until New Year’s. With all this extra time, surely I’m going to do something awesome, right? Lol no. I wish. Instead it will be a smorgasbord of wrapping papers past. Maybe next year.

  15. Monica says:

    I usually buy canvas tote bags with pretty designs on them or recycle cookie tins with a bow on top for my wrapping. I hate using wrapping paper because so little of it can be recycled.

    Obvious State on Etsy has some spendy but beautiful tote bags so I snagged one for my mom’s gift this year. I’m quite pleased with it. This is the one I bought:

  16. Eileen says:

    The Sunday comics and grocery bags and super-wrinkled tissue paper. I ball it up and scrunch it around, it gives it a lovely texture…assuming I ever get the actual gift shopping done. stupid holiday pressure.

  17. Jill says:

    Love, love, love the ribbon. The bows, however, need some work. Next time make the tails uneven. And don’t cut the bottoms straight across. Cut them at an angle or a V center. Just sayin’ … I worked for many years in a flower shop made more bows than I could ever count. I fluff them whenever I see them.

    • Karen says:

      I know technically the “thing” to do is either a V or an angle, but I actually prefer them straight across and level. You’ll also notice they’re ragged because as I said the scissors were VERY close to being thrown in the garbage, lol. ~ karen!

  18. KimC says:

    I dug out the markers and craft paper this year. Simple too, but not nearly as beautifully elegant as yours!
    Your whole theme has whisked me away to the English countryside. All you need is a golden retriever pup and Mr. Carson, lol.
    Happy Christmas to you and your family Karen.

  19. Katie C. says:

    My wrapping theme this year was, “Oh for F’s sake?! I hate this effing wrapping paper. Why did I buy so much of it?! When will I ever run out?!”

    About 5 years ago I bought around 10 huge rolls of cheap paper at the grocery store on sale after Christmas. I feel like I need to keep using it to finish it and not be wasteful, but, damn, I am sick of it!

    • Karen says:

      Can you use it inside out as white paper? ~ karen!

    • Elaine says:

      Hi Katie … I hear you! I thought the gifts under the tree would look nicer wrapped all the same (with different ribbons and picks, perhaps) instead of the color-clashing paper my husband usually bought from any place cheap, but I’m SO sick of my “tasteful” paper! It’s a pattern that can be used for anything … birthdays, anniversaries, etc. so I thought I was pretty smart choosing it.

      However, two things have happened: (a) the paper seems to be getting more brittle with each passing year so it’s impossible to fold into neat edges and (b) the grandkids suddenly seemed to age in one year and nearly all of them want money to buy what they want! How did that happen?!

    • Lois Baron says:

      lol. I know what you mean? If you still have any left after *this* year, donate it to Goodwill.

    • TucsonPatty says:

      When sent to the store for a purchase, my dad always bought huge amounts of whatever: the back end of the station wagon full of tomatoes for instance, which mom then had to figure out how to deal with before it spoiled…
      So, the second year they were married, he bought Christmas wrapping paper for her. It was a giant roll of perhaps 7 inches across, with a tiny center core. It would probably have been like one on a device at the grocery store to pull out and tear off to wrap your purchase right there on the counter at the cash register. They were married in 1940 and my mom dies on 1998 and my dad in 2001. We used that paper every single Christmas of their lives! Sometimes it was the only paper under the Christmas tree, and sometimes there was an assortment, but always at least one gift for each family member was “The Paper”. The sister helping Dad wrap presents for his final Christmas told us she had to struggle to make the remainder of the paper last for all the packages. It was so fragile and yellowed and absolutely wonderful. Cursive letters spelling Merry Christmas in red and green and silver on a white background. A niece and sister made small wooden ornaments covered with bits of the paper for all of the family (at that time probably more than 50 total) one Christmas after Mom and Dad died. Great memories.

    • Katie C. says:

      Karen, unfortunately, it’s super thin and cheap and see through. It also likes to tear if you even look at it the wrong way.

      Patty, that’s an AWESOME story. I love it. :)

  20. Peg says:

    I like to use craft paper for wrapping since it covers well and can be recycled easily. This year I cut aspen twigs and small sprigs of pine to tie into the knits of bakers twine. In other words, I tied yard debris onto everyone’s gift this year.

  21. Ella says:

    Recycled gift bags from years past. It’s a point of pride between my sisters and I as to who gets the 21 yr old gift bag that has now gone back and forth so many times. Also, just a little tip… you can iron the wrinkles out of that used tissue on a low setting and reuse it with impunity! Just sayin….

  22. Terri-Lynn Forth says:

    I see mine!!!!🎄😃

    • Karen says:

      LOLOL! Yep. It’s moved positions and is now under the tree so don’t go looking for it on the buffet in the living room on Christmas Eve. ~ karen!

  23. Chris White says:

    Love the packages! I hope your recipients are grateful and appreciative of your work! If not, I can send you my mailing address….. I would be delighted to receive one! Merry Christmas!

  24. Marianne says:

    I’ll have a green Christmas with a little help from TJ and a glue stick!

  25. Marianne says:

    This year, Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods Shopping bags got what they asked for: Recycled!

  26. Grieta says:

    I would love to know what is INSIDE the wrapping!

  27. TucsonPatty says:

    Okay, me too, with the recycled gift bags. I quit buying presents a good while back, and now give to only my daughter her needed and requested monetary gift. But…I have attended three parties with “The Game” this year, and so had to take two white elephant presents and one tree ornament. I always use a leftover bag, (and I use the old wrinkled leftover tissue). I am a recycler extraordinaire, and refuse to throw out good stuff! So, this year, I forgot to take all of the bag’s contents from the gift the night before. (In my defense, it was kind of a time crunch with two parties with two gifts and two potluck dishes in two days – I was delirious, I think) Anyway, the second party had a vintage gift theme, and the person took out my vintage glass plate and then said, to my horror, “There is something still in here.” It was leftovers from a strange gift combo from the night before, which included a bottle of Juicy Coutre perfume for young girls, a bag of off-brand peanut butter cups, and a package of three dish towels. I didn’t need the towels, so I gave them to a friend, and completely forgot there was anything left in the bag, which was the correct size for the vintage plate. I did not own up to having brought that gift to the party.
    Last year I received a nice gift that I couldn’t use (allergies) and decided to take it to the party as my white elephant. I used the same bag, left two of the three small gifts inside, and thought I was so smart, taking care of two birds with one stone. As we chose the gifts, I realized, again to my horror, that the person who had just given me that gift the day before was sitting right beside me on the couch!!! She picked the gift bag that she had just given to me. I lied and told her later that the chocolate was so awesome I went to the same store and bought it for that night. (She gave me money this year.)
    I think I don’t make good gift giving decisions, after years of being the one responsible for all the extended family gifts. Now I hate the agony of trying to buy the perfect gift, and so I just buy things to give to people whenever I feel like it. I like it better that way.
    Sorry such a long comment. Your gift wrapping is amazing, Karen, and I don’t know how you do it, but every year you outdo yourself! This year is classy, elegant, and “simple”, yes, but also so beautiful. You make me proud. You make me feel a little inadequate in the gift giving department (but I know I’m okay in other ways).

    • Jenny says:

      Haha, oh dear. While uncomfortable for you, your stories are giving me a very-needed giggle this morning.

    • Karen says:

      I might have to deem you world’s worst gift giver this year, lol. I’d love to have heard you scrambling with your “they were SO good I bought MORE” speech, lol. ~ karen!

  28. Marna says:

    Love the ribbon!

  29. Lois Baron says:

    That is astonishing ribbon–in the best way. I love wrapping presents. I’m racking my brains for a way to be paid for doing this (which might possibly pay for crest-shaped leather tags). If only I lived in a high-rise apartment building with a captive potential customer base!

  30. Lynn says:

    Well I love to decorate and wrap presents, this year though we are flying to see kids an new grandson. As a result it was decided we would not decorate. An presents will need to be got there as luggage space is limited. So I am on pins an needles ever night awaiting your next issue. Just so I can enjoy you all . Karen your simple is to beautiful to be called simply .

  31. Janie says:

    Leftover gift bags from Christmases past….ha ha

    I did use new tissue paper in the tops tho.

    MERRY CHRISTMAS TO YOU. Your home, and presents, are lovely.

    • Terry says:

      My family recycles our gift bags for years. We mourn the ones that rip and have to be thrown away. Its part of the holiday tradition

    • Karen says:

      I wonder what would happen if I wrapped all my presents in gift bags. I might try it one year just to see everyone’s reaction! Merry Christmas Janie. :) ~ karen!

  32. Kddomingue says:

    Pictures of my wrapped presents? (falls on floor clutching middle while howling with laughter like a deranged monkey on hallucinogens while weeping uncontrollably at the same time)

    I haven’t even bought all of the stocking stuffers yet….or the food for Christmas dinner….or cleaned the house. I JUST TODAY got the last of the “simple” decorations up and the packing boxes stashed. And the husband is off for the next 13 days….oh universe, grant me the strength of will to not kill him before Christmas! He’s got a dozen non Christmas related projects that he wants me to start helping him with TOMORROW! (deep breaths, deep cleansing breaths)

    A friend and I are seriously thinking about getting in the car and running far, far away from home until the holiday madness is over. Maybe a beach somewhere where nice guys come and bring you those nice drinks with the cute little paper umbrellas in them while you soak up the rays on a comfortable lounge chsir?

    • Thandi says:

      YES! Drinks with tiny umbrellas! And someone else to clean the house! WHAT HAVE I BEEN DOING THE LAST WEEK??? At least for Christmas this year it’s just my mum and my husband and myself, and we’re all doing challenge gifts ($2 or less and I am pretending that any fabric purchased before December no longer has any monetary value), but my husband’s birthday is on the 25th and my mom’s is on the 26th. WHY?? Why must I have birthdays and Christmas AT THE SAME TIME?? And where is my drink with the tiny umbrella??

      • Kddomingue says:

        Oh! SOMEONE ELSE TO CLEAN THE HOUSE! Wouldn’t THAT be a wonderful Christmas present!

        December: our anniversary on the 6th, husband’s godparent’s anniversary on the 6th, Grandmama’s birthday on the 21st, Aunt’s on the 22nd, brother’s birthday on the 26th, favorite cousin’s on the 26th, husband’s best friend’s daughter’s birthday on the 29th…..
        which is also MY birthday! Daughter’s birthday is November 4th and her husband’s birthday is November 21. Husband’s birthday is January 17th and nephew’s is January 19th. TOO MUCH! I suggested that we all move our special days six months into spring and summer! I need multiple drinks with tiny umbrellas!

      • Ev Wilcox says:

        Ahh, holiday birthdays…. My official birthday is New Years Day, but some years ago I moved it to April 15. Much better! Family not holidayed out, no snow storms to worry about, and people more relaxed. I searched the calendar, trying to stay out of the way of family birthdays and other holidays. Easter moves around, so that one is a problem now and then.
        My daughter’s is March 22, so we try to do ours together. It’s hard to gather everyone in a largish family, and, since neither of us likes to be the center of attention, it works great! I make whatever cake she asks for, and someone makes mine (Boston Cream Pie)! Good luck to you!

  33. Agnes says:

    I don’t actually give many gifts anymore, which is sad because I love to wrap them. However, I organized a public event (this past Sunday) where people came to wrap their own gifts, make cards, etc. This was my favourite. Harry Potter themed “Owl Mail” packages. The sticker art sourced from a YouTuber (Cherry Wallis), I printed out the stickers, and just happened to already own the official wax seal stamp too. So much fun. Btw I’m fairly certain the wax seals do not actually contain wax, but rather a low temp melting plastic. Have you tried it before?

  34. Gayle M says:

    Nice…but did I miss seeing my initial there? lol

    Christmas is truly a beautiful affair at your place–every year!

  35. Raymonde says:

    Oh wow! That ribbon is fabulous!
    Now, that I think about it, I have some leftover Royal Stewart plaid fabric, yards of velvet ribbon, faux suede and faux leather!
    You just solved my gift wrapping for this year! Yeah!!!
    Thank you Karen! :-)

  36. Marilyn Meagher says:

    HHaha wrapping…? I wish I had a wrapping fairy. Love picking out gifts ..detest wrapping them. But I would love to see you gnawing out that crest They look fabulous, always do,,

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