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. 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,,

  2. 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! 🙂

  3. Gayle M says:

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

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

  4. 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?

  5. 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?

  6. 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.

  7. CoCo Dubai says:

    Love this HP wrapping! Well done!

  8. 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??

  9. Bonnie Goodrich-Wilcoxson says:

    This is great! I love it when creative people do my thinking for me 😄

  10. 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 .

  11. 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!

  12. Marna says:

    Love the ribbon!

  13. 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).

  14. Grieta says:

    I would love to know what is INSIDE the wrapping!

  15. Marianne says:

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

  16. Marianne says:

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

  17. 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!

  18. Terri-Lynn Forth says:

    I see mine!!!!🎄😃

  19. Alex says:

    These are genius. I have 2 HP fans in my house, and now I’m wondering how I can shortcut- no official seal/ can the stickers be downloaded hummmm…and make it happen!

  20. 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….

  21. 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.

  22. Katie C. says:

    Oh wow!! I love those!!

  23. 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!

  24. 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.

  25. 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.

  26. 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.

  27. 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

  28. 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:

  29. Jenny says:

    This is awesome! Filing this thought away for next year!

  30. Jenny says:

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

  31. 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.

  32. Jan in Waterdown says:

    Been there, done that! Last year I helped myself to some cedar from my neighbours’ hedge. Nothing says “Merry Christmas” like some stolen greenery!

  33. 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!!!

  34. 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!

  35. Karen says:

    I have and you’re right. Now that I think of it, those wax seals probably are plastic. Maybe a tiny bit of wax in the “crayons”? ~ karen!

  36. susang says:

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

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

  38. 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!

  39. Alice says:

    What a great idea and well done. So much fun to do things with a group.

  40. Karen says:

    Heh. Thanks Lynn! Have a fun visit with your family. ~ karen!

  41. Karen says:

    You could always move to a high-rise. 😉 ~ karen!

  42. 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!

  43. 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!

  44. Karen says:

    OooOoOOoooo. Lotsa good stuff. 😉 ~ karen!

  45. Karen says:

    Pretty picture! ~ karen

  46. 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!

  47. Karen says:

    “I tied yard debris onto everyone’s gift this year.” … HAH!! ~ karen

  48. Karen says:

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

  49. Karen says:

    Thanks KimC. LOVE your gifts, they’re great! ~ karen

  50. 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!

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