Cut It Out (and other gift wrapping issues)

December 10th, 2009

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My daughter loves her scissors. Most of the time, she loves them from afar. After all, she’s under 3 and still learning the difference between paper and clothing (not to mention fingers). But sometimes, on those wondrous days, I let her use them. Although it panics me, I know that if I hand her a piece of paper and a pair of scissors, she’ll be good to go for any sort of project I have lined up. Especially those projects that are more functional than fun. Like gift-wrapping.

‘Tis the season. The time of the year where gifts galore need wrapping. The season to fight with your child about why she can’t have all the presents that you bought for her friends. Why she can’t pull out a four-foot long piece of tape off the Scotch dispenser and wrap it around the dog. Why she has to keep the spools of ribbon away from the cat because…well…you know what cats do with ribbon and where you’ll find it later.

But there are ways to get your kids into the spirit of gift-wrapping (or at least keep them involved while you’re creating masterpiece mysteries of ribbons and bows). Think outside the gift box and try to appeal to what they love and this chore will become a fun time together.

Let’s face it. Even some adults haven’t mastered the art of corner wrapping. So focus on something a kid can do. Like gift tags. Don’t just use the typical To/From squares. Think about involving fun characters (Linda & Harriet have really cute moose tags…get it? Christmoose.). Or even pull out those scissors and let your kids cut up last year’s holiday cards for snowmen, Santa, trees, squirrels with scarves, whatever graced your mantel.

And who didn’t love going to the hardware store as a kid—grabbing a bunch of those paint samples with all your favorite colors, so bright and cheerful? OK, apparently I’m the only one. Anyway, let your kids run rampant at the paint supply store, grabbing all their favorite seasonal color samples (or use your old samples you have at home to avoid dirty looks from the salespeople) to use them as gift tags. A nice (and free) way to add some fun to tag-making.

Another way to impart a creative (and “green”) personal touch to the process is to use some of your kid’s artwork as gift-wrap. This is perfect for all ages. Ask your child to draw pictures on large pieces of paper (I like to use those rolls of craft paper) and then wrap the gifts in their design. Now the lucky giftee has a gift and a piece of original art.

As with most things with kids, it’s the process not the product. Adding a little fun with it will bring you a little less holiday stress and them a sense of involvement.

Now, I have to go. I think my daughter is running with the scissors.

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