Instead of the usual last minute, late night, “alone in the kitchen” wrap-a-thon, why not invite a few friends over with their craft supplies and make it a party instead! You’ll take stress out of the holiday season by turning a chore into a social event.

Plus, everyone leaves with a stack of pretty presents, all ready for delivery, and a huge task checked off their holiday to-do list!

Invite four or five friends to bring their unwrapped presents and a few rolls of gift wrap to your house. It’s a great opportunity to catch up, and you’ll still feel productive!

Host on a weeknight in mid-December and email everyone early in the season so they get some shopping done in time. Tip: Hire a sitter to watch kiddos at one of the guests’ house to keep nosy little ones out of the way.

Setup and snacks

Designate an open work area and clear off any clutter … no decorating necessary! Use your dining room table, a large kitchen island, a pool or ping pong table, or folding tables work equally well.

Supplies: Hit a craft store to scoop up these essentials and extras in one fell swoop.

  • Colored paper and stamp pads
  • Multicolored yarn, twine, ribbons, and easy stick-on bows

Tip: Wire edged and organza ribbons are like “gift wrap for dummies” — they make even the plainest package look spectacular!

  • Gift tags, metallic stickers, and post-it notes
  • Pens and markers
  • Fun, inexpensive gift trims like small ornaments, snowflakes, bells, silk flowers, holly, mistletoe sprigs, cookie cutters, and packets of holiday candy
  • Several pairs of scissors, including pinking shears or other decorative cutters
  • A multipack of tape including double sided
  • Mailing supplies such as bubble wrap, brown paper, large white labels

Bevs & Bites: Create a station of easy finger foods like our Cherry Tomato Skewers w Balsamic & Basil, a crudité or fruit plate, or if you want, whip up some of my Chocolate-Peppermint Snowflake cookies.

Music is a Must!

Pick a Spotify or Pandora channel with holiday tunes, or play specials on TV to get everyone in the mood. Pro tip: have guests label their presents with sticky notes, and then transfer them to the wrapped gifts to avoid mix ups.

Select Your Strategy: Once guests arrive, you can all decide whether you want to attack your piles separately, set up an assembly line, or have a team relay race.

Hold a Get Crafty Contest: Have everyone vote for their favorite package and award a small prize to the most creative wrapper. Here are some fun, creative ideas for inspiration:

  • Use a bath pouf instead of a bow to top towels, an assortment of toiletries, or other bath-related gifts.
  • Wrap up cooking gear or a cookbook in parchment paper tied with kitchen twine. Top with a set of measuring spoons.
  • Spiff up a basic shirt box. Wrap as usual then tie box with a necktie and top with a tie clip.
  • Candy-fy it. Use bubble wrap and paper to transform tricky shaped gifts into wrapped candy or candy cane shapes.

When everyone’s done, take turns being Stand In Santa, and fill out each other’s gift cards so kiddos don’t catch on to the similar handwriting!

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