That time of year is almost upon us - it's practically clambered into our laps already! For once, I had all my gifts bought and wrapped well in advance. If you don't, it's not too late to make them look a treat under the tree. First, you need Christmas music to keep your spirits in the right place...
Another way to make your wrapping go easily is to have the right materials at hand. If you've got bottles, don't work yourself into a state trying to neatly cover them in tissue paper. I've tried it every year for as long as I can remember and this year I finally admitted defeat. Buy a couple of nice bottle bags - not too garish (unless that's what you like) - and have them at the ready. As for the rest of your presents, buy a roll of paper or get inventive: use brown paper or newspaper and use ribbons, garlands and even pompoms to jazz things up.
I bought some Fair Isle printed tissue paper (Next) and used cute washi tape (Paperchase), stickers and Pritt stick in place of Sellotape. If you're using tissue paper, you'll usually need more than one layer. When using patterned tissues, begin with a layer of a block coloured paper first - I used black and white sheets that I had saved from things people had sent me.
I've always struggled to find gift tags that I actually like and usually prefer to keep them very simple, so I played around with cutting out the initial (or entire name, when it was a short one) of the intended recipient from brown paper and glueing it onto the parcel. I also picked up a pack of gorgeous tags (Next) and enjoyed mix-and-matching patterns on my presents for once.
Small gifts such as jewellery deserve their own beautiful packaging as much as larger items. Gift boxes lined with tissue paper serve well for this. I bought a plain one (super cheap at all craft shops) and drew my sister on the lid (the present was for her). I then made a nest of tissue paper, popped in a few sequins and laid the earrings I'd bought her inside.
A tiny bit of time and effort will make sure your gifts entice loved ones down onto their knees beneath the tree, wondering what it is they'll be unwrapping come Tuesday!