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11 Christmas Wrapping Hacks to Make Presents Less of a Chore


This list of Christmas wrapping hacks will help you save some time, lower your holiday stress and it might even end up being an enjoyable Christmas tradition. These tips will help you wrap all your holiday presents with ease!

Woman sitting on the floor wrapping a Christmas present.
These gift-wrapping hacks will make your holiday less stressful.

These gift-wrapping hacks pair perfectly with Netflix Christmas Movies since my favorite thing to do when wrapping presents is watch holiday movies.

In chatting with friends I have found that most people HATE having to wrap all their Christmas gifts. I’m sharing all the things I do to make it feel less like a chore.

It might be pushing it to consider gift wrapping to be holiday self-care, but I don’t hate it and I want to help you not hate it too.

This post is NOT about how to perfectly wrap a gift. It’s NOT full of creative wrapping ideas. As a human, I aim for “good enough” for most things. I know my skill set and in those areas, I’ll go all out and really shine.

Related post: Stress-Free Holiday Entertaining Tips

But most of us can’t do all things well. We’re not Martha Stewart (and her team of millions).

This post is full of my gift wrapping hacks to ensure that all your Christmas presents get wrapped, look ok (pretty, even) and keep you from feeling like a stressed-out hag. You know the feeling.

These gift wrapping tips are best suited for the holidays because of the sheer volume of things you need to gift to friends and family. Dear God I hope you don’t have other times throughout the year when you have to spend this much on gifts.

Tips and Hacks Making Wrapping Presents More Fun

Close up of stick on bows and holiday wrapping paper on the ground.

1. Pick the Right Time

I usually try to wrap some of the presents while the kids are in school but I also try to add in one evening of wrapping.

Don’t be afraid to set boundaries with the rest of the family and then stick to them.

Every year my mom takes the boys for a sleepover and they make Candy Trains. This allows my husband and I to finish up the wrapping. Consider asking a family member to do the same for you!

Make sure you set aside enough time that you don’t have to immediately jump into another project. There is nothing more stressful than back-to-back projects.

2. Do It In Batches

Don’t wait until the last minute to wrap everything. Try to spread it out and do it in smaller batches.

As you buy gifts throughout the season, plan to wrap a group of them every few weeks. It’s helpful to keep prying eyes from seeing the gifts you are trying to hide from them.

While it may be too early to put them under a Christmas Tree, you can probably safely store them in a plastic storage tote without the little ones guessing all their gifts.

It will also reduce how many you need to wrap later in the season when things get really stressful.

3. Gather Your Supplies

Gather all your supplies for wrapping presents and then keep them together so you can easily grab everything when you need it.

I wrap presents in my bedroom when everyone is home, but in the living room when they’re gone.

This box looks like it might fit under a bed and keeps tags, ribbon etc. in one place. I use a stand-up wrapping paper bin (like this one) in the garage since it’s out of the way.

A small caddy with a handle keeps scissors, tape, pens and gift tags right where I need them. And it sounds weird, but if you have a favorite pair of scissors, make sure you use those. A sticky pair of scissors can ruin the vibes.

Supplies List to Get You Started

  • Christmas Wrapping Paper – I like the paper from Target (get the 155 sq. ft. rolls not the 55 sq. ft.). They always have cute designs and the quality is great.
  • Scotch Gift Wrap Tape – This tape is almost invisible on the paper!
  • Adhesive Holiday Gift Tags – I usually choose these based on the paper I buy but this set is modern and cute and would work with just about any design.
  • Pens – Some pens don’t work on the adhesive labels and just rub off. Ball point pens always work.
  • Scissors or Gift Wrap Cutter – Extra sharp scissors or a cutter designed specifically to cute wrapping paper effortlessly is a must!
  • I always keep a small bag on hand for a trash bag to clean up the scraps as I go. This can be a plastic shopping bag or even a bag that one of the gifts came in.

I may not keep this caddy together all year but at Christmas, it saves me tons of time from having to track down all the supplies before I can even get started.

4. Biggest First

Obviously, you will get bored while wrapping Christmas presents (No? Just me?). So I always start with the largest gift first. If you’re like me, storing all these gifts can be a problem.

Once the gift is wrapped, you can move it to an out-of-the-way location (maybe even your mom’s house) and forget about it until closer to Christmas.

The gift may have also produced a leftover piece of paper in an odd shape that you can use to wrap a smaller gift in your pile. It’s a simple money-saving tip that we can all use at this time of year!

5. Sticky Gift Tags

Sticky gift tags are a really quick way to add a name to a gift. As we age (Oh my gosh I’m saying things like this in blog posts now), our eyesight goes to shit. Tying a tiny knot or bow on a string is the last thing I want to do when wrapping presents.

If I am wrapping presents for just one person, I will wrap the gifts and then add the gift tags at the end. If you have all your supplies right there, you can just grab a pen, write the name and keep it moving.

6. Stretchy Ribbon

Growing up my mom made elaborate bows. But I didn’t get her patience or her crafting skills. (Which is why she did my homemade cinnamon candy tutorial).

I have tried to use stick-on bows but they never stay on and because we have to transport packages to several houses, they always get squished.

My solution is to use stretchy, metallic ribbon. I simply wrap it around the corners (example 2 in this post on how to tie ribbon) and tie it in a simple bow or knot. It looks decorated but is super easy.

This might be my favorite gift wrapping hack.

Woman sitting on the floor and pulling off tape for wrapping a present.

7. Take Something Else Off Your To-Do List

Now we’re getting into my favorite part of the list. The gift wrapping tips that make everything more fun.

Your holiday to-do list is a mile long, so in my opinion, it’s ok to take something you usually do off for the time being. It’s all about giving yourself a break. Do not feel guilty.

Order dinner in. Give a gift list to someone else to do the physical shopping (if you trust them to not take liberties). Use the time you would have spent at the grocery store on gift wrapping and use online grocery delivery.

If you don’t have Amazon Fresh is how I do about 90% of my grocery shopping.

While balance doesn’t usually exist near the holidays, you can find little ways to steal some time back.

8. Watch a Movie

It makes laundry more fun, so you KNOW watching a Holiday movie will help to get through all the wrapping! 

Over the years I learned that to make gift-wrapping feel less like a chore and more like me-time I wrapped to a movie. You can get a lot of gifts wrapped in the time it takes to watch one movie (about 2 hours).

If you aren’t into movies, listen to a modern holiday playlist.

9. Drink Something Festive

Alcohol. Drink something boozy. Whether it’s your favorite glass of white wine, a red wine spritzer or a festive Cranberry Mule, sip something delicious.

I prefer to drink it out of an insulated cup with a lid to make it less likely that I will spill it all over everything and ruin something.

Obviously, you don’t HAVE to drink. But it does make it feel less like a chore. If you want to enjoy some Cardamom Orange Hot Chocolate instead, that would be delicious too.

10. Enlist Help

And, of course, one of the best gift wrapping hacks of all is to enlist help! I usually have my kids wrap their cousin’s presents. And I can get them to wrap the gifts for my husband too.

It’s a good skill for them to know and it takes some work off your shoulders. Just know, these are not going to be the prettiest packages under the tree…

Because I sometimes ship presents to my mom’s house so my kids don’t see them, she will sometimes offer to wrap them. I’m not suggesting you do send gifts somewhere in the hopes of getting them wrapped.

And sometimes it backfires and she steals the gift to give from her…

11. Gift Bag It

If something is odd-shaped, just toss it in a gift bag. The time and tape it sometimes takes to wrap a present that isn’t a rectangle are astonishing. If it is on the smaller side, just use a gift bag.

A little tissue and some ribbon can really dress it up. I have never seen anyone bummed that they got a gift in a gift bag instead of wrapping paper.

And often, for smaller kids, it’s easier for them to get into.

Or use a muslin bag like I use in my holiday movie-watching gift kits.

Time-Saving Tips

I’m not sure that I used one gift box last year. Not having to pop both sides of the box in place and layer in tissue paper really does save time. And that is only step one.

If you can help it, wrap the gift as is. OR…

Use a decorative box. One that is gold foiled or colorful means you don’t have to add wrapping paper on top of it. You may just need to add a bow. So easy.

Consider adding on the gift wrap option when buying gifts online. The gift will arrive already wrapped and be one less present that you have to worry about later.

If you have extra nosy kids, shop then wrap right in the car. This takes a little more prep work because you need to ensure that you have your supplies in the car.

But if you are really looking to stay on top of things this busy holiday season, this might be your favorite hack!

What do you do to make wrapping presents more fun?

Candy cane martinis on a table with text next to it.

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