Christmas Wrap Up

Living room with fireplace and Christmas tree

What kind of gift wrapper are you? That sounds like a future blog post, doesn’t it? The Five Kinds of Gift Wrappers. I might write that post; Coming Christmas 2021. Maybe. Okay, back to business. Dan and I somehow seem to give a lot of gifts, and all the wrapping falls to me. How is that fair? Well okay, not ALL the wrapping falls to me. I don’t wrap my own gifts (from Dan). I draw the line at that.

I’m not real big on wrapping each gift the traditional way. Nope. I am a bag lady. A big bag lady. Love the gift bags, and I reuse them year after year. The bags are pretty and festive. Plus, it’s easy; it’s frugal; it’s good for the environment. But you knew all that, and you likely even use, at least some, gift bags. After all, Dollar Tree is selling all those bags they put out to SOMEBODY.

Gift tags made from Christmas cards cut with pinking shears

But do you make your own gift tags? I do. I cut up last year’s Christmas cards using pinking shears. That makes it fancy. Nothing but the best for my loved ones. A tag cut with pinking shears from last year’s Christmas cards are pretty and festive and frugal. Yep, I save a whole dollar every year! And it’s good for the environment. Win Win!

Gift bag with picture of snowman on it

I also use old Christmas cards to spruce up gift bags. Sometimes shops give you a plain brown gift bag, and I’ll glue a part of a pretty card (cut with pinking shears and likely, but not always, in an oval shape) on the bag. I use a spray adhesive, and wallah! I have a bag I can use for years. I can get a number of tags from one card, so I have lots of tags in my stash. It’s a nice activity to do on some cold January afternoon sitting next to Dan while he is watching football, and I act like I care about the score. Which I do. Really, Dan. I do.

While I’ve been making gift tags for years, for many of those years, I didn’t worry about a centerpiece for our table. But this year, after reading a blog post on cgmusings2019 about setting a festive table and another post of hers on adding Christmas scents, I decided to kill two birds with one stone. Not literally. I love birds. I feed them all the time. Just ask suzassippi. Sorry. I keep digressing today for some reason. Too much holiday sweets, I guess.

Bowl of potpourri with Merry Christmas sign on it

ANYWAYS, I went down into my basement again. Lots of stuff down there. I found a bag of potpourri my sister had given us about three years ago. I had never opened it. So, I brought it upstairs, we put it into a pretty bowl, placed it on one of Grandma’s doilies, and wallah! – instant centerpiece and Christmas scent. While it doesn’t rise to the level of cgmusings2019’s charming ambiance, it does rise above what we had before – which was nothing. So, check check, and I am a happy camper. Well, no, not literally. That’ll be in the spring. Sorry. Got to focus here.

Christmas Eve makes me happy. To be honest (watch out for anyone who says that often, like why would they need to add that particular qualifier so much), okay, sorry, back on track, I like Christmas Eve better than Christmas Day. Except for the presents part, of course. Christmas Eve seems magical to me. Here in our New Town at St. Charles, there was a plan (hatched through our Facebook residents page) for Christmas Eve. Part One of the Plan was to put out luminaries at dusk on Christmas Eve. Got those ordered through Amazon. Check! Part Two was for everybody to go outside at 6 pm and ring bells for two minutes.

Now, who has bells for seven people? I know where I can get some. And you should know, too, if you’ve been paying attention at all while reading my blog these past oh, so many months. That’s a call for a trip to the Dollar Tree. That is where I procured seven jingle bells for those two special moments on the coming Christmas eve, all the while telling Dan it was going to be quite magical hearing all bells and jingles from the whole of New Town. I just knew the sound would gently rise up from all the streets and then develop into a rich and full crescendo, lasting only a quick magical moment but the sweet memory of it forever in our minds. That was the plan, you know.

But here’s what really happened. While many did put out the luminaries, not too many came out, at least in our area, to ring the bells and shake the jingles. But we did! As we stood there in the cold night air, surrounded by Christmas lights and luminaries, from around the corner and down the block, came the sound of a lone saxophone playing Christmas carols. The sound traveled amazingly well, and those classic holiday songs were lightly sprinkled with the jingling of sleigh bells. The whole scene was enhanced with the smiles on our faces and the sounds of family chatter and laughter. Love was in the air and in our hearts. You could just feel it. At least I could. Pretty magical.

Sidewalk lined with luminaries
Christmas Eve on Arpent St.
Family picture on front porch
All the Christmas Eve Jinglers,
except Allie who took the picture.
Thanks, Allie!

I hope there was a bit of sparkle and glitter on your Christmas Eve. And I hope your Christmas was filled with joy and peace and laughter. But mostly, I hope your Christmas was, just like mine, wrapped up in love.

Two lighted deer.  One is a baby.


  1. I like to use wrapping paper, but I do not bother with bows and ribbon. I love your idea of cutting up used Christmas cards for gift tags. A fun way to remember them later, be creative, and environmentally friendly. I cringe when I think of the way past years when we had tons and tons of gifts, and mountains of wrapping paper and plastic after gift opening was over. And remember those horrible plastic encased children’s toys where you needed a chain saw to get them open! Think Barbie dolls.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Before using bags, I was the same type of “wrapper” as you. Although, occasionally I’d slap a used bow on a gift. I do remember from my childhood (6 kids in our family) a mountain of wrapping paper – and that tough, tough plastic packaging! I am glad there is less waste now! Thanks for reading, and enjoy your day!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I like to wrap, but I am a curling ribbon person, or sometimes sparkly string or even twine. I have been known to make my own wrapping paper using sponge stamps and paint on butcher paper, or decorate with a tree ornament. I love luminaries, especially the old-fashioned kind with candles in sand in a plain brown bag. I love the idea of the jingle bells–what a communal thing to do!


    • Hmm. I think you’ve just added a 6th type to my five kinds of wrappers. I hadn’t thought of those who make their own paper. And you’ve reminded me. Years ago, someone came through our office selling some basic supplies to make bows and to shred ribbon. So, for a while I made bows, curled and shredded ribbon. That stuff might be in the basement….. Thanks for reading, and enjoy your day!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. What kind of Christmas rapper am I?
    🎶…🎤🎧…🕶 Yo, they call Dave D and I’m here to say, I can rock the mic in a Yuletide way! 🎶…🎶
    On Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen. Santa’s new DJ, is down for the mixin’! 🎶🎧🎤🕶
    Shiiirk! Who stopped the music?!😳 What? Mrs. Duncan Clause says you meant Christmas WRAPPER, not rapper. Oops🙃

    Liked by 2 people

    • David, this is hilarious. How could WordPress possibly think this was spam?
      WordPress time to do your job
      do not a comment from David rob
      Don’t worry bout’ David cuz David be fine
      David’s wife do keep him in line

      Liked by 2 people

        • I appreciate you alerting me to this as I never look in the spam folder, and your inspired response comment would have been lost forever. Haven’t enough things gone wrong in 2020?


    • Thank you, Peggy. Sometimes being frugal encourages creativity, and that’s the part I love. Plus, I like to spend our money on stuff that really matters to us. Thanks for reading, and enjoy your day!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, David. I do try to be careful with our resources, so we can spend them on things that matter more to us. Plus, I really enjoy being creative. Thanks for reading, and all your comments – even those that WordPress thinks is spam! Have a great week ahead!


  4. Your post is full of great ideas for wrapping gifts and re-cycling Christmas cards. What I liked best was the commentary and picture of your family ringing bells on the front porch. It looks like everyone had some Christmas in their hearts!

    Liked by 1 person

    • We were just so glad to be together even though we could not be with extended family. We did enjoy a wonderful holiday. Thank you for reading, and enjoy your day tomorrow!


  5. What a great idea for wrapping presents. But me, well I’m not a wrapper. Give them the box it came in is my idea. Why waste a perfectly good box. But then again you’ve never seen a present I’ve tried to wrap. It’s ugly that’s all I’ll say and leave it at that. Loved the picture of your family on the porch. Have a great week.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Who needs a well wrapped gift anyway? Dan is terrible at wrapping, too, but put a nice card with it, and all is good! Thanks for reading,and enjoy these last few days of 2020!


  6. I love wrapping presents and have also cut up old Christmas cards for gifts tags, partially to be frugal and partially because they are so beautiful.
    Your centerpiece is wonderful. I’m always pleased with myself when I can create out of what I already have on hand. Thanks for the shout out.
    I did pop into a Dollar Tree the other day looking for New Year’s Eve hats that I’m going to cover in some paper I already have. I think I’m going to be quite please with my $1 investment.
    Happy New Year…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Happy New Year to you, too! Finally, someone else who cuts up old Christmas cards! It seemed from the comments, some thought this was a great new idea. Lol. I agree with you. Part of the reason I make the tags is because so many of the cards are so beautiful. While I don’t consider myself a photographer, it is kind of like looking at a scene and capturing an alluring part of it. I got the idea of using pinking shears from my Grandma. Glad you are pleased with your $1 investment at Dollar Tree. Maybe I will see your New Year’s Eve hat in a future post? Thanks for reading, and enjoy the day!


  7. That is incredibly nice going around to spread Christmas cheer. This year, I went around with some of the directors at my job and sang Christmas carols to the elderly. It would have been sweet, except my singing is terrible.

    But its the thought that counts 🤭

    Liked by 1 person

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