4 Uncommon and Clever Christmas Gift Wrapping Ideas

December 3, 2017

Sometimes I feel like I missed my calling as a North Pole elf. I love giving gifts but I love wrapping them even more! There is pride in every present I wrap. Each wrapped with precision, each ribbon twirled perfectly. But not every present comes in a box. Some of the gifts I remember most weren’t the ones that were tied with a ribbon or stuffed in a bag. Here are some uncommon and clever Christmas gift wrapping ideas that don’t require bows because sometimes the actual act of giving a gift is as memorable as the gift itself.

christmas gift wrapping ideas

The Unexpected Switch

At the end of my senior year of college, my best friends and I were taking a 40 day tour of Europe. So for Christmas that year, my parents bought me a Europe travel book. I was wildly excited about this book, this symbol of what I could look forward to for the next 5 months in anticipation of my trip. I forgot about opening other presents and started to thumb through the pages – all the sights I would see and places I would visit and there on page 10 was a $20 bill. Yay! And as I continued to thumb through a few more pages, I found another $20 bill and then another. Eventually, I turned the whole damn book upside down and shook the ever-loving crap out of it. $20 bills fell from all sorts of European towns and it was magnifique! That my friends, is an unexpected switch.

Last year, I bought a book called Christmas in New York and labeled it to Husband from Daughter. I had her give it to him and while he read it with her, he found little notes I wrote him within the pages. The last note was announcing our two night getaway to Manhattan… without kids.

Tips & Thoughts: This also doesn’t need to be something big. I was an avid picture frame collector as a kid so one year my dad bought me one. I took it our of the box to get a better look at it and inserted where the 2 photos should be were $50 bills. It was an extra surprise on top of a gift I already loved.

The Box We Forgot About

One year, after all the presents had been open and the living room floor was covered in wrapping paper, my mom came out with a small box that she had “forgotten” about. Ohhhh. This was exciting. Mind you, I was in my 20s at the time. She gave it to me to open and I obliged in a frenzy. Inside the box were car keys! She told me that the car wouldn’t just be for me but that it was a family car for us to all use. And then she told us to go find it! What?! The car was already here?! We sprinted outside, the street and cars were covered in snow. We pressed the unlock button like mad until headlights blinked on. There it was. In plain sight. Parked in front of the house the whole time.

Tips & Thoughts: This gift doesn’t have to be a set of car keys. Part of the awesome sauce of this Christmas gift wrapping idea is surprise and excitement of there being just one more gift. Opening present is always fun and a little sad when it’s over, so to have one last Oh yeah. I forgot about this is pretty stinking great.

Sooo... my mom sits Husband and I down and gave us a box 📦 It said: Disney, Charleston, Savannah, Boston... what do these places have in common? And we open this key chain. Still confused, I open the next part of her note: 📝 they're all places we can drive to in our new Honda Odyssey! 📝 We were in shock! Turns out the beautiful minivan they "rented" to pick us up from the airport with all our suitcases was not a rental - it's our new family car. 👨‍👩‍👧‍👦👨‍👩‍👧‍👦 #aboutlastnight #bestparentsever #newcar #hondaodyssey #minivanlife #thatshowweroll #christmaspresent #christmassurprise . . . #drinkingthewholebottle #lifeuncorkeddaily #kaufmanlegracrew #ourfamily #roadtrips #travelbycar #cartrips #familytime #famtime #expatlife #expatfamily #iamtravtribe #letsgoeverywhere #adventurers #lifeisanadventure #flashesofdelight #collectingmoments #bestparents #bestparentsintheworld #travelinstyle

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The Hunt

Before Husband was Husband and Husband was Boyfriend I got him a kayaking eco tour trip as one of his Christmas presents. How do you wrap that? Funny you should ask…

I cut out little green and red cards – each green card had a riddle to help him solve what the present was and each red card had a clue where he could find his next riddle. He got his first clue on Christmas morning and found the next few after that until he arrived at one that announced he’d have to wait until we reached our next destination. We were leaving to visit his brother in Houston the next day so I took advantage and used our flight for the next clue. I snuck the next clue to the flight attendant who delivered it to Husband while I was at the bathroom and the last few clues were placed once we arrived at his brother’s house.

Tips & Thoughts: A scavenger hunt is an easy and great way to gift any kind of present. It takes a bit of forethought but not much. And take advantage of locations and other people to help in making it more fun!

The Game

You’ll notice that Husband is the recipient of a lot of my exciting gift giving. Lucky guy! On another occasion, he was receiving tickets to a Broadway Show. I printed out the tickets and saved them in my pocket. After opening presents I had my mom “suggest” we play charades. Of course, I went first and acted out Phantom of the Opera. When he guessed it, I pulled out the tickets and said, “Yep. We’re going!”

Tips & Thoughts: This takes very little preparation. And although I used charades you could use other games. Take Apples to Apples for example. Set the deck so the recipient chooses the adjective card (let’s say RELAXING), you throw down your MASSAGE card.


just wrap cute baby in a box and call it a day.

christmas gift wrapping ideas

P.S. Our gift guide for kids who like to do all the things and 8 things to absolutely NOT get your kids.

 * Drinking the Whole Bottle does not promote wrapping babies in boxes. No babies were harmed in the taking of this picture.*

Is there a fun way you’ve gifted a gift before? share! I’d love more christmas gift wrapping ideas!!!

matching family pajamas

Happy Holidays from our family in matching pajamas to yours.

If you liked any of these tips or love the idea of creative gift giving, feel free to contribute to DTWB. These ideas don’t pay for themselves, ya know. 😉

Thanks for being a…

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