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Three of my ‘creations’

I am not a very good gift wrapper. I will read Martha Stewart for ideas and clever ways to wrap, but I never quite get it.

When my children were at home, they said they could always tell the presents I had wrapped, because they were sort of lumpy.

I have finally learned the secret to wrapping: Gift Bags. Every year I go to Costco and buy a box of assorted Christmas gift bags. They are very beautiful and there are many different shapes and sizes. There are designs for men, women and children. Usually there are a couple that are the perfect shape for a bottle of wine.

I also buy a big pack of their colored tissue paper. Then all you have to do is lay the gift in the middle of a piece of tissue and wrap it around a couple of times. I do this step again so the package is fuller and will stand up. Voila. How easy is that?

These bags come with matching gift tags all attached, so what could be easier. Get out a good marking pen and  you are all set.

I used to buy rolls of paper, ribbon and gift tags. No matter how I tried, I could never get the bow to look right. Then when a package needed to be mailed, I would leave off the bow entirely and tie on a flat decoration.

Now when a package needs to be mailed, I just pop a bag into one of those nifty Priority Flat Rate boxes, seal and I’m all set. I can stuff some matching tissue around the edges so it doesn’t move or rattle around in the box.

And by the way, when it comes to the actual Post Office part, be sure to use that automatic postage machine. It really is easy and very user friendly. No need to wait in a loooong line. This time of year, there is even a real post office worker manning the machine to help you speed through faster.

Costco also sells the gift bags in an assorted all occasion pack. I keep one of these on hand for birthdays and baby gifts throughout the year. Again, get a pack of pretty assorted colors of tissue paper and you are all set for any celebration. It only takes a few minutes to wrap a package this way.

This is a very economical way to wrap presents. I was in Hallmark the other day, and a roll of gift wrap, was $5. Then there is ribbon and tape. So each time you wrap a couple of presents it costs at least $5. You can buy a box of twenty bags and a package of tissue paper for less than $20.

I also buy the boxes of assorted greeting cards from Costco. They come about thirty to a box and cost around $16 or so. In the store nowadays, a greeting card costs at least $3 or more. So that is quite a bargain, to say nothing of the convenience of always having the perfect card on hand.

Costco also sells a very nice assorted package of ‘handmade’ Christmas cards, each with a nice 3D decoration on the card. So if you want to put an actual Christmas card in your gift bag, there you go.

And your recipient will love the bag and the fact that it is reusable, and also perfect for stuffing in the used wrapping papers that were ripped off the other presents before handily taking it to the garbage.