Here’s how it works: Hostess Kjos invites gal pals for a pre-holiday wrap party, be it a brunch with sunshiny mimosas or an evening of festive cocktails. There is plenty of tape and scissors and ample rolls of wrapping paper in her color and pattern choice.
Kjos’ theme for this winter is all sparkle; she chose papers in sophisticated silvers and golds, corresponding chevrons and animal prints and flashes of fuchsia and turquoise. In addition to the gifts they came to wrap, guests contributed two rolls of wrapping paper in keeping with Kjos’ color combo.
From the work table to the embellishment station, notions abound. Tall, wide glass vases and apothecary jars brim with glittery ribbons in bold hues, gold trellis patterns or studded with twinkling rhinestones.
Sadly, wrapping holiday gifts is usually done after great procrastination. It is a task so many dislike, and they often put it off until Christmas Eve. A wrap party makes it fun and productive while sneaking in a bit of girl time during a busy holiday season.
Kjos is a master wrapper, and she loves to embellish her packages, creating beautiful, elegantly finished products. A chorus of oohs and ahhs follows the show-and-tell of each pretty present. There’s some instruction, if need be. Her creative tips and tricks provide inspiration for her friends, and she often winds up putting the finishing touches on others’ parcels, tying ribbons into elaborate bows or cleverly topping off a box with a test tube full of silver Hershey Kisses. But she doesn’t mind; she loves it.
Everyone leaves a wrap star, and at the end of the party, they help each other load their packages into their cars. “And everyone went home like Santa Claus,” says Kjos.
Tips for Hosting Your Own Gift-Wrapping Party
1. Choose a time of day for your party. Think about what works best for you as the host. Consider a laid-back brunch with coffee and juice (and bubbly for mimosas) or an evening of festive cocktails and finger foods.
2. Just after Halloween, send out the invites. Encourage your guests to get the bulk of their shopping done. Interior designer Sallie Kjos adds that many shoppers like to hit Black Friday sales, so planning a get-together for the first weekend in December makes the most sense, before the season gets too busy with other holiday parties and obligations.
3. Decide on a color and/or theme. For example, go with white and gold or blue and silver. The host should supply the bulk of the wrapping paper and embellishments. The invite should include a note for guests to bring two rolls of paper and a spool of ribbon to share that color coordinates.
4. All wrapping supplies get thrown into a “pot,” or into the center of the table or work space, for shared use. The host should also provide scissors, tape and pretty matching paper for tags to go on the finished product.
5. Another favorite tip of Kjos’: Set out the gift-wrapping tools in attractive containers. Think vases or Mason jars that you can score at places like Michaels or HomeGoods. Tie them with bows in coordinating ribbons so they make the table pretty.