Between “Santa’s” gifts for my two daughters and the presents we buy for the family; I wrap a lot of packages throughout the holiday season. My visual impairment sometimes makes keeping track of who gets what a little challenging. While “Mostly Wonderful” reluctantly foots the bill for most of our Christmas expenses, making sure everything is wrapped and ready to go is completely up to yours truly. There’s always a method to my madness and I have “7” holiday tips for gift wrapping and organization.
“7” Tips for Holiday Gift Wrapping & Organization:
- Forget the Gift Tags; Go with Address Labels: You can easily find festive sheets of “To” and “From” gift tags in every store. While these self adhesive labels are convenient, the font is often too small for blind and visually impaired parents. Instead of using this store-bought option; make your own address label gift tags. Office supply stores have countless varieties of differently sized address and shipping labels. Utilizing whatever word processing program you’re most familiar with, open a label-making template. Then, choose your text color and make the font as big as you need it to be. Now instead of typing in an actual address, make a sheet of “TO” and “FROM” gift tags. It’s a cheaper, more personal option, that blind & visually impaired parents can appreciate.
- Puffy Paint: If you’ve never used this magical crafting substance, then trust me; you’re missing out. I use puffy paint all over my home to help label items in braille and keep me organized. Puffy Paint comes in a glue-like bottle, with a very narrow nozzle. By squeezing the bottle, you can write, dot, or smear whatever amount of paint you need. When it comes to Christmas wrapping, I use Puffy Paint in two ways: directly onto my gift wrap or on the above-mentioned address labels for denoting gift recipients. While it does take some time to dry, Puffy Paint provides elevated tactile information and won’t wear off like bump dots or Pen Friend labels.
- Differentiate with Wrapping Paper: As a mother of two, I choose separate styles of wrapping paper to indicate who’s present are whose come Christmas morning. This method also helps my sighted husband maintain some kind of order between two excited toddlers. While I usually pick two cartoon-friendly wrapping styles, I have also found metallic papers provide a nice sheen reflection I can see. If I use a metallic paper, then I choose a dull or printed version as my contrasting option. Two different papers; two different recipients. Add in some puffy paint gift labels and it’s smooth sailing with my two toddlers come the morning of December 25th.
- Kringle Express EZ- Drawstring Gift Bags: You know how much this blogger loves her QVC! For the past few years, I have seen Kringle Express EZ-Drawstring gift bags on the air. The host would usually wrap some oddly shaped gift, like a bowling ball or wine bottle with one of these foil gift bags. I’ll admit I was intrigued but never pulled the trigger until now. All I can say is, “I had absolutely no idea what I was missing.” These things are fricken’ amazing and in case you’re wondering, no one from Kringle Express or QVC is paying Blind Motherhood to say that. You get gift bags in a variety of sizes and 37 gift tags (which FYI are big enough to write on “or” implement my Puffy Paint method) for $22.00! So far this season, I have saved myself at least 2 hours easy by throwing gifts in these adorable bags as opposed to wrapping them!
- Buy Containers Ahead of Time: Let’s face it, if you’re playing Santa for your family, then you already know what gifts your kids are getting. So how about saving yourself a massive headache and buy containers, baskets or bins before Santa makes his actual delivery. My daughters asked for a Frozen Doll House this Christmas with all the furniture and dolls that go with it! (Yeah, I’m totally broke.) My husband and I already assembled the dollhouse and when I saw all the furniture and accessories that went with it, I knew I would need a set of plastic drawers. I ended up purchasing a set of stackable drawer bins from the Container Store. By implementing a little prep work, I know I will have a place for everything and everything in its place after they’ve enjoyed Santa’s generous present. This will help my toddlers stay organized and prevent me from potentially tripping or falling over small toys.
- Stock Up On Batteries: You know you’re a parent at Christmas when you hoard batteries like a squirrel hoards nuts. How many times have your bought your kid a toy, only to find it doesn’t work because you don’t have any batteries? Not a good scene, right? Stock up on batteries before Santa makes his stop at your house. I keep a package of everything on hand, AA’s, AAA’s, C’s, D’s, 9 volts, and watch batteries are all kept in a small Rubbermaid container in my upstairs closet. While all batteries are dangerous, it is imperative to use extreme caution with the coin/watch variety! If ingested by your child or pet, they could cause extreme trauma or even death! As an added safety precaution small coin/watch batteries are kept inside a Ziploc big within the battery box.
- Pack an Emergency Toy Assembly Pack (TAP): You’re heading to grandmas for Christmas. While visiting with family, your child receives a toy they immediately want out of the box and it requires batteries. All of a sudden no one can find the scissor or the pack of AAA’s. Thankfully, you’re a mom and you’re always prepared. Throw a large Ziploc bag in your purse containing a set of scissors you’re comfortable using, a handheld magnifier, an assortment of batteries, and a multi-bit screwdriver. Last year, when I removed my Toy Assembly Pack (TAP) from my purse there were a lot of stupid comments relating to my “over-preparedness.” Let people talk smack! Who Cares? My daughters’ toys were quickly put together and they quietly played until dinner was served.
There is no question that the holidays can be stressful. Your eyesight doesn’t have to complicate matters. Get prepared. Stay organized. Using a few of these suggestions can help your holidays be that much brighter! Merry Christmas from Blind Motherhood!