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Once your Christmas shopping is finished, you still have the challenge of wrapping each item attractively. You don’t have to be Martha Stewart to do a good job, but you can be inspired by her ideas and those of other designers.

A beautifully wrapped present shows care. You took the time to make the gift special. Here are some simple ideas to get your creative wrapping juices flowing.

Use plain-colored paper and apply wintery stamps to it. You can either repeat a pattern over and over with spaces in between, or center the stamp. This works well with a variety of stamp patterns and types of paper.

Use a plain or patterned wrap, but finish it with natural items such as pine cones, greens, berries, even birch bark or leaves. This works well when you tie the items with sturdy twine or raffia.

Add homemade tags in Christmas shapes. Even a simply-wrapped package takes on a decorator flair with a cut-out stocking or tree, angel or Santa.

Use holiday gift bags. This may sound dull and uninspired, but you can jazz them up with beautiful tissue and tags. You can add ribbon, yarn, raffia, anything you have on hand and you’ve saved the trouble of cutting and taping. Plain white or brown bags leave a lot of room for inspired decoration.

If you have several gifts for the same person, or are giving homemade treats such as cookies or candies, stacking boxes make a lovely gift.

Here’s a great idea. Print some photos of the kids or grandkids, family vacations or other special times and incorporate them into your gift wrap.

Choose a color scheme, especially one not usually seen at Christmas such as green and brown or red and yellow. Purchase wrap and ribbons that continue this theme with all your holiday gifts.

Dig through your fabric scraps or make a trip to your fabric store for some holiday-worthy pieces. Wrap with soft ribbons for fashionable gifts.

Some families have tried color-coding their gift-wrap. All of Grandma’s gifts are red, all of little Johnnie’s are blue.

It’s obvious that there are endless ways to wrap a gift. The sky is the limit, and don’t forget to use the artistic abilities of the kids and grandkids. A special piece of Christmas art is just the thing to add to your wrapping décor.

Country Living Gift Wraps