Surround your tree in pretty packages that express your joy in giving to others.
Help your children make their own wrapping paper. Photocopy or scan and print multiple copies of their drawings, altering the size if needed. Or cut drawings apart and arrange them so they fit the box top, then tape the drawings to a sheet of paper and make a photocopy. Wrap the box with the paper. Tie the box with a simple narrow ribbon.
For a quick and beautifully elegant package, wrap medium-size boxes with holiday napkins. Use two different ribbons, handled as one, to tie the napkin tightly at the top of the box. Fluff the napkin ends above the bow.
Package food gifts in boxes painted to resemble oversize candies. Use a papier-mache box from a crafts store and paint the entire box and lid white. Use red to paint stripes and swirls. Wrap the box in cellophane.
Paper napkins come in designs too pretty to use only at the table. Wrap small boxes with your favorite designs and add embellishments, such as imitation stitches around elements of the design, with glitter paint or dimensional fabric paint from a crafts store. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for the paint's drying time.
Add a personal touch to purchased gift bags with pressed leaves painted silver or gold. Place fresh leaves between sheets of newspaper weighted with a stack of books and leave them for one to two weeks. Paint the dried leaves with crafts paint or spray paint.
Give packages an old-fashioned simplicity with solid-color paper and natural trims. Look for the papers at specialty paper stores. Tie with ribbon or twine, and tuck in fresh bay leaves, pepperberries, or cinnamon sticks. Drill holes in dried pomegranates and glue them to the twine ends.