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Good Morning Friends!

Last week The Art of Living Beautifully Home Editor, Misti Reed, graciously let me accompany her to a gift wrap party a friend in her neighborhood throws every year. Originally from South Carolina, Cynthia has been hosting gift wrap parties for 11 years! Every December she opens her home to friends and family for FOUR DAYS, and allows them to bring as many presents as they wish, using HER collection of gift wrap and ribbon to make each gift extra special. She even has a “Men’s night” when the men in the neighborhood are welcome to come with presents and use her gift wrap. Is this woman not just the biggest gift herself?

I loaded up my trunk with toys, fishing shirts, cuff links and every other gift you can imagine and headed to Misti’s for an evening of fancy paper, glitter and hopefully no paper cuts. We made our way into the house and through the kitchen, and I realized she not only provided beautiful gift wrap, but also delicious food, wine and sweet little bites for everyone to enjoy throughout the evening.

The entire house was transformed into a true gift wrap wonderland. Misti and I took over the formal living room and began assessing our work. In the pictures below, you will see the extensive collection of wrapping paper, tissue, ornaments and ribbon from which we had to choose. Our hostess was so gracious and lovely, but she had two rules everyone had to abide by:

1.) You may not cut an “L” shape in the wrapping paper. If the sheet you needed was less wide than the paper itself, just cut an entire piece and place any trimmings in the trimming bucket.

2.) You must place a rubber band on each end of the wrapping paper role when you are finished and one rubber band around the spools of ribbon.


I did my best to return the items I had used to the correct bins (she has it sorted and organized by color or material) but it was easy to get lost in all the merriment. The biggest challenge for me was to make a decision on what paper/ribbon combinations I wanted to use. Typically I like to have a theme for my gift wrap so it all matches and makes a statement under the tree, but there were so many beautiful possibilities, on this night, I wrapped each gift completely different.


We had a wonderful time gift wrapping and visiting with all the neighborhood ladies. We laughed at elf-on-the-shelf stories, husband stories, and general Christmas-flavored “catastrophes.” We gave input on what ribbon would look best with what paper, and of course copied combinations that looked especially beautiful.

I think the moral of this story is:

gift wrapping with friends is much better than gift wrapping alone.

Thank you, Misti, for taking me to such a fun party, and thank you dear Cynthia for inviting me into your gift wrap wonderland!


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