Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Stocking Up

That title sounds like a Christmas checklist item, doesn't it? But that's not why I am here.

Today I am here to talk about stocking up on the great after-christmas sale items that will have you prepared for next year. Yes, it is time to head to your local Walmart, Target, and home decor stores (heck, even grocery stores) to snatch and grab some heavily discounted goods that will have you purring like a kitten. And to help you along the way of choosing this or that, Bower Power has some tips to make your venture victorous!


Most wrapping paper and bags are 50-75% off right now. So my main tip is inscribed on the Temple of Apollo. It is to "Know Thyself" - know what you will actually use in the year to come. Do you have some birthday parties in the year ahead? I look for paper that doesn't have typical Christmas motif. Lots of wrapping paper comes in stripes, polka dots, and swirlies that are perfectly ok for JoJo's birthday, your single BFF's valentines gift, or your hubbie's just-because presents. Do you typically use a bag for every gift that comes in the door? Buy some plain bags in red, green, blue, gold or silver to use in the coming months. Or do you know someone who loves gift wrapping? Grab some coordinating rolls, bags, and ribbon to give to a friend as an early-next-christmas gift. It won't cost you but about $20 for the works. and your friend will be prepared to wrap their family's gifts. Cost of being prepared = priceless.
I prefer to use real ribbon versus the plastic-y gift wrap ribbon. (and I save each bit off of unwrapped pressies) The downside of real ribbon is that it can cost a pretty penny. After-Christmas, my wire-laced fabric ribbon is literally pennies for a roll. No matter what you use, real vs. plastic-y, now is the time to buy. Look for any that will coordinate with your wrapping paper or will stand alone on a white box. Winter-specific ribbon can keep till next holiday season while plain, striped, or fun colored ribbon can be used all year long. And here is another tip - before the next present you wrap, learn to do a bow. A real pretty one. One that makes your heart flutter. One that would make Paris say "that's hot".


Ornaments, berries, bells, or snowflakes all are good ideas to make your present pop. Add a twig of holly or a candy cane to a bow to make the receiver gasp when you reveal the gift. Go to the store now to stock and stash for next year. Get some extra bells to adorn the wedding presents that are sure to go out this coming year. Buy some plain mini ornaments to monogram for a fun embellishment to an anniversary gift. Even 2 candy canes are cute when making a heart on a package for your Valentine. The best part is that RIGHT NOW is the time to buy the cheap chotchkies that will beautify boxes & bags alike.


Sure you can stock up and save everything Christmasy and use it next yule-tide. But while you are picking up the bags & bows, take a look at other holiday themed items to come up with a versatile and unique approach. Maybe stash some el cheapo battery powered holiday lights in a double ziplocked bag and put in the bottom of a icy drink tub for a glowing Halloween buffet. Or how about getting some pre-tied bows (add a safety pin & provide a paint pen) for an instant baby shower name tag. Even fish, bird, or snowflake ornaments can double as table decor. This Christmas I used some scrapbook paper for homemade name tags. This same paper will make a fabulous frame mat for a photo for a little girl.


I love me some food gifts no matter what time of year. And sometimes all we have is basics - like tin foil. God gave us tin foil to protect us from brain-wave-reading aliens, to create our tin man costume and for gift wrapping food. It is an item 99% of folks have in their home. And it makes an excellent wrapping paper when combined with a bit of bow. But wait. This isn't the only thing most peeps got lying around for gift embellishment - white printer paper can be a great cookie envelope, baggies are perfect for candied gifts, even that odd mug (that used to be part of a set but alas, the boyfriend dropped the matching partner) can hold anything from Hersey kisses to a few Christmas meatballs. Now tell me - who wouldn't like to get a mug of meatballs!? Either way, we have many, many resources lying around the house that when combined with a little imagination can create excellently wrapped gifts that don't cost a thing.

So who is ready to go shopping? Did you already stock up? I already got all my supplies...but I am kinda itching to get back out there to see if I missed something. and you know what they say about an itch...


Tamstyles said...

great info. I saw so much at homegoods today all 70% off.

Jen M said...

*snicker* you said mug of meatballs.

Freckles Chick said...

Best quote ever: "God gave us tin foil to protect us from brain-wave-reading aliens".

You're wrapping my presents next year for me, mmmkay? They need your artistic touch b/c ours always look like we wrapped them and then gave them to the dog to play with before presenting them to our friends and fam.

SAB said...

Love the ribbons!! Quick question....how do you striketrough the items that you have completed on your to list? I can't seem to figure it out. I end up deleting everything when I am done, but that isn't fun 'cause you don't see the progress!!

Emily said...

I haven't been to a shopping mall/store since Christmas. People make me crazy. But oh, I would save so much money and be so prepared.