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My sense of humor tends to be just irreverent enough to get me in trouble more than I care to admit publicly, so it should be no shock than I fall on the naughty list more often than not… which I blame on my sister giving me coal for Christmas at a very young and impressionable age, that jerk.
Lucky for her, we’re not giving many gifts this year and coal isn’t eco-friendly. Giving her three kids boat loads of caffeine, however, is still on the table.
Because we’re not giving each other many presents - we seriously all feel like we’re drowning in stuff already - I really want each one that I give to be extra special. Whether it’s taking the time to put together a really creative and surprising wrapping job, giving an experience, or… well, both simultaneously. And while a simple brown paper wrapping job can make my heart sing, I felt compelled to get really extra and turn this edition of “Reese-turns-a-grocery-bag-into-wrapping-paper” into an interactive experience my family and I can enjoy BEFORE Christmas day.
Thus, slightly inappropriate DIY Christmas Mad Libs Wrapping Paper was born.
How to Make DIY Christmas Mad Libs Wrapping Paper
Wrap your package in your brown paper bag, you’ll find more detailed instructions here.
Measure your package against the size of your printer paper, to give you an idea of how much of your Word document you’d like to use to still fit on the page. My package was small, so I knew I wanted to only take up about half the page and not use larger than size 16 font. If you have a larger surface area to work with, you won’t need to spend much time on this.
Write a sentence to be used as a Christmas Mad Lib. Decide which words (nouns, names, places, verbs, etc.) you’d like to sub out and replace them with a line, blank space, or underscores. Select a font size for your sentence that is a decent bit larger than your list of alternate words that we’re about to create.
For each blank in your sentence, make a list of four alternate words that could work in the sentence, for instance instead of “Santa” you might use “The Grinch”, “Frosty”, “Rudolph”, or “Mariah Carey.” Have fun with it. Double space your lists and select a font that is legible but small enough that any words or phrases on your list will fit in the blanks in your sentence.
Print and cut out the sentence and then cut out each word on your list, keeping each list of alternate words together, such as all the nouns in one pile, all the verbs in another, etc.
Map out where you’d like your sentence to fit on your package and secure with double sided tape. Then gauge how much space you have left and create an equal number of “pockets” for the number of blanks in your sentence by cutting rectangular strips of paper from your blank sheet.
To create your pockets, crisply fold each strip in half and trim to desired size, keeping fold at the bottom. Then use your single sided tape to tape the sides of your pocket together, leaving the top open.
Slide each piles of words into their corresponding envelope. You will want to denote which type of words are in each envelope, whether you designate them with the words “people” “places” and “things”, numbers that correspond with numbers on your sentence (you can write tiny numbers under each blank) or use emojis, like I did.
Decorate your pockets as desired! I printed out emojis and used double stick tape to secure them, but you can also use markers, stickers, ribbons, whatever. You just have to make sure your labels are still visible.
This has so much potential to get so inappropriate, I had to hold myself back lest my niece start asking too many questions.
But this is also a great way to turn your gift into a gift AND an experience filled with laughter at the same time.
Finally as a reminder:
It’s estimated the UK produces enough wrapping paper waste to circle the Equator 9 times each year.
If every American family wrapped just 3 presents in re-used materials, it would save enough paper to cover 45,000 football fields.
The 2.65 billion Christmas cards sold each year in the U.S. could fill a football field 10 stories high.