12 Days of Christmas competition
To celebrate the countdown to Christmas we have launched a special festive competition to help you have a happy New Year.
winners of our 12 Days of Christmas winter word search will receive an engraved, hand-crafted Bailey bracelet worth £230 and a Cockburn’s Port ‘big night in’ hamper.
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All you have to do is find the letter included in the special 12 Days of Christmas content running each day in the Christmas sections of our top JPIMedia websites from December 13-24 and put them together to find a suitable word for this special time of year.
Although we know the 12 Days don’t begin until December 25 we were so excited that we thought we would start the celebrations early.
One of the greatest joys of Christmas is the exchanging of presents with your nearest and dearest, but sometimes gift wrapping can be a nightmare.
Awkwardly shaped presents can make the process of wrapping unnecessarily stressful, resulting in some rather unimpressive parcels to put under the tree.
If you’re not especially gifted with a pair of scissors and ribbon, here are seven simple tips to make Christmas wrapping that little bit easier - hopefully resulting in a more attractive end product.
Stick to squares and rectangles
Nothing is more frustrating than trying to wrap an oddly shaped present, like a football or some candles, so aim to keep it simple and place your gifts into boxes.
Wrapping an item that is square or rectangular is so much easier, so make use of fancy gift boxes, or just use a plain cardboard box and cover it with some fancy paper.
Use thick paper
Nothing is more frustrating than the paper tearing as you’re trying to wrap, so try to stick to thicker paper for your gifts as it’s less likely to rip as you go.
Invest in a tape dispenser
Trying to hold paper in place and cut off some sellotape to stick it with can be tricky, so it’s worth investing in a tape dispenser to make life a bit easier.
You can pick one up from most supermarkets for just a few pounds.
Make use of gift bags
Much like boxes, gift bags are an easy way to parcel up awkwardly shaped items for a fancy finish.
To make it a bit more impressive, cover the item with some tissue paper and add some bows to the bag for a finishing touch.
If you don’t have any gift bags to hand, you could try making one out of wrapping paper using this simple technique from TV show, QI.
Buy paper with a grid pattern
Using far too much paper to cover a present will make it look bulky and untidy, while mistakenly cutting it short will result in a patch job that doesn’t look much better.
Look for paper that comes with a grid pattern on the back, as this will serve as a clearer guide on how much you need.
Unravel some of the roll and place the item you want to wrap on top, before folding the paper around it. Adjust the amount you need until the gift is completely covered and then make a cut using the grid as a guide.
Stack them up
If you have several gifts for the same person, one way to make the gifts look particularly impressive is to place the items in round boxes which vary in size.
Place the largest at the bottom and stack the smaller ones on top, creating the look of a hat box. Add a ribbon around the stack at the end to hold them in place.
Create Christmas crackers
Bottles of booze are a popular choice of present at Christmas, but simply placing it in a bottle bag can give the surprise away.
If you want to try something different, or don’t have any gift bags to hand, why not turn it into a Christmas cracker instead?
Simply lay the bottle on its side, roll some paper around it and tape it in the middle. Then scrunch the ends in tight and tie them shut with some decorative ribbon.