Wednesday, December 17, 2008

These Are A Few of My Favorite Things

This edition of My Favorite Things is dedicated to things that make my Christmas easier and/or way more awesome.

First, the Christmas tree light foot switch. I have always HATED, with a serious, burning passion, climbing under the tree or under the table or behind the furniture or over the radiator to reach the Christmas tree light socket, twice a day, every day from December 1st to January first in order to turn the Christmas tree lights on and off. Especially when we had a real tree. Sap on my back, needles in my eyes, hair wrapped around the tree bark....awful. So a few years ago I remembered seeing one of these gadgets at my sister's house. They are GENIUS. You only have to crawl under the tree to plug in the master switch once. All the Christmas tree lights plug into this master switch. And then a small, unabtrusive little tap switch comes out to the edge of the tree. I even keep mine under the tree skirt. It's illluminated so I can see where to tap my foot on it even under the tree skirt. Then when it's time to turn on or off the tree lights, no getting on my hands and knees. I just tap it with my foot and, voila! Let there be light!!

I tried really really hard to avoid the Christmas wrapping section of Costco for weeks. I knew if I set foot there, I was going to come out of that aisle $50 poorer. But eventually its siren song was too strong for me to resist. And, sure enough, I spent a pretty penny on new wrapping items. But as it turns out, these gems are both time savers, really good quality, and are certainly worth the price.

1) Scotch Pop-up Tape Dispenser. AWESOME. By far the most annoying part of wrapping presents is constantly having to stop and rip off pieces of tape. You lose your hold on the wrapping paper, the pieces bend over onto themselves, etc. But this nifty little dispenser sits on your wrist or back of your hand and easily dispenses perfect pieces of tape w/o you letting go with your other hand.

2) Thick, premium wrapping paper. Most kid packages these days are not perfect little squares or rectangles. They have exposed parts for you touch and poke and press and try out the toy. Or they they have those awful soft-plastic areas. so when you wrap them with cheap wrapping paper, they invariably break through long before Christmas. One false move and the child has ruined their whole surprise, weeks too soon. But Costco's premium paper is stiff and thick like butcher paper. It can stand up and walk, it's so thick. The kids won't be ripping through this stuff without a bowie knife, which hopefully you're not giving your kids for Christmas. Cause if you are, next year's presents are SCREWED. (And surprisingly, it's easier to wrap with because it stays in place when you fold it.) Available in sets of four, in various color schemes, or one big giant roll for $9.99.

3) Bows. Nice looking bows. Not the ones that come out of the bag looking like they had been stomped on by all of Santa's reindeer. I like bows that have a definite shape, are sparkley, shiney, and beautiful. And the Costco ones don't disappoint.

4) Premium, hand-made gift tags. I know the stick on rectangles are like a two-dollar whore-- cheap and easy-- but the ones made by six year old Malaysian kids are so much cuter! And more spacious--you can write the recipient's name SUPER LARGE if you want. And that just does it for me. I know, this one was a real splurge. But seeing these gorgeous tags on my packages makes me so much Christmahappier!

Ok, that does it for this edition of My Favorite Things. And remember, it's not too late to spend YOUR hard earned Christmas shopping money on tags and bows, too!


Anonymous said...

You hit the nail on the head with that one. Good paper, bows and ribbon make the best looking packages.

rychelle said...

we put all our lights on timers. i never have to flip a switch or tap my foot. ;)

and i buy all my paper at hallmark. it's thick and has little cutting grid marks on the back. i love that stuff.

have you tried this
it is fanfreakintastic! it goes nicely with the pop up tape.

Chelsea said...

Our Christmas tree is plugged into an outlet that's controlled by a light switch. Last year I wasn't that smart and climbed under the tree every time. LOL

I totally agree w/you about the thick gift wrap! It's one of those things that is totally worth the extra money.

Christie said...

Our Christmas tree is plugged into a power strip that I just turn off. Very easy. And I love the nice wrapping paper and bows too - my presents have to look good.

Kristine said...

I want one of those tape dispensers! I didn't even know they existed! Unfortunately for the nice thick wrapping, big cute tags and bows, I'm a cheapo. Maybe someday I'll decide to splurge :)

mCat said...

I'm an energy wasting schmuck! I put up the tree, turn on the lights and then don't do another thing until it's time to take the tree down. Yep, on 24/7.

Notme said...

We have a pre-lit tree that has one of those foot pedal things, and it really is AWESOME. Once you get presents under the tree, it really makes it convenient.

Also, I have to 2nd you on the whole Costco bit. The wrapping is nice, I love buying tape in a 9 pack, and honestly, that store saves my butt time in and time out!

PS. Im too cheap for name tags this year. I got a magic marker out and wrote on my packages( bad me)

Omgirl said...

Rychelle, I failed to mention that my tape dispensers came with two of those wrapping paper cutters--but they are horrible! All they do is pull and rip the paper. I guess I'll stick with scissors. Bummer.

Mia said...

I love the Costco paper, tags, and ribbon as well. SO much micer and easier to use than the other stuff. I like the grids on the back too because there seems (who knows for sure) to be less paper waste.

Suzie said...

So, I was at Costco today and walking past the wrapping paper made me remember this post, guess what I did....

I bought paper and the scotch tape dispenser.

You should write Costco and tell them that they owe you $$ for advertising!