Wrapping Up: Creative Gift Wrapping Ideas for Under the Tree and Selling Your Home

There seem to be two kinds of people when it comes to holiday gift wrapping: the last-minute, just throw it in a bag kind of people, and the givers who painstakingly wrap each gift, spending more time (and often more money) on the wrapping than the gift itself. We want to find that wonderful middle ground, where the gifts you give look fabulous, but you’re not spending all day on that one wrapping job for the latest New York Times Best Seller for your friend. Then, we have a few tips to help you gift wrap your home to sell during the holidays.

Pure Dead Brilliant

Use a design in various ways to create some interest. Like the Scottish saying “pure dead brilliant,’ Scottish tartan plaids in various designs but in the same color palette of red, green and gold can create a very winter, festive air.

The Natural Look

Take inexpensive brown craft paper and get creative with it. Use it to wrap your gifts. Then pull it all together with a decorative ribbon and some fresh herbs, or a sprig of berries from the craft store.

Is that East or West?

Take some old maps that are gathering dust in your car or home office, and use them to wrap your gifts. Instead of a bow, you could use a thin cord and a vintage button to give it another nod to nostalgia.

The Creative World is Your Oyster

We mentioned brown craft paper. White butcher paper is a great canvas for any wrapping idea. Once the gift is wrapped, you can use stamps or draw personal notes on the gift to make it uniquely yours. If the gift is going to Grandma, then the outline of a grandchild’s hand will mean that wrapping paper won’t be thrown away anytime soon!

Play it Again, Sam

Do you have any old sheet music lying around? If you know you aren’t going to use it while sitting at the piano, use it as wrapping paper. It already looks upscale, and you can complete the look with a silky bow and silver bells. Because you know, ‘it’s Christmas time in the city.’ You’ll have that song stuck in your head all day. You’re welcome.

From “For Sale” to “Sold!”

The holiday season is often considered the worst time to list a home, but in reality, it does have advantages. Thinking about selling your home? Consider this: potential homebuyers this time of year are serious, and there are typically fewer homes on the market, so if you get a nibble, it’s a good one. A few tips:

  • Decorate, but this year, less is more. Don’t overdo it: it can be distracting to buyers.
  • Hire a reliable real estate agent, with a team that will work with you during the holidays.
  • Make sure the price is right. Your realtor can give you a reliable comparative analysis to make your home attractive to motivated buyers.
  • Make sure it’s sitting pretty. Curb appeal is important all year-round, but particularly in the winter months.
  • Create a video tour. The holiday season is busy for everyone, so make it easy on potential buyers by working with your real estate agent to create a video tour of your property that they can see when the time is convenient for them.

Call the Kovacs Connection Team to help you gift wrap your home to sell!

5 Ways to Pull a Quick Cocktail Party Together in Rancho Santa Margarita

So it’s Friday afternoon, and you’re more than done with a very long week. Your spouse calls and informs you that some people are coming over… in an hour. To him, it’s no big deal, but to you, it means hosting a cocktail party, and the blood pressure is rising. It happens a lot during the holidays, so how can you look all cool and collected on a moment’s notice? Here are a few ideas for you.

The Best Plan is Not to Plan at All

Your guests take their emotional cues from you when they walk in your door, so chill out. I know, it is easier said than done, but if they feel you are stressed and put out, they will feel uncomfortable. Put some great music on, light a candle or two, and breathe deeply. You will have a great time this evening. Promise.

The Cocktails

If you are throwing a cocktail party together at the last minute, a couple of things to keep in mind: the KISS principle. Keep It Simple Sweetie. There are a couple of ways to approach it. Have a few bottles of a good red and a good white ready. Get a few beers iced down. Have one ‘signature’ cocktail available. This time of year, something like a pomegranate martini would be festive. But don’t try to have everything anyone could ever want. If appropriate, text or call the invitees to let them know what you have, and if they’d like something different, to bring it with them. Win. Win.

The Glassware

Just put those red solo cups away, please. Yes, I mean it. Now is the time to pull out the stemware. Don’t worry if it doesn’t match: it can actually be better if it doesn’t. That way, it’s easier for your guests to find their glass when they’ve walked away from the table to join another conversation! Pull out a variety of glassware, from various wine glasses to highball glasses to shot glasses.

The Napkins

If you have time to run to the store, look for some funny cocktail napkins. There are a lot of creative options out there. One of our favorites is: “I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas, but if the White Runs Out I’ll Drink the Red.” It is often the small details like these that people remember from an impromptu gathering, so feel free to show your personality!
The Snacks

Again, this is a relatively last-minute cocktail party. It is not a 3-course gourmet meal, so don’t stress about it. What do you have in your pantry and refrigerator that work? The best way to start is to pull out a wooden cutting board. Then pull out olives, cheeses, crackers, fruit and nuts. You want to arrange it artfully, but when it’s last minute, that means artfully messy! It’s best to have a variety of cheeses on the board, like 3, arranged in a triangle. Then fill it in with grapes, maybe a ramekin filled with nuts, a stack of green and black olives. You will want to have a couple of cheese knives available by the board. You will look like a contestant on the Food Network’s Chopped but it was actually pretty light culinary lifting.

Yeah But What About the Queso or Pizza Rolls?

Resist the urge. If you are feeding a hungry crowd for a football game, then yeah, go for it. But for an impromptu cocktail party, keep it simple and classy. Plus, your home will smell better from a scented candle than a pizza roll! Speaking of homes, we have some fabulous properties to show you at The Kovacs Connection. Let our team of real estate professionals find you the perfect place to have that impromptu party… and yes, you will forgive your spouse for springing it on you with no notice… whatsoever!