Gift Wrapping – The Do's and Don'ts of Tasteful Gift Decor

I have wrapped too many gifts – namely, gift baskets – to remember. I consider myself an expert. Whether you do or not is beside the point. Listen up. Here are the tips of the sophisticated gift trade …

DO use clear, clean cello when wrapping gift baskets or a grouping of smaller gifts.

DO NOT use reindeer-adorned cello or any of its tasteless cousins. It's the equivalent of your spinster aunt or grade one teacher's red cable-knit sweater with snowman appliqué.

DO use lavish, beautiful wired ribbon. It can turn a simple bar of elegant soap or even just a tin of hard candies into a memorable token gift or hostess gift.

DO NOT use that tacky thin ribbon that you curl with scissors. You want to elevate, not cheapen your already cheap gift.

DO use gold and silver accents, in moderation , for holiday season gifts.

DO NOT assume more gold and silver equals better. It equals tacky. If you were trying to compete with drug store gift baskets, you would have just bought one there.

DO use bold color. Think hot pink, lime green, turquoise. Paired with chocolate brown, it's very of the moment.

DO NOT think bold color means heather green and navy with maroon trim. That's like realtor speak for 'designer upgrades' on 1970's homes updated in the 80's and on the market today.

DO pair black and white. Say, crisp black paper with white ribbon. It is clean and classic.

DO NOT use black and white newspaper to wrap your gifts. I tried that during a particularly thrifty Christmas season, and my mother would not even put my gifts under the tree.

DO use variations of the same shade. Say, pale green tissue, a lime green bag, and a darker green accent. Alternatively, pair beautiful products with packaging elements that echo one another (ie a tin of loose leaf tea with olive green label paired with a milled soap in lime green box.) This balanced pairing is seamless and adds a touch of controlled luxury.

DO NOT compile an assortment of mismatched, cheap products with similar packaging in an attempt to duplicate this idea. Quality always wins. Better to have two select items, than twenty toss-away ones.

DO put some love into your creation. Trite yes, but that's really what makes it special.