Even if you’re trying to reduce your use of gift wrap this holiday season, as I am, you can bet that a fair amount of wrapping paper will still cross your threshold. Instead of just recycling that paper this year, start making a gift wrap ball that you can enjoy during the next holiday season. It’s become a much-anticipated family tradition around here.
Begin by wrapping a small prize (or if you have teens, cold, hard cash) in a section of used gift wrap. Layer on additional wrap to create a ball, securing it tightly. Throughout the year, on birthdays and other holidays, add more layers of salvaged gift wrap to the ball. By the time next December rolls around, you’ll have an impressively sized ball.
- Short of gift wrap? Raid the recycle pile and use newspaper or magazine pages. I’ve even used cardboard, Tyvex envelopes, and packing material.
- To secure the layers, I use duct tape, electrical tape, masking tape, and packing tape, along with yarn, string, and leftover ribbon bits.
- The bigger the ball, the better, especially if you have a large group.
- There are no points for beauty. Martha Stewart would not approve.
- Use different kinds of tape for each layer, and alternative wrapping materials, too. It will prolong the game and possibly – if your kids are as goofy as mine – elicit much joy as your family realizes that you’ve found an alternative use for all of those crinkly plastic bags that come with every LEGO set.
To play, have family members sit in a circle with the ball and a pair of dice. One player begins unwrapping the ball as fast as he can while the player to his left rolls the dice repeatedly until he gets a 7. When he does, the ball is passed to him to unwrap, and the dice are passed to the next player. Ripping and dice-rolling continues until someone finally reaches the prize and claims it as the winner.
Here’s what we’ve found: Kids? Grandparents? Once the dice start rolling, they’re all in it to win it.