It appears there is no official dictionary definition for a person who is obsessed with Christmas but there are plenty of unofficial descriptors and my favorite is yulephile. I suspect I am a yulephile which means I’m well into serious preparations for my Christmas styling, theming and wrapping.
Early September is the perfect time for festive prep because all the major wrapping paper and packaging players released their Christmas wrap at the annual Gift Fairs in August and the countdown to Christmas is well and truly on. Like fashion and interior design, Christmas looks change from year to year and in 2018 there are seven super trends in festive wrapping to ensure a right Royal Christmas.
1. Meghan Greens
Just when you thought you could not possibly hear another thing about the newly minted Duchess of Sussex, comes the realization that her influence extends to Christmas cards and wraps. It’s no secret that Meghan loves calligraphy and gift wrapping – she worked in Paper Source and as a calligrapher for wedding invitations.
So not only will we see lots of beautiful calligraphy script on Christmas gift tags but we will also see strong references to one of her preferred fashion color choices – particularly the darker moody greens.
Christmas has always been dominated by three colors – gold, red, and green but with the Duchess setting the style trends we will see a move to more Meghan greens like olive, dark botanical green, and sage.
2. Tons of Trees
The traditional Christmas motifs – Santa, sleds, reindeers, snowflakes, nutcrackers, baubles – come in and out of fashion as the on-trend Christmas pattern. This year the major motif is the Christmas Tree in all its fabulous forms. It was Queen Victoria who popularised the Christmas tree and she would be most pleased to see it returned to its rightful and prominent place.
From Vandoros comes the Alpine range where the Christmas tree shines in rich dark green and charcoal. Bee Dee has stylised triangular trees in black and white and blue gum. They also have quirky Christmas tree farm and golden Christmas joy. HiPP has built on its popular monotone Christmas tree look – the black, red and green have always been popular and this year they added in a strong pink.
3. Plenty of Pine Cones
I love pine cones for styling and decorating so I was excited to see several of the designers featuring pine cones in their wraps and accessories. Pine cones evoke images of nature and scent of the bush. I might not get an invitation to Balmoral to celebrate Christmas but I am going collecting pine cones in Berrima on the NSW Southern Highlands in a couple of weeks – cant wait!
Top Marks to Bee Dees for their Pine Cone range. The pine cone sketch wrap comes in a silvery charcoal on both Kraft and white paper as well as white on gum. They also have a petite cone pattern in Kraft and white and a range of gift bags that look fabulous. WrapCo has a wonderful pine cone wrap of white with copper highlights as well pine cones on Kraft and Vandoros has always had a pine cone on silver.
4. Christmas Botanicals and Pretty Poinsettia
Botanicals, particularly Australian natives ruled the roost last year and that remains a very strong theme in 2018. For the eco conscious, Rosie Lou has a lovely protea for a bush Christmas vibe. Bespoke always does lovely botanicals in their sheet wraps. AHD Paper Co has a wonderful gum leaves sheet wrap. Barama has released a Christmas foliage range, the pick of which is the version in Sage green.
However, this year poinsettias have come to the fore. From Vandoros comes the poinsettia range. For the traditionalists there is poinsettia in strong red, greens and golds, for those looking for a modern take, their poinsettia range also comes in pink and aqua.
Bee Dees loves poinsettia so much they put it on the front of their Christmas catalogue below left. Their Christmas floral wrap also features poinsettia. Sweet Caroline Designs below right has gone for pink poinsettia too and it is very sweet indeed.
5. Time for Terrazzo
Marble reigned supreme for many years in the solid pattern stakes, but we’ve reached and moved on from peak marble. This year it’s all about Terrazzo – the fabulous chip look which is dividing bathroom opinions on The Block and began to appear in cards and wrapping papers last year in the UK. It’s now gone mainstream. I reakon Meghan would go a Terrazzo in the bathrooms at Nottingham Cottage at KP.
Terrazzo is starting to make its presence felt in affordable stylish homewares so there are plenty of theming and table setting options which make for a fabulous non traditional Christmas look. I love the terrazzo look in sheet paper from Elm.
My eye was also drawn to HiPP who have a great terrazzo in pinks, golds and sage green – there it is again. WrapCo led the way with a superior terrazzo last year. And here’s the thing – not only does Terrazzo look great, but it complements many other wraps.
6. Patterns Not Words
There was a time when Christmas wrap featured lots of festive words and phrases. I’m talking Season’s Greetings, Joy to the World, Ho Ho Ho and the standard Merry Christmas. Festive papers where text is the feature are not big in 2018. This reflects a strong trend to papers that can be used all year round and just not for Christmas.
The exception is Bee Dee with the simple word Christmas in fabulous script in black on white white on Kraft, as well as gold on white and white on red.
I especially love the Christmas words on dark green by Calligrapher Laura Hooper bottom right. You might also see subtle, cheeky words like Deck the Halls and Merry and Bright inside a wreath or beside a berry, but that’s about it.
The Christmas phrases have migrated to Meganesque Calligraphy gift tags and that’s a good thing. The images of the Calligraphy tags below are from Jane Means, who wraps for, among others, the Royal Family. Jane’s also going for the gorgeous 2018 greens.
7. Eco Cred
All the paper manufacturers have their eyes firmly on production methods as consumers demand paper that is recyclable, reusable, and does not produce harmful waste. Many papers do not lend themselves to recycling particularly those that won’t pass the scrunch test because of the coating, laminate or glitter. We will rightfully see less of these. Manufacturers are ensuring their production methods are well known so that consumers can make an informed choice. More than ever, it makes sense to buy only the paper you need and use it for as many occasions as you can. If it is good enough for the Queen to recycle Christmas paper its good enough for me and there are many clever ways to reuse paper.
The Wrap Up
Christmas Wrapping is highly personal, so there is no right or wrong wrapping paper choice. If you do like to mix it up and incorporate new 2108 looks and treatments, there is plenty to get excited about – Christmas Trees, pine cones, poinsettias, Terrazzo and fifty shades of green. We all know the best papers go fast – so if you see and you like it – grab it and theme away. That’s what Meghan would do.