I remember helping my grandmother wrap presents and being amazed by how neatly and beautifully she could manipulate the boxes, wrapping paper, ribbons, and gift tags. She did every step with ease and it turned out gorgeous.
Now that I've been wrapping presents for about 10 years, I would say I can adequately wrap a gift if it's an easy shape (rectangular prism, please!) but not with the same fluidity as my grandma. I also don't get the same pleasure from crafting a wonderfully wrapped present. And it kinda bothers me that all that my hard work gets torn up and tossed to the side in about 12 seconds flat.
So for the past few years, I've been using more and more gift bags and boxes because they are super easy, can be reused from year to year, and look just as pretty when the opening is through. Here's part of my stash:
Paper and cardboard gift boxes, fabric and paper bags, giant fabric bow, and free wrapping paper (a charity mailed it to me in hopes of a donation). The bow has twisty ties on the back so I can adorn oversized presents with it or wrap it around awkwardly shaped items, like ornaments.
Basically, I just put the presents in the gift box or bag, cover with tissue paper, and move on. Once I get all the supplies out, the process takes about a minute per present. No one has complained about my new (lazy) style of gift wrapping (you can usually count on family to give it to you straight). One caveat: I only use the gift boxes for my husband, parents, and siblings, so I can ask for the boxes back afterwards. Otherwise, buying the boxes would be a pretty costly expense every year.
As for the wrapping paper, I still wrap gifts for little kids, who seem to enjoy tearing the paper more than anything else. I keep it cheap by using the free wrapping paper charities love to send me and wrapping the actual items rather than putting them inside a box (which usually adds bulk and requires more wrapping paper to cover).
I like my low-key, lazy method for wrapping gifts. Gives me more time to read :) How do you tackle gift wrapping?