There is nothing more exciting to kids than a Christmas tree loaded with presents. Glittery paper and bows in every shade and print imaginable make for extra-special presents and add to the excitement. Of course, you don’t have to go the usual route when wrapping Christmas gifts. You can choose something other than the rows upon rows of traditional wrapping paper and bows you will find when shopping.

To make your Christmas gifts unique, consider wrapping them in any of these alternatives:

• Calendars. Pull apart calendars and use them to create quick, unique gift wrap. The glossier the calendars, the better gift wrap they will make.

• Children’s art. Don’t want to throw your children’s artwork away? Get their permission and use it as gift wrap instead. Grandparents will love it.

• Comic strips. Save those Sunday comics and wrap gifts for children in their favorite characters. Older kids will like it, too.

• Fabric. Turn old scraps of material or inexpensive remnants into gift wrap. If you know how to sew, you can even make your own gift bags.

• Maps. Purchase some inexpensive maps and wrap gifts in them. Friends and family hailing from different states or countries will really appreciate it.

• Photo copies. Got some favorite photos? Blow them up on a copier and use them as gift wrap. For a sleek look, consider going with black and white copies.

• Wallpaper samples. Make use of any wallpaper samples as gift wrap. Sturdy and strong, wallpaper samples will work especially well for heavier gifts.

Many people top their packages with bows. While you can purchase ready-made bows, you can also make your own from scrap pieces of fabric, or you can get even more creative and consider using any of the following:

• Beads. Add a touch of glamour to gifts by tying them with a string of beads.

• Leashes. Give recipients a hint as to what is inside by topping off pet-related gifts with a leash.

• Lace. Add a dash of romance to gifts with bows made of lace.

• Old ties and belts. Clean out the closet and transform any old ties and belts into interesting bows.

• Pine cones. Give gifts the natural touch with pine cones.

• String. Tie up gifts the old-fashioned way with string.

• Wire. Dazzle recipients’ imagination with masterpiece gifts complete with work-of-art wire bows.

These are just some ideas for turning the ordinary into creative gift wrap and bows. For further ideas, take a look around your home and let your imagination run wild.