Two

Christmas Countdown : 2 Days

As easy as they are, I am not a fan of gift bags. Part of the fun of giving gifts is wrapping them up to look just perfect. Have fun playing with colors other than red and green or blue and silver. Why not wrap everything in matte black paper, tie it up with white ribbon, and write the recipients names with chalk? However, wrapping gifts doesn't mean you need to go out and buy expensive paper or ribbon every year. Your gifts can look simple, elegant, and just as full of Christmas joy in plain brown packing paper. Just add details like red or green ribbon or even baker's twine, and maybe a spring of evergreen to top it off.

brown paper packages tied up with strings

brown paper packages tied up with strings

And for the wrapping paper challenged among us, Lauren Conrad was kind enough to make a perfect gift wrapping how-to on her blog. Check out her instructions below, then get wrapping!

image via LaurenConrad.com

image via LaurenConrad.com

Three

Christmas Countdown : 3 Days

With the end of the year inevitably comes end of the year parties. Unlike many other events you may have been to throughout the year (baby showers, birthdays, etc.), New Year's gives you an excuse to dress to the nines in outfits you might not otherwise choose. One of the best ways to add some extra festive flair to your holiday party looks is with luxe detailing. Sequins and faux fur and tulle, oh my!

Depending on your style or plans for the night, a sequin body suit may or may not be appropriate, but there are subtle ways to rock in the new year as well. Whether you want to have just a touch of shimmer, a splash of shine, or a full on disco ball effect, here are some New Year's pieces worthy of being the first thing you wear in 2015.

Four

Christmas Countdown : 4 Days

Four calling cards. Yes, the song says they're birds but why not change it up a little? This time of year always makes us think of those far away and friends we haven't spoken to in far too long. So why not send a note to those you love? It doesn't have to be long or fancy, just a letter to show them you have them in mind this holiday season.

New Year's

This time of year it is sometimes easy to forget that not everyone celebrates the same holidays. But one day most of us are counting down to is New Year's Eve. If you're unsure what holiday or beliefs your boss, coworker, or family friend follow, go with a festive New Year's card instead. They will really appreciate the thought and you won't risk accidentally offending someone during this time of cheer and good will.

Christmas

Christmas cards comes in all shapes and sizes, but my favorites are always those that are a little quirky or different. I also tend to stay away from overly religious cards. The truth is, for many people celebrating, Christmas is a day to spend with those you love, eating good food, drinking cocktails, and exchanging gifts. So go for something fun, like these options.

Hanukkah

Yes Hanukkah started on the 16th but the benefit of having a holiday last for 8 whole days is that it's totally okay to send out a card a little late. I particularly love these cards for their simplicity and festive feel.

Paperless Post e-cards

Holiday shopping always adds up to more than you thought. Every year you set a budget and, if you're at all like me, every year you blow right past that limit. After all, you want to make sure you get the ones you love the perfect gifts, right? So if holiday cards have somehow been pushed to the bottom of the list, then this website may help. I've been using Paperless Post for years to send family and friends birthday and holiday cards at no cost. Another great feature? You can use Paperless Post to send out party invitations with a built in RSVP to help you keep track of the guest list! Plus, why waste another tree when you've already purchased enough wrapping paper to wrap your whole apartment.