Personalize your wrapped-up gifts for friends and relatives with whimsical extras. These "box toppers" are the little items you'd traditionally use as stocking stuffers. But instead of wrapping them or hiding them away in a stocking, attach them to the outside of presents as a decoration, in place of or in addition to a ribbon or bow.

Box toppers are a great idea for gift-giving kids, too. If your children are using their saved allowance money for last-minute hol-i-day shopping, buying inexpensive box toppers to enhance gifts grownups have already purchased is a practical way to stay within a pint-size budget. Whatever you choose, your box toppers will be decorative and useful little surprises that spruce up a holiday gift.To get started, help your kids think of items that reflect the recipient's personality such as seed packets for the gardener, wrist bands for a tennis player, a guitar pick for a musician, etc. Or, attach an item that is a clue to what's inside the package. For example, if you've wrapped up a cookbook, fasten a set of shiny new measuring spoons to the bow. Small family heirlooms also make special box toppers. Perhaps you would like to give a vintage Christmas tree ornament, great auntie's crocheted dolly or the recipient's baby cup and spoon that have been stored away for years.

Here are more box-topper ideas:

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Barrettes for little sister, a teething ring for the new baby, fun refrigerator magnets for Mom and Dad, a bundle of Post-it notes for a teenage cousin, a pocket address book for grandpa and a packet of herbs for grandma's special homemade bread.

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