I hate to admit it, but sometimes I put more thought into wrapping a gift than I do into the gift itself. I can't help it — I am totally...

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I hate to admit it, but sometimes I put more thought into wrapping a gift than I do into the gift itself. I can’t help it — I am totally sucked in by spools of pretty ribbon, letterpress cards and frothy tissue paper. I have been known to spend more money wrapping a gift than I spent purchasing it.

And though I suppose that’s ridiculous, I am a firm believer that presentation still matters. Everyone likes a beautiful gift. (I hope. Otherwise, I’m wasting a lot of time and money.) In that spirit, I plan to look beyond the $2 packages of stick-on gift tags this holiday season in favor of something a bit less pedestrian. Care to join me? Here are my picks to perk up your packages:

Tags for beyond December

“Words to Give By” gift tags from Potter Style are printed with gift-themed quotes from Marcel Proust, Jane Austen and the like. In shades of blue, green and ivory, they aren’t particularly holiday-minded, which means come January, you can use them for birthday and hostess gifts. $12.95 for 50 tags, with ribbon. www.amazon.com

Colorful labels

Paper Patisserie box of labels includes dozens of beautiful stickers in bright colors and various sizes. These labels are so pretty, they don’t need lots of embellishment — use them to secure a wide ribbon around a box wrapped in simple paper. Perfect. $15.95 for 30 sheets of labels. www.chroniclebooks.com

Stylish silhouettes

The Silo Ornaments from Paper+Cup Design are a bit pricey, but they double as decorations. Write a sweet note and the date on the back, and your recipient will remember your generosity every year when she hangs it on the tree. The tags come with a suede ribbon tie, and the candy-colored silhouettes strike just the right balance between classic and kitschy. $10 for six mixed tags or $2 each. www.papercupdesign.com

Tags in tins

Marzipan Inc.’s tags could be a gift themselves — they come packaged in a little tin, threaded with string and ready to go. Choose from several styles, including a few holiday-themed ones, if you just can’t stray that far from the traditional. $8 for a tin of eight or $1.20 each. www.shadesofviolet.com)

Photos courtesy of Potter Style, Chronicle Books, Paper + Cup Design and Marzipan Inc.