We have way too much fun planning the Holiday Gift Guide cover each year.

Dear Columbus parents,

We have way too much fun planning the Holiday Gift Guide cover each year. The goal is always "kid giving gifts" - but with a twist. This year we got a great one when our photo editor Tim Johnson remembered a former colleague, Krista Barber, who delighted the office each holiday season with her creatively wrapped presents. We had already wrangled up our kid model - the lovely Carrie - with help from our friends at Columbus Children's Theatre (Carrie takes their "Littlest Performer" class). And Tim tracked down Krista (thank you, Facebook!).

Soon we were reviewing photos of Krista's gift-wrapping creations, trying to pick the batch that would appear with Carrie. We settled on the penguin, ladybug, teddy bear and dachshund (aka "weiner dog"). I got overruled on the squid. I still think it's genius with the little curly-cue ribbons flowing down like a squid's tentacles, but apparently some people think squids aren't "cute" enough.

I have a soft spot in my heart for anyone who goes a little overboard with their gift wrapping. Stories still circulate in my extended family about the year I created "golden eggs" to put the nieces' Christmas gifts in. They were papier-mache eggs created from newspaper strips flour-glued onto and dried around inflated balloons (but you leave an opening in the papier mache through which to insert the gifts later). Once dry, you pop the balloons, insert gifts, papier-mache over the opening. Once that dries, spray-paint it all gold. Then prepare for stunned and confused looks on Christmas morning (apparently some people think you shouldn't have to saw a gift open in order to get to it).

Well, you can always use Krista's creations as inspiration for your own gift wrapping, or you can book her services (that would be one less thing to fret about as you plow through the holidays). You can reach her via email at KBSelvage@gmail.com.

But whatever you do, try to maintain a sense of good humor and cheer this season! And enjoy it all with your families!