Tips on mailing Christmas gifts…and other festive updates!

German chocolate…amongst other stuff I’m mailing home!

Christmas shopping is something that’s usually met with mixed feelings. Some people devote much of their December into finding the perfect gifts, while others dread the idea of overly crowded shops, and prefer buying all their gifts online.

With me staying in Germany this year for the Christmas holidays, something I had to consider was mailing gifts back to Canada. Even when I am in Canada for Christmas though, I usually find myself spending more than I’d like on mailing costs to have boxes of gifts and cards mailed to friends in other parts of Canada, or around the world. On the plus side, it means I have friends! On the downside, all that money would’ve been more satisfyingly spent on shoes, liquor, and perhaps even textbooks (…being the responsible uni student that I am obviously!)

Well this year, I had about eight different packages, ranging from a large box full of things for my family, to smaller packages of gifts and a few cards. Most of them went to Canada, along with some to different parts of Europe, and two within Germany.

I braced myself for the worst as the lady at the counter measured and weighed all my packages, and was pleasantly surprised when my total came to….

Get ready…

24 euros!!

Crazy, right? What did I do to achieve such a feat? Lucky for you, here are some tips!


  • Both size and weight counts toward the mailing cost, so don’t buy something large and think that’ll probably be cheap to mail because it’s light!
  • Avoid sending anything fragile if possible.
  • Avoid heavy gifts like books, mugs and other ceramics, bottles, shoes and things that have excessive packaging (the worst is when you have to pay more for shipping than the cost of the actual gift)
  • Try to come up with “lighter” alternatives…for example, instead of a heavy hardcover book, why not a voucher for the same book in an e-book format?
  • When buying something which you have many choices in, such as chocolate, hold a few in your hand and determine which one is the lightest. Sometimes just different packaging can take a few grams off a product!
  • Choose a thin wrapping paper to wrap your presents in.

For the rest of my friends who I can exchange gifts in person with, I’ve decided to get artsy this year. Most years, I tend to do a painting or drawing for a close friend, but I have so much free time this year (no exams since I graduated! I only work 15 hours a week!), that I’ve been getting pretty creative. I probably shouldn’t post any photos of these gifts yet…but I’ll share two that I know will be ok to share!

I’ve been working on some 40 cm x 40 cm acrylic on canvas paintings, and here’s two of my favourites. The first one is for the bf, and it’s of him with Snoop Dogg (obviously!), and the second is for my roomie, and is based off of Johnny Depp’s Alice in Wonderland poster (he chose the photo and I hate the clashing colours, but I do like how it turned out!!)

What sort of creative gifts are you giving this year?



  1. December 17, 2012 / 2:56 pm

    Cool paintings! Nothing beats the gift of cash for travellers! 🙂

    • Michelle
      December 17, 2012 / 11:51 pm

      Haha that’s true. Cash is always a good present!

  2. December 17, 2012 / 8:35 pm

    Love the handmade paintings and so good to know taht shipping from Germany isn’t so much – I’ve always avoided it. Did you use DHL?

    • Michelle
      December 17, 2012 / 11:52 pm

      Yea I did use DHL. Fingers crossed that it arrives in Canada before Christmas!

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