Fruit cake and eggnog. Christmas music and movies. The holidays are here again.

That means the hunt for the perfect gift is on. And for the perfect way to send it.

Straight from Santa’s elves, The Packaging Company’s got some festive advice for all your holiday present packing.

Grab the right Box

So what box should you use? That depends. What are you sending?

Is it an already-packaged digital camera? Find one not too much larger than it is. If it’s a heavy hardcover book or a personal Blu-ray player, think about a box with double wall corrugate. That’ll handle the weight and protect it from any bumps or dents.

Mailing something fragile? The double boxing technique is a good way to go. Pack it up in its own box and seat it tight. Then put it into another, bigger box. Surround it with your favorite void fill, wrap it up and off it goes.

Or maybe this could be the year to try a mailer box. Make an extra-great impression when your nephew opens a self-locking mailer with a video game inside.

Then again, maybe all you’ll need is a small box because all he’s getting is coal.

Does it need a Box?

It doesn’t have to be your only choice. Sometimes it’s not even your best one.

Your nephew’s video game? It ships perfectly fine in a bubble mailer. Jewelry for your mom travels well in its box inside a poly mailer. And that same mailer can handle clothing like t-shirts and socks. Its tear-resistant material will keep it safe from water, dirt and prying eyes.

Mailers are often a better choice for smaller items. They use less packaging, require less void fill, and are less expensive to ship. They’re even more likely to protect your gifts better because there’s less room for them to move around in.

Keep it Simple

Don’t go too overboard when you’re packing up someone’s gift. Keep that packaging simple.

You don’t need to use a whole roll of bubble cushion when all you’re sending is a memory card or a box of pencil crayons and a few coloring books.

Choose a box that’s as small as possible. A mailer’s even better. This way you can send multiple items in one parcel instead of several. You’ll use less packaging, fewer mailers, and spend less on shipping.

There are lots of options for void fill. But packing peanuts, bubble cushion and wrapping paper are your best choices for simple, low-cost packaging. Don’t forget to buy enough so that you don’t risk under packing something important.

While you’re at it, try to avoid using newspaper. Not only can the ink rub off on your hands, it might rub off on the gift you’re sending. Try out some plain newsprint paper instead.

Make it Festive

You’ve kept the box simple, but there’s no reason its decoration has to be too. Make that packaging seriously festive by using the holiday materials you’ve already got around you.

Try some colored or holiday–themed tissue paper. Wrap it in Christmas paper. Cover it in shredded paper ‘snow’. Use boxes that are actually lined with Christmas-y colors. There are countless options for making things look fun and exciting.

Wrap that box in brown kraft paper and decorate it in drawings of snowflakes and mistletoe. Then seal it up with colored or patterned packing tape. Make receiving and opening the gift just as memorable as the gift itself.

Box Up Extra Cheer

Don’t close that box up just yet. There’s always room for adding in some extra holiday tidings.

Write a funny card. Take a family picture. Toss in a few butterscotch candy canes. Surprise them with a gift card. Have some fun with it, you’re basically one of Santa’s elves.

Don’t forget to include any gift receipts inside the box, just in case someone else is as brilliant a gift-giver as you. And keep batteries outside of toys so they don’t drain or turn on and spoil the surprise.

You’ve put a lot of thought into finding the perfect gift. Packing it up deserves the same. When you’ve got the right box and packed it up tight, have some fun decorating it. Check out The Packaging Company’s boxes, mailers and more, and let your love of the holidays shine through.