Merlino & Gonzalez December 2017



There’s something magical about seeing a stack of presents wrapped in bright, multicolored paper. However, that enchanting scene quickly evaporates a few hours later when all those wads of wrapping paper and plastic bows are chucked unceremoniously into the garbage. What if we told you there are countless ways you can still enjoy wrapping and unwrapping presents, without all the waste? Here are a few creative gift wrap alternatives to consider this holiday season.

Old Maps and Calendars

These days, pretty much every phone has a built-in GPS, so you probably won’t need the map from your 1999 road trip anytime soon. If you still have an old map, why not use that for wrapping? The unusual designs guarantee your gifts will be one of a kind. And don’t worry if there are notes scrawled across the paper. Old events or directions will add some unique flair to the presents.

Brown Paper Bags


With the holiday season comes holiday shopping, and if you opt out of plastic grocery bags, you’re sure to have a surplus of brown paper bags in the pantry. Drop a present into the bag, tape it shut, and you’re good to go. Add some simple lace or a ribbon for an old-timey feel or get creative with stamps and hand-drawn artwork. This wrap job lets your imagination run wild.

Fabric is an excellent substitute for wrapping paper. You can use a scarf to create two gifts in one or pull out scraps of fabric from old projects. The traditional Japanese practice of furoshiki is all about wrapping goods in fabric. Described as “functional fabric origami,” you’d be amazed at how a few well-placed folds can turn your gift into a work of art. Learn how to wrap anything, from boxes to bottles, at You don’t have to follow the same gift wrap habits year after year. After the effort you put into finding just the right present, you should be able to make your gift wrap just as special. Find a method that’s uniquely you and get started!


A User-Friendly and Informative Face-Lift

For the past year, we’ve been working quietly on a complete redesign of our website. Now that the site is live, we’re excited to talk about all the new improvements to both the design and to the content available to our clients. You can still find us at, but if you’ve been to the site in the past, you may notice a lot has changed. While planning the redesign, we put one element at the top of our list: user experience. We set out to provide all of the information our clients need in an easy-to-view format. Our new navigation bar will

to giving you some background on each step of the process, these pages also detail the benefits of following our Real Estate Road Maps. The other new pages focus on estate planning and estate settlement. We know these subjects aren’t always easy to talk about, so we wanted to create pages where you could learn about our personal experiences with estate planning as well as those of our clients. Deciding whom to entrust your estate planning needs to is a big decision, and you should feel secure with us before you begin the process.

allow you to explore all of the services we offer with one easy click. At Merlino & Gonzalez, we pride ourselves on guiding you through the real estate and estate planning process. Now, our website will be your best resource when you want to understand what we do and how we do it. To that end, we’ve created four completely new pages devoted to our areas of practice. Two pages explain the basics of real estate transactions: one for sellers, and one for buyers. In addition

All four of these pages also detail the promises we make to each and every one of our clients. From how we’ll behave to the personal connection that separates us from other firms, these pages list what you can expect from us. It’s been a 12-month process building our new site. We’re happy to be at the finish line, and we hope you enjoy the results.


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