4 Unforgettable Holiday Packaging Ideas

Brown kraft gift box sitting on white linen table

Written by Nancy

Oct 26, 2021

These days, we all love buying everything online. It’s easy, quick and keeps us safe from cooties. As a result, brand owners are looking for creative ways to make a memorable brand experience without the support of in-store marketing.

With online purchases, the best way to keep your brand at the forefront of your customer’s minds is to create engaging and unforgettable packaging that they won’t want to throw away.

The holidays are the perfect time to create unique holiday packaging that can be savoured and appreciated long after the delivery has been received.

Australia’s e-commerce sector is likely to have its biggest quarter on record through the final months of 2021, according to Business Insider.*

Being the eco-conscious business owner that you are, I know it’s important for your packaging to not only be memorable and festive but, reusable and recyclable as well.

So, I’ve pulled together four inspiring ideas for holiday packaging that will wow the stockings off your customers and keep your packaging out of the bin.

Close up of brand story on back of chocolate packaging.

1. Connect via story telling

Effective packaging does more than keep your product safe and dry. It should tell a story about your brand and connect with your customer on an emotional level.

How to story tell on packaging:

  • Create quirky custom characters and illustrations to tell a story
  • Use creative writing to take the customer on a journey of your product, brand or service
  • Tell your brand’s sustainability story or social commitment and connect with those who share your values

Your packaging is a platform to start a conversation with your customer, so be sure to continue the story telling on your socials and website and keep that brand experience going.


Letter press invite with green fern leaf on a moody background.

2. Create a tactile experience

With e-commerce, customers can’t touch your products and experience them before buying. It’s the missing piece of digital that can never be replicated. So, in a time where a lot of us are slowing down and noticing the ‘simple things in life’, this tactile experience is something to embrace in your holiday packaging and unboxing experience.

A few examples to inspire:

  • Textured materials and traditional uncoated finishes
  • Rustic and imperfect ink stamps or paper tape
  • Letterpress greeting cards, postcards, gift tags and stamps

Personally, I’m a bit obsessed with letterpress. It’s the most ancient way of printing and offers a luxurious textured finish without additional chemicals or materials.

You can also get your own embossing stamp which is a great ink-free way to stamp logos or icons and personalise your letters, cards or stickers. I have my eye on this one from Woodruff and Co.


Kraft paper Christmas tags on wood table with green garland

3. Next level reusable packaging

The longer your customer hangs onto your branded packaging the more they are reminded of your brand. So, give your packaging another use, and I’m not just talking ‘save this box for later’ kind of reusable. Get creative and think of ways you can carry on the experience of your brand with your packaging.

Here’s a few holiday themed ideas:

  • Print graphics on the inside of your shipping box and encourage customers to cut out and repurpose into tree ornaments or gift tags (these also serve as a subtle reminder of your brand.)
  • Create insiring ideas to reuse your packaging as xmas baubles, gift wrap or clever gift boxes
  • Get your customers involved and hold a competition to see what creative ideas they come up with

Thinking outside of the box (literally) with creative and engaging ideas will keep your packaging (and brand) in front of your customer throughout the entire holiday season.

brown box with white stamp logo and green vine draped over box.

4. Minimalism

When it comes to sustainable packaging always remember less is best. Eliminating the unnecessary will not only save on costs and waste but will also give the customer a less cluttered unboxing experience. Make an impact by keeping it simple.

The trend towards simplicity also applies to design and function. Use minimalistic design to keep your most important message front and centre and use QR codes or scannable links to guide customers to your website or socials where they can continue the brand journey and get more information.

A few ideas for a less is more approach:

  • Use colour, typography and patterns intentionally and create space for the design to  ‘breathe’
  • Be playful with the necessary elements of your packaging. And, don’t forget about the top and bottom which are key areas to pop a funny or inspiring message!
  • Ensure your packaging is simple, functional and easy to open

Whatever you have planned for your holiday packaging make sure you make it memorable by finding ways to extend the time your pacakging (and brand) stays in your customers hands and minds.

What do you have planned for your holiday packaging this year? I’d love to know.


Nancy J Design is a brand and packaging design studio specialising in sustainable packaging solutions for independant and small businesses. Get in touch to find out how we can support your next design project. Let’s talk.



Australians are preparing to spend $11 billion on Christmas gifts – and analysts predict the December quarter will smash e-commerce records


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