Skip the premade paper and do it yourself this season
One of the best DIY wrapping jobs I've seen on the internet so far comes from Chris over at ManMade. He started his project with basic brown packing paper, but accentuated it with hand-cut typography stencils, carving the names of his friends and family out of the pages of old books and then gluing them onto the paper. It looks nice and also solves the problem of getting wrapped gifts mixed up with each other.
Another DIY wrapping idea blends different textures together for an all-around aesthetically pleasing gift package. Take some solid color paper and some textured paper that match--the latter could be anything from mesh to lace to newsprint. Wrap the gift in the textured paper first, then cut out shapes in the solid paper (names or snowflakes or whatever design you like) and wrap it around that. The holes in the outer, solid paper will be filled in by whatever you've got underneath for a neat extra dimension to your present's aesthetic. If you'd like to go the extra mile, maybe pick up some colored cellophane for inclusion in your multi-dimensional creation. Whether it's the base layer or an extra sheen on top of the two layers you've already got, it'll add a lot of snazz.
I'm also fond of the idea of just creating your own paper from whatever you've got lying around. Got some old newspapers and a bottle of ink? Go nuts creating your own abstractions--just let the ink and a little gravity do the work and you'll get some funky abstract textures with minimal effort required. You can also recycle old books you don't want anymore this way. I've found that old instruction manuals with lots of illustrations work well as wrapping paper right off the bat--just cut them up and tape them back together to form interesting patterns.
The receivers of the gifts you give this season will definitely appreciate the extra mile to make their treats look nice. And during a season that's all about rampant purchasing, it's always nice to cut back and produce something yourself for a change.