Monday, December 21, 2009

It's a wrap!

Remember how we used to watch our older relatives carefully unwrap their gifts and comment on how beautifully it was wrapped? Remember how they would gently pull off the bows and fold the paper to save it for the next year? Remember how their face would light up when they would finally see the contents and go on about how nice it was? It sometimes seems like they were more into that process of unwrapping the gift and preparing for the surprise of what was inside than the gift itself. It made us slow down with anticipation, which made seeing them get the gift that much more enjoyable. Although it might have seemed torturous as a kid, I think we could all slow down a bit more this holiday season when we unwrap our gifts to really enjoy the whole experience of receiving a gift and the thought behind it.

This blog today is written in honor of my Great Aunt Marge who passed away last week. She used to be the best gift giver, but also the best gift wrapper I've ever known. All of her gifts were crisply wrapped with beautifully tied ribbons and bows that I'm pretty certain she made herself- a real skill I feel is sort of lost these days as we are so rushed and busy to take the time.

Gift wrapping. Some dread it, some love it. I tend to really appreciate a nicely wrapped gift. I think it shows that you care about someone when you take the time to put some thought and effort into the way you present a gift before it is revealed. Now, do I always have time to be super elaborate and fancy? Nope. But, I do try to take into account how my gift looks before I give it to someone. Perhaps it will slow them down and make them realize how much I appreciate them and put thought into their gift.

Here are a few quick tips to slow down the unwrapping of your next gift:

1) Present your gift with confidence and a smile. No matter who it's for, if you feel proud of your gift whoever is receiving it will be so thankful to have it too.

2) Get creative. No one says you have to spend a lot of money on wrapping. Using the comic section of the newspaper is still a cute alternative for a fun Birthday or Child gift. Try reusing a paper shopping bag and covering the logo with a leftover scrap of a favorite past wrapping paper. Add a couple different colors of fresh tissue paper to the inside of the bag and accent the gift with a bright colored ribbon.

3) Put a bow or other decorative accent on the gift. Going one step further than a gift bag with tissue, or a wrapped gift in a box, tie a ribbon around it or add a swig of some leftover artificial flowers to it. Have a spot to keep random little accents you collect throughout the year and have fun picking just the right one out for the gift when you need it. Around the holidays, a small ornament looks really cute tied onto a gift next to the name tag. Take a look at the customer service wall of wrapped gifts at any department store and copy an idea you see.

4)Go easy on the tape. Try to limit your tape use and secure the wrapping only where it really needs it.

5) Curl ribbon with scissors. Seems simple, but taking an extra minute to curl the ends of ribbon with a good pair of scissors adds a great touch that shows you put a little bit more time in wrapping your gift. Make sure you go with the curl of the ribbon or you'll be trying to get it to curl for half an hour.

6) Don't forget to take off price tags. Don't just take a marker and scribble over the numbers, most of the time you can see right through it anyway. If you don't want to remove the tag, clip off the part with the price.

Have fun, put some thought into it, and be done.

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