This year you finally did it. You managed to somehow get all of your Christmas shopping done BEFORE Christmas Eve. Your spouse, parents, kids, coworkers, closest friends, second cousin in-law twice removed, and the mailman are all taken care of… check, check, check! But now you are faced with a dilemma. Do you spend the time earlier in the season to neatly package up each gift? Or instead, just buy some bags with a cartoon depiction of Santa Claus from your local $1 store, throw in your thoughtful purchase with some questionably reused tissue paper and call it a day. Although this may seem like the quickest, easiest option, I challenge you to reconsider. I often hear people sadly reminisce that the Christmas season passed all too quickly. So why not create more opportunities for yourself to relish in the spirit of Christmas by slowing yourself down and adding a touch of tangible care to your already thoughtful gifts. Maybe even play Christmas music or put on a holiday-themed movie while you sit down to design and construct your gift wrapped masterpieces. It’s relaxing, fun, and lets the recipient know that you truly care.
In Japanese culture, they apply this principle to all gift giving. While the gift itself is important, the way the gift is wrapped and presented is very important too – sometimes more so. They believe the way the present is wrapped exemplifies the intent, symbolism, value and status of your relationship with the recipient. All this is represented before the present is even unwrapped. Everything from the materials to the creativity and color has a meaning.
For those of you with kids, you may be asking, “Is it worth the hassle; They’re going to just tear through it anyway.” However, as a child begins to get older, receiving gifts becomes more about the anticipation and the excitement of discovering what’s inside. I believe that they are able to relate the wrapping with the gift and come to appreciate it that much more. It’s also an opportunity to snap a picture of your child with the presents you are most proud of for an extra keepsake.
In closing I wanted to share a few supplies that I go-to year after year for gorgeous (and simple) wrapped gifts.
- Kraft Paper
- Dried Eucalyptus or other Leafy Greenery
- Plaid or Striped Specialty Paper
- Oversized Letters
- Old Christmas Photos
- Leather Cord