The horrors of gift wrapping

Houston McLaury-

Well, folks, we’re in the month of December. Right now Mariah Carey has thawed out and they’ve blown the dust off of old recordings of singers pining about red-cheeked nights out in the snow, Grandma getting run over by reindeer, and chestnuts roasting against open fires as the air gets colder. And yet, no snow has stayed in the state, instead opting to melt after its first attempt. Either way, as we come to the end of this month, we get into the holiday season. Which, of course, means that we have to start looking forward to the gifts we have to prepare for our loved ones. From expensive gifts for our closest people, to gag gifts for White Elephants, to a whole number of stocking stuffers, gifts must be selected for each celebration as we venture forth.

But in this celebration of family, friends, love, and the communities we’ve found, comes the packaging for the multitude of gifts. There’s the classic gift wrapping done in paper, the bag with tissue paper, and then the simplest of packaging: the box. Hopefully, through the dissection of each process by which one can present a gift, we can determine the best method of gift wrapping. This is to save you, the reader, the trouble of trying to wrap a plethora of gifts with none of them coming out exactly as you imagined. So, let’s forge ahead and determine the best way to present a present.

Starting with a classic is the simple wrapping of a gift. This oftentimes involves simple materials like fun, decorative paper, then scissors and tape. Now, it is best to note that it is easiest to wrap simple shapes such as cubes, pyramids, and cylinders. But, if you’re like me and never really learned how to wrap gifts, even the simplest item can become a struggle to wrap. I experienced this over the brief Thanksgiving break, where I aimed to wrap all the gifts meant for my sibling, parents, and the majority of my friends. In this experience, my sibling and I did our best to measure twice and cut once to save as much of the wrapping paper as possible.

This wrapping can be done with two people: one holding and the other folding is the most effective way to do this. If you’re smart, you set out pieces of tape on a table to use when wrapping your present. One hurdle for wrapping a present is that one must learn how to wrap basic items first before being able to use this tried-and-true method. But, in terms of care shown through gift giving, wrapping a gift is your best bet. So, get familiar with the wrapping and setting tape to the side if you hope to show your family the care you have for them.

There’s also the option to bag your gifts by going to a Michaels or Target store and buying gift bags. This is a simple way to present your presents to loved ones and offers the same amount of excitement as unwrapping a gift, simply because of the tissue paper that covers the gift. It is also a much easier way of packaging items, as you rarely have to measure an item to make sure it will be safe in the bag. Even better: obtuse shapes fit into this bag! As do much simpler shapes as well, which offers this method a distinct advantage over hand-wrapped gifts.

Yet, it does not offer as much care as the first option. Sure, you bought your giftee a bag, but it doesn’t offer the same warmth as a hand-wrapped gift does. So, consider what you would have to give up to ensure an easy packaging of a gift before setting forth on this path. The same can also be said for simply putting your gift into a box and taping it up, as it offers a wide variety of gifts to be packaged, but it does not offer the same amount of care that hand-wrapped gifts offer.

Despite the learning curve that occurs when wrapping gifts, it is a much better option to show how much you care for a person, rather than just bagging a gift. And, while the other options available are just fine if you have some oddly shaped items, it is still best to try and wrap a gift to show that you care for them. Hopefully, snow will come and settle onto the ground, and in the last few weeks of December, we can enjoy the smiles and joy we give to others, thanks to the gifts we have prepared.

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