Unwrapping the mystery of holiday gift wrapping

Published 7:00 am Saturday, December 24, 2016

Hopefully by now most of your Christmas shopping is done, and most, if not all of the presents are wrapped.

But, if you’re like me, you remembered you still have a couple of presents to buy, and the ones already purchased sit in a pile in the corner, sans wrapping paper.

Here’s another admission, I am terrible at wrapping presents. In fact, because I’m so terrible at it, I did a little research to find out what I’m doing wrong. It didn’t help.

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After reading tutorials and watching videos, the only thing I discovered is that all of the steps are being followed, there’s just something wrong with my hands. I think the present wrapping upgrade was never installed.

So that got me thinking, why do we even wrap presents, for Christmas or any other event for that matter?

More research found that wrapping presents, in one form or another, has been around for thousands of years. Japanese wrapping traditions include a reusable version, which is a pretty interesting concept.

Before the paper we use today became popular in the early 1900s, people used a type of tissue, according to The Atlantic anyway. That all changed when two brothers who owned a store ran out of the tissue paper, and sold what was left, fancy French paper used to line envelopes. We know that store as Hallmark.

Still, none of that story explains why we even bother wrapping presents. It’s just a layer of stuff to conceal what’s inside the box.

And once the present is open all the effort put into making the gift appealing now litters the floor. But to be honest, while I will most likely never be able to produce expertly wrapped presents with decorative hand-made bows, there is appeal to receiving such a gift.

I typically even take a moment to appreciate the work that went into covering the gift in such a colorful display of concealment. That is, until the anticipation takes over, and the paper hits the floor in a shredded mess.

Now, off to the store to buy gift bags.