Wrapping Up the Gifting Season


Everyone enjoys receiving gifts during the holiday season. But wrapping them? Not so much.

Americans are expected to buy nine gifts this season, down from 16 last year, at an average price tag per household of $1,455, according to Deloitte's 2022 Holiday Retail Survey.

Some Americans view gift wrapping as an art, others as a begrudging chore.

All of those presents need to be gift wrapped, whether they’re shipped, placed in a colorful holiday gift bag and personally delivered, or laid at the bottom of a Christmas tree.

For those who aren’t nimble with their fingers or imaginative in their minds, there’s hope in the infinite world of gift wrapping.

“There is a science to gift wrapping; not everyone can gift wrap,” said Meredith Taylor, owner of Gifted Hilton Head on the island. “Anyone can learn to wrap a well wrapped gift package and make a bow. But it does take some skill…In this day and age, simpler is probably better.”

Gift-givers don’t have to impress or dazzle with their wrapping unless they’re inspired to do so.

“It’s just a thoughtful, pretty, seasonally appropriate presentation,” said Wendy White, manager of Pyramids on the island.

For those who are struck with wrappers’ anxiety, many retail stores—like Pyramids and Gifted—will do the wrapping for free with a purchase.

For the do-it-your-selfers, keep in mind that “nice wrapping is a chance for your own personality to shine,” Taylor said.

“Start with a good quality wrapper paper” in your color of choice, White said.

“The heavier the paper, the harder it is to wrap it,” Taylor added. “Don’t think you have to go out and buy the most expensive paper to wrap a nice gift.”

Taylor at Gifted likes to customize their gift wrapping with white Swiss dots paper on a red background with a satin ribbon and satin bow. White at Pyramids prefers white paper dotted with green evergreen trees coordinated with a 1-1/4-inch gold ribbon and wired organza bow.

Open your pantry and grab a few brown paper grocery bags to save a few dollars and wrap in a seasonally colored ribbon and bow.

Taylor suggests buying craft paper and a rubber stamp in a seasonal motif with color to embellish the package.

“It’s a great art project with the kids,” she said.

Ornaments with personal touches can include stick-em dog paws or dog bones with the pooch’s name spelled out and family or individual portraits.

Here’s how to make gift-wrapping perfect:

  • Make sure to measure the paper properly to avoid waste.
  • Measure your gift wrapper, so it covers about 3/4 of your gift box.
  • Fold the wrapper over the box, then crease along the sides.
  • Fold the upper side of the wrapper over the top, then the lower side, so they overlap on the top.
  • Tape to close the wrapper.
  • Fold the bottom part of the wrapper to finish the wrap.

“Wrap it nice and tight with no rough edges,” Taylor said. “You only want the end to be half as long as the height of the end of the box. That will give you perfect creases.”

You are almost there.

  • With the box centered on the paper, fold it at the ends with no jagged edges or tears using transparent tape. Tape the wrapping paper, not the box.
  • Tie the ribbon and affix the bow from a variety of choices of materials and colors.

For those inclined to limit the muss and fuss, consider a colorful gift bag for your presents and adorn it with a bow or ribbon.

“Gift bags are so popular,” Taylor said. “But there is an art to putting tissue in a gift bag…you can make a tissue flower out of it.”

Conceal your gift in tissue paper for the big surprise and layer the paper with more than one color.

Above all, have fun and enjoy the joy of gift-giving.

By Dean Rowland