“Wrapping Things Up”


A toy store in town will wrap purchases with a choice of five different papers they keep on rolls behind the cash register. This free service used to be customary when I was growing up. Eventually the stores charged a nominal fee to wrap gifts. The amenity seems to have disappeared in most places I shop. Sometimes during holiday seasons nonprofit groups set up gift wrapping stations in stores offering their expertise for a donation. All these efforts confirm what I have always experienced: most people struggle to wrap gifts and would like someone else to do it.

I am certainly one such person. When paper came in folded sheets I could barely figure out what size to use. Now that it comes in rolls, I am hopeless. I either have way too much or just a tad too little for whatever object I am attempting to cover. Fortunately in recent years I have discovered the magic of the gift bag.

Pictured above are the four gifts that are headed to church for the recipients I mentioned a few posts ago. Each sits happily in its gift bag, purchased at a small cost at Party City.(A whole store for parties!) I had only to estimate the necessary size bag and plop the present inside. A sheet of tissue paper for a cover, staples to keep the bag closed, and labels from the church tags completed the wrapping.

Gift wrapping sanity at last. And when the recipient has removed the gift she will have a bag handy to shop at the stores that now require her to bring her own sack. A double win this Christmas season.

35 thoughts on ““Wrapping Things Up”

  1. Yes, I totally concur with gift-wrapping ineptitude!! Bags are the way to go (the air has been blue in my flat this evening as I struggled to wrap a couple of small gifts….no bags to hand!


  2. I can relate to this. I ALWAYS use far too much paper, and the result looks awful.
    But shops here rarely offer a gift-wrap service, so we just have to get on with it.
    Best wishes, Pete.


  3. Bag or sack. When I was growing up in the Northwest we always said “sack” or “gunny sack”. When I moved east I came to believe sack was a western ideosyncracy and gave up the word. Maybe it isn’t.


  4. I actually enjoy wrapping gifts, though I don’t deny that gift bags are handy when I am in a hurry or have an oddly shaped present and no handy boxes. When I was pregnant with my first and post-baby showers I had a huge stack of gift bags left over from presents. Not wanting to waste such cute bags, I used some of them to carry my lunches to work in every day (each would last about a week before needing to be replaced). It was a fun little pick-me-up at lunch when I was tired and big and uncomfortable. I actually still use gift bags occasionally when I am packing picnic lunches, etc.


  5. my mother taught me how to wrap gifts when I was a child, and ,I swear….when I wrap gifts today it still looks like an 8-year-old did it: just neat enough, but without much flair – Lol!


  6. The recyclable element of the bags is great, Elizabeth. I have always been good at wrapping gifts and school books. I am very meticulous and neat. I used to be in great demand when I was at school, wrapping everyone’s school books.


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