Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The Art of Gifting…and Gift Wrapping!


It seems like in this busy and rushed world we live in that the art of gift giving and gift wrapping has been lost. 

Not so much in blog land…where I see tons of talented ladies (and gentlemen) putting together lavish, HOME-based birthday parties, mailing delicately wrapped gifts for blog give-aways, and tablescaping galore (often set with little gift-wrapped trinkets at each setting), but not so much in day to day life.

I mean, take a look at any big box store’s gift wrap aisle and you see it…the gift bag display…complete with solids, patterned, and designed bags with complimentary or coordinating wrapping paper.  And the other day I noticed that even Hallmark has joined in with this wrapping shift…displaying way more gift bags than tubes of wrapping paper. 

Now, don’t get me wrong…I myself have been known to give a loved one a “gift-bag present” a time or two, but lately I’ve come to dislike the “gift bag”.  It seems to me to be such a simple way out of taking the time to carefully craft a wrapped gift and present it to the recipient.

My mother is extremely crafty at gift-wrapping.  She rarely gives in to the gift bag.  And I can remember, vividly, the birthday and Christmas presents that she so artfully wrapped and displayed for my siblings and me.  You were filled with so much excitement and anticipation, just waiting to open the present…and yet, not wanting to tear into that beautiful glossy paper or rip off that magnificent bow!  And while we didn’t get a lot of presents on these occasions (her sacrifice was staying at home with us) each one was so beautifully wrapped and displayed.  She continues to do this and now my children and nephews are the recipients of her hand-crafted love!


This weekend I searched for the perfect gift(s) for Mary to present to her classroom teachers as a way to say thank you for an incredibly wonderful year of learning.  I discovered these tiny Willow Tree  ornaments and thought that they were the perfect way for Mrs. Davie and Mrs. King to remember their 2009-2010 group of PreK-ers! 

And while I could have stuffed them into gift bags with tissue paper, I took the time to wrap them…just as Mary’s teachers took the time to teach and reinforce in her the letters of the alphabet, her numbers to 100, home address/telephone number, etc.  These skills took months to accomplish…shouldn’t I take a few extra minutes to wrap a gift?


And I did the same for my flaxen-haired beauty…searched high and low for the perfect gift…a symbol of all her hard work and effort, positive attitude, and sunny disposition and came up with this:

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A “Growing in Grace” figurine from Precious Moments.  Nothing elaborate or over-the-top (it is only PreK for goodness sakes!), but meaningful and symbolic just the same.  She loved it…and immediately explained to Daddy that he was going to need to put up shelves so Benjamin and Baby Brother won’t touch it!  Love this girl!



And as a side note…or maybe a sales pitch for Hallmark…I must say, they DO have the best wrapping paper!  It’s heavy weight and printed lines on the back make it ideal for cutting and not tearing…unlike some wrapping paper purchases from the big box stores…that will drive you to the gift bag aisle!  And at $3.99 a roll, compared to $2.50 for a one time gift bag purchase, the wrapping paper really is the better deal.

So what do you use?  Gift bags, wrapping paper, or some other unique type of wrapping arrangement?  (My sister-in-law is the best at presenting gifts in sand pails, car wash buckets, etc. depending upon the gift’s theme!)  I’m always looking for new ideas!  (One year…back in the 90s and when I was a huge Martha Stewart fan, I gift-wrapped everybody’s Christmas presents in tinfoil with white tulle ribbon…crazy I know…and I got a lot of kidding from Fire Hubby’s side, but you know they secretly LOVED it!!!)


  1. I love to wrap. Occassionally, i resort to the gift bag, but i usually try mo make the effort by wrapping. my sis in law is a fantastic gift wrapper too. I love Mary's precious moments gift -- just perfect, and look at her pretty painted fingernails!

  2. I love a hand wrapped gift. When someone takes the time to make the wrapping special, it makes YOU feel special. I have been known to use bags, mostly for baby showers. It can get a wee bit tedious watching "Mom" spend 2 hours unwrapping baby gifts at a baby shower, so I go the bag route. Christmas gifts for the kids-wrapping paper all the way. However I tend to leave the bows off. The tear through them so fast they don't even notice. Birthday presents should be extra special or gifts for a special occasion like graduations, thank yous or hostess gifts!

  3. I love wrapping papers too. I have a box full of the stuff. I save ribbons and bows that are in good condition and use them again. It's so special to receive a gift and see that it has been wrapped with such care. I agree that blogland is full of such great crafters who are so inspiring.
    I love those Willow Tree figurines. They are so simple but very stylish.

  4. You are a good mama.
    I used to be really good at wrapping well and then for a few years I got to where I just didn't have the time to do it well. Recently, I've started enjoying wrapping again.

  5. awww what a beautiful young lady...congrats...and wonderful wrapping...thank you so much for the blog love...i appreciate you making a bad thing so much sweeter with your sugard goodness...i have never had a bad comment before and that day 3...i asume by the same sad person...again i wanted to say thank you...blessings cat

  6. I do both because it depends on the occasion, gift and the time I have. BUT I end up spending as much time picking out the right bag,tissue and card to go together as I would wrapping paper.

    Thanks for the comment regarding Ken.


  7. I prefer wrapping my gifts but the kids always want to get in on the action so the gifts come out looking like...well looking like a 2yo and 3yo wrapped them! LOL I still like to put the gift into a gift bag though.

    You are so sweet to get something for the prek teachers and your little girl.

  8. I love receiving gifts wrapped in paper. It just makes the process of opening it so much more exciting. I always try to wrap birthday presents for kids in paper and not just stuff it in a bag.

    My teacher gifts this year were in a basket I found in Walmart on clearance. I love containers too, so I try to go that route when I can.

    By the way, thank you so much for your comment on my Helicopter Mom post. I really appreciate your encouragement. I have been needing some lately!

  9. I like to use baskets and hat boxes sometimes. Gift wrapping is such fun. What adorable pics of your little princess!


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