3 min

The Art of Wrapping Presents

I love wrapping presents. 

I take pride in my selection of paper, in cutting the perfectly precise size of paper, and in my use of the minimum Scotch tape required. The process itself is almost as fun as watching the recipient’s eyes light up as the gift is placed in their hands.

And yet, many people disagree with this sentiment. They hate wrapping presents. They hate wrapping presents so much that jobs are created each holiday season so these people can pay someone else to do the work for them. 

They argue that a wrapped present is a waste of time, energy and money. You put in all this effort only to have it ripped apart and thrown away. What’s the point?

This is logical. But it’s shortsighted. 

Packaging shapes first impressions and signals the quality of the item inside. 

Just look at Apple.

Apple employs a designer whose sole job is packaging. While many other companies focus only on the product, Apple focuses on the entire user experience:

“How a customer opens a box must be one of the last things a typical product designer would consider. Yet for Apple, the inexpensive box merits as much attention as the high-margin electronic device inside.”

Similarly, wrapping a gift deserves as much attention as the gift itself.

Throwing a gift in a bag with tissue paper takes away the intrigue, suspense, and appreciation. It sucks all the fun and ceremony out of it. The way a gift is wrapped signals to the recipient how it should be received. Should it be received with care? Or with disregard and haste?

You don’t need expensive wrapping paper. You don’t even need bows and ribbons. The beauty is in the simplicity. I don’t care if people notice or comment on the wrapping. The craftsmanship is subtle. It’s like in a top sushi restaurant when staff notice whether the customer is left-handed or right-handed and place the chopsticks on the corresponding side. By paying attention to detail they differentiate themselves. 

A well-wrapped gift is also differentiated. The recipient will notice, either overtly or subconsciously, all the time, energy, and care that was put into wrapping the gift. Which makes the gift more special. No matter what’s inside.

Wrapping presents isn’t hard. It simply takes patience. And a lot of floor space. See video below for my quick tutorial.

If it’s the thought that counts, be thoughtful about the entire gift. 

There’s no such thing as a great gift in shit packaging.