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Wrapping It up: How To Make Packaging the Best Part of the Holiday

Photo by Megan Rakoczy.

The holiday season does not have to be the same routine every year. While tradition is a major part of the holidays, opening similar presents that are wrapped in a similar fashion as last year can get boring. An easy way to get a few more laughs and creativity out of gift-giving (without trying to outdo the money you spent last year) is simply the way you wrap your gifts.

Try to think outside the box (no pun intended) when you wrap your family’s and friends’ gifts. For example, layer gifts in a gift bag. Place the smaller gifts first, then a layer of wrapping paper, then another gift, another layer of paper and finally the biggest gift.

Or maybe, if you are only getting someone a small gift but you want to make it a big deal, do a Russian nesting doll style packaging job. Start with the small gift box and keep putting it into larger and larger boxes. The recipient will have to unbox each one until they finally reach the small gift. This is also a great way to prevent guessing.

There are many other ways to prank your recipients. Kush Desai, a junior social work student, said, “I’ve always wanted to put a gift into Jell-O like they did on ‘The Office.’”

If you are an ambitious giftwrapper, try to wrap a boring box  to look like something different, such as origami. An easy example would be to make a house — use the color of the wrapping paper to help distinguish between the house, roof and chimney.

However, sometimes the best gifts do not need a lot of fancy packaging. For a cell phone or iPod, hide it in the Christmas tree. Then, call the phone or set an alarm for when you want the recipient to find it. They will be confused, but pleased when they make the discovery. A modification of this could be scavenger hunts for the presents with a set of clues.

It is best to keep in mind your recipient’s sense of humor. Freshman electrical engineering student Keith Evenson  said he enjoyed the irony in certain gifts from his family.

“In my family, we would package nice gifts like a new phone in an old dust-buster box and wrap the box in duct tape,” Evenson said. “It was a perfect fit for our family’s sense of humor.”

There are thousands of variations in wrapping paper and gift bags. Do not stick with the same old holiday wrapping paper. Make an attempt to find something unique or start a new tradition with your recipient. Remember, the holidays are a time for laughter and memories. Have some fun and put some effort into making the recipients of your gifts feel special this season.

This article was created for the Holiday Gift Guide produced by College Avenue Magazine staff. 

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