The unimaginative will have scissors, tape and red, green or gold wrapping paper close at hand as they prepare to tackle the problem of disguising objects in paper.
But you can escape Yuletide boredom this season. You don't have to be the Andy Warhol of gift wrap, but don't be a cliche -- make your gifts really stand out with careful wrapping. Dressing up presents in holiday finery did not catch on until fairly recently. Gifts used to be wrapped in plain tissue or brown paper; it wasn't until the beginning of the 20th century that the gift-wrap industry exploded, with the first American gift-wrap company, Hy-Sil Manufacturing, opening in 1903, and the reigning king of the wrapping and greeting card world, Hallmark, launching in 1917. Once out of the dark ages, styles went from art deco in the 1930s to more realistic artwork with pop culture tie-ins during the '60s and '70s, to the slick styles we know today.
On a RollEven with modern gift wrapping's short history, a fresh look is always desired -- so here are a few small companies that are really thinking outside the box.
|Eieio's Bond/Red Paper|
Presenting the ProsTired of getting your fingers stuck in a bow? Many paper experts offer wrapping services if you'd prefer to have someone else do it. Kate's Paperie in New York City recently opened a
Japanese TraditionIn Japan, gift wrapping is rooted deep within the culture. There is a prescribed method for wrapping objects, from fans to tea sets to money. "It's more about an essence of being discrete, respectful and showing care," says Vicky Mihara Avery, who is of Japanese descent. Avery has been featured on the "Martha Stewart" TV show, teaching the art of Japanese gift wrapping, or origata, and owns family-run store
|A Paper Tree Package|
|Photo: V.M. Avery|
Enjoy the Good Life? Email us with what you'd like to see in future articles.