There’s More Than One Way to Wrap a Present!


Furoshiki designed by Friedensreich Hundertwasser for 'Fernwärme Wien' AG. Size of the piece of cloth is 90×90 cm.In my house, the fancy gift wrap that we had to sell to raise money for our school PTO wasn’t the preferred paper of choice. We opted instead to look on the tortured faces of the Peanuts gang, the antics of Nancy and Sluggo, and the poignant life lessons imparted by Calvin and Hobbs.

Comic Reuse

That’s right--Christmas was the time to use all of those Sunday funnies we’d been stockpiling in the corner for the entire year. (Those very ones that caused me to be suspiciously quiet in that same corner when I should have been bawling at a time out punishment . . . )

Can't Wrap Presents with Web Content

These days, having switched my news input to the online format, I no longer have comics to turn to for my wrapping needs. That’s fine--I have years of stockpiled gift wrap from the various environmental organizations that don’t even bother to ask me if I will only donate if they send me paper, cards, and address labels. I can’t very well follow their lead of wastefulness, so I have quite the collection of gift wrap saved up. Do let me know if you need any!

Paper Isn’t the Only Way to Wrap Gifts

Years ago, my husband got a fabulous selection of small batik fabrics, and they’ve surfaced again and again as a wonderful temporary housing for the special gifts we exchange. They’re beautiful and reusable, and they make an extra gift for friends and family when they make it out of our household.

Traditional Cloth Wrapping

This is a common practice in Japan, where the wrapping cloth is called furoshiki. It’s pretty simple to pull off, but if you need some extra inspiration there are plenty of online videos to help you - just look at all the video results on YouTube with the search terms “furoshiki wrapping” or by checking out Printing by Hand or Gift Wrapping: Creative Ideas from Japan.

Keep it on the Up-And-Up

Since I’ve mentioned the gift wrapping methods I love, it’s probably fair that I mention the one that drives me up the wall. I’m talking about the people that use boxes for other products to nestle a present inside of. The reason why this drives me nuts is highly personal. I am both exceedingly gracious and easily embarrassed, and I was unprepared for this type of wrapping during my own childhood--it just wasn’t something I ever encountered.


So, when my husband’s Grandmother gives me a box of Tyson chicken patties, what other reaction could I have besides giving her the biggest smile I can and whispering “It’s what I’ve always wanted!” What’s that? There’s something different inside the box? Well, that’s a relief... but I can’t let on now!

Maybe this holiday season, I won’t be so easily fooled. Guess I better go easy on the egg nog.

Photo credit: Wolfgang H. Wögerer, Wien, Austria. via Wikimedia Commons


Author Bio:

Michelle K. is a Librarian at the Brisbane Library. She can think of at least ten uses for every superfluous object, and left to her own devices would probably be a pack rat. She tries to fight the battle of "stuff" every holiday by discouraging her family members from giving her presents, but she can only do so much!

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