A How-To Holiday Guide Special Edition Article: Preparing for the Gift

Make your gifts special this year adding a little extra thought and pizzazz. Here are some options of how to give a gift to someone!

Option 1:
The first is taking a gift you have purchased and just handing it to someone. After all, the thought is in the actual present isn’t it? This seems a little too efficient and a little dull, as if the gift was just handed off. While there will most likely be appreciation, there is not much thoughtfulness with this option.

Option 2:
The second, more common option, is wrapping a gift—and not just wrapping a gift but finding just the right wrapping paper. There are all sorts of ways to wrap a present. In the olden days, before wrapping paper, there was newspaper. A person would sort through the newspaper for the comic section and use it to wrap a gift. A special, news section, might be preferred, or the sports section if the person was a sports fanatic. For those with children, mothers instruct children how to disassemble a paper bag to use to wrap a gift and then decorate it. As specialty designed wrapping paper created with love, a child’s artwork on the wrapping paper is a way to add a nice extra touch which family members can cherish. For adults who are wrapping paper connoisseurs, with a flair for the hunt of the perfect paper, there are a variety of designs to choose such as reindeer, snow, trees, seasonal words, religious art, Santa, candy canes, swirls and stars, trendy holiday printable patterns and colors, and red, green, blue, white, as well as shiny silver, and gold. Wrapping paper can cost anywhere from $1 at a dollar store to $20 per roll or more. Wrapping a gift with wrapping paper is a talent in itself by carefully folding the ends just right and and taping the gift seamlessly with nimble fingers of tape. For others, services are available to hire someone to wrap the gift professionally for you. [Have you ever seen an ad hiring for a gift wrapper asking for your resume of experience? More real than Santa’s elves, job postings like this actually exist.] Then of course there are boxes and bags of all sizes, to-from labels, ribbons and tissue paper with just about as many varieties as wrapping paper, and to make it a hallmark gift, don’t forget to include a special card. You could potentially spend a fortune making this gift special all to be disposed. And what is so intriguing about that? The anticipation. You are paying for anticipation and thoughtfulness but it is fairly important as part of the presentation. As an added benefit to the fun, part of preparing the gift is the giddiness that comes from having a secret surprise for someone. With the hope to bring them honor and happiness with it, gift givers at the very least hope the gift is seen as a token of their thoughtfulness and love. The process of preparing a gift causes joy to the giver because of the thought and effort is for another and for their happiness, and as the saying goes “it is in giving that we also receive”.

Option 3:
Option three, is the gold package option when it comes to thoughtfulness and extra effort to make the gift special. One way is accessorizing the main gift with a series of presents to be opened all wrapped as one. Another way to make the gift unique, could be creating accessories to adorn the gift maybe with a customized ribbon which is braided, or a bookmark as a gift tag, or a USB drive as a to-you from-me hang tag with family photos loaded on it, or perhaps the present has been blessed especially if it is a gift where this is appropriate. What other creative ideas do you have? One unique gift I received once had miniature ornaments tied to the ribbon, which was both adorable and functional as it could be hung on my tree. These were kept as an unforgettable keepsake and the all the thoughtfulness that was put into the present was remembered for its uniqueness.

Part of the gold package option is not just the presentation of the gift but the presentation of how it is given. Often taken for granted is the presentation of making the gift special, beyond the wrapping paper. Reflect for a moment right now on how you give gifts. Do you hand it off with a big smile? Are you enthused cooing with words “I think you’ll just love this”, or do you just sort of nudge it with your finger across the table and make excuses like “I didn’t know what to get you”. Now, spend some time considering how you receive gifts. Do you open the gift with an expressionless facial expression in a placid manner with all lackluster? Or do you squeal? Without realizing it, more times than not, we respond as a response to the emotions of another person. It is a form of empathy and can be contagious. With the enthusiasm and happiness of gift giving, it can be rewarding for the gift giver to see that the gift is appreciated.

In Preparation and Anticipation
With gift giving, the way the gift is presented, the way it is wrapped, the thoughtfulness and the experience opening it, all are for the delight of the recipient adding up to the grand finale of finally discovering what is inside. All of this creates anticipation setting the stage for what is to come. Maybe it is a special gift which you have anticipated and are nervous about receiving. The giver can add a lot to the moment with how they present a gift setting the stage and mood either with enthusiasm, warmth, environment, or words indicating it is a very special gift.

Anticipation ties in with hope. It causes a person to hold their breath in a sense knowing something is to come. The same is with Christmas and Christ’s birth. We spend these last few weeks before Christmas in preparation for what is to come. It’s how you set the stage and prepare in anticipation for that ‘special moment’. Think of how you prepare for the gift and make that part of the present, both with the presents you are giving and preparing spiritually for Christmas.

—Clean Up Dallas with Culture and Kindness


Shopping for ideas? View these affiliate links!

Audio CD
Preparing for Christmas: Daily Reflections for Advent
by Richard Rohr O.F.M.

Books
The Art and Etiquette of Gift Giving
by Dawn Bryan

The Art of Gift Giving
by Shereen Elise Noon


Giftology: The Art and Science of Using Gifts to Cut Through the Noise, Increase Referrals, and Strengthen Retention
by John Ruhlin


Gift Wrap
Birthday Custom Gift Wrap | Personalized Photo Gift Wrapping Paper
(6 Foot Roll, Confetti Party)

by Fun Gift Wrap


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