Tips on how to wrap a Christmas gift
RAZZLE-DAZA - Pat-P Daza (The Philippine Star) - December 9, 2019 - 12:00am

A few weeks ago, I shared tips on decorating the Christmas tree. This time, I thought it would be nice to share tips on wrapping gifts.

For these, I have to give credit to my Tita Tessie Daza Baltazar, my papa’s older sister who lived next door to us. I practically lived in her house, and her children are like

my siblings because we all grew up together. Tita Tessie is like my second mom: she taught me how to cook and bake simple dishes and was a homemaker when her kids

were growing up. Later on though, she decided to have a career when they became adults. The last position she held was commissioner for the Presidential Anti-Graft

Commission from 2000 to 2010.

Every Christmas, Tita Tessie would be busy buying gifts for her family and for the officemates of her husband Tito Balty (now deceased), who was then an officer of PCI

Bank. Sometimes, her daughters Risa and Maya and I would accompany her and we’d all ride a jeep to Divisoria. Tita Tessie bought gifts, wrapping paper, boxes, gift tags

and ribbons on those trips. Because it was impossible to buy everything in one go, multiple trips were inevitable.

I think I was 10 years old when she taught me how to wrap. (She actually also taught me how to wrap books and notebooks when it was back-to-school season but I’ll save

that story for some other time.) I always knew when it was gift-wrapping time because Tita Tessie would lay out all the gifts and wrapping materials on the Baltazars’ long

dining table and I would sit and patiently watch her prepare everything before she began.

When she got started, it would take her hours and hours before she was done. I would help Tita Tessie wrap her gifts and then when I got home, my mom would ask me to

wrap her gifts as well. I copied Tita Tessie’s system on our round dining table while my mom typed her articles and supervised my work at the same time.

Many years later, when I was living in the United States after my first separation, I worked part-time at Macy’s department store in the gift wrapping section and enjoyed it

immensely. I was able to put to good use the wrapping skills that I acquired when I was a child and even got paid for it!

Here are my simple tips:

1. Find a suitable box to fit your gift. Wrapping a box is so much easier than wrapping an irregularly-shaped present. Use double adhesive tape if you can, it just makes the

box look neater.

2. If the gift you’re giving is unsuitable for a box, use a gift bag instead. There are many pretty gift bags available in the market.

3. Use tissue paper (a.k.a. Japanese paper) to wrap the item before putting it in the box or bag ­— for an elegant touch. There are many colors to choose from aside from

white. I’ve been using black Japanese paper lately because it looks more chic.

4. When using a box, create creases using the wrapping paper in every corner so that the outline of the box becomes more prominent.

5. Finish it off with a ribbon. My personal favorites are wide satin or grosgrain (pronounced grow-grein) ribbons and don’t forget to put a tag. I like using personalized gift tags or ribbons to complete the look. I even add leaves, berries or tiny Christmas balls to make it more fun when I’m in a festive mood.

For me, the gift and the wrapping go hand in hand. Keep in mind that a gift that’s pretty and expensive can look cheap and ordinary if you use “blah” wrapping. By the same

token, even the simplest gift can be made more special if it’s wrapped so beautifully that the recipient won’t even want to unwrap it. An exquisitely-wrapped gift instantly

tells the recipient that he or she is special to you because you made an effort to wrap the present with love. And love is the true essence of Christmas, after all.

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