When I was younger, I worked wrapping gifts for businesses. So the wrapping looked "professional" and "fancy" but not necessarily cozy or filled with love. For my own gifts I often went above and beyond creating fancy gift wrap until I got to know a friend's mom.
She had a way of wrapping everything simply in tissue paper with a beautifully bright, chunky yarn or ribbon simply wrapped around it. Then she would create a small pile of pretty presents all wrapped the same and there was something about the presentation, energy and bright colors that just made her gifts seem so amazingly special. Everything was not wrapped in a specially sized box, she didn't fuss about sharp, perfect as a pin corner folds. She didn't spend lots of money of fancy ribbons or cards or tchotchkes she could add to the packages. But the receivers of her gifts always felt special, loved and excited to open her gifts -- which were also always lovely, simple and well thought out just for them.
This changed the way I did things from then on. Sure I still make my own tags, tie little things on, sometimes go a little crazy with a mountain of cellophane, but I realized the intent of my gift wrapping has evolved.
When I went all out to have the most fantastically decorated gifts my intentions were somewhat about me. I was in some way angling for props for my work, to hear people "ooh" and "ah" me. I wanted to feel special. But when I focused on wrapping my gifts so that the recipients felt special that was a completely different intention, effort and outcome. My wrapping changed, my intentions changed and I think that was reflected in being a more thoughtful gift giver and gift presentation creator.
Now I think about the process of unwrapping and how I can make that last long enough so the receiver has a chance to let the moment sink in and to feel special opening the gift. Totally different intention. I make sure words on cards tell the real story of how dearly I feel about them. That there are exclamations of celebratory words and emotions - that I cheer them on.
So I do things differently these days and I celebrate gift wrapping beauty AND the perfectly imperfect. I am not so caught up on straight corners or matched patterns, but more about whether my gifts exudes a message of love and joy to the receiver.
I'll share part two of my gift wrapping philosophy and some gift wrap preparation basics in the next post later on Friday.