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In English speaking countries, leaving presents under the tree in the weeks that lead up to Christmas is much more than a simple matter of aesthetics: it’s a question of etiquette.
There’s a reason why the British are masters at diplomacy: when they’ve run out of ideas or are still waiting for their online purchases to be delivered, they gift-wrap – to perfection, of course – some empty boxes and put them on display at the bottom of their Christmas tree.
At Christmas form matters too. So, now it’s time to learn the proper way to wrap presents. Even if you’re running short of supplies – but not of goodies. Because, you have replaced the empty boxes with actual presents, haven’t you?
It’s not rocket science, on the contrary: you just need to get the hang of it. This task won’t require as much coordination as pulling on the sides of the wrapping paper, unrolling it and at the same time cutting off the right length of sellotape. Possibly, trying to stop the sellotape from sticking to itself and forcing you to start all over again.
Why don’t you try this method instead, swapping your sandwich for a present. Or maybe not.
Without a doubt, you will need some pretty ribbon to tie the parcel with – woollen thread or a piece of string can work just as well, especially if you want to go for the minimalist look. For a spot of colour (and to make your partner believe that you’ve tried your best), add a decoration, such as a green twig and hey presto.
Or rather, how can I tie a bow on a gift box? This is a secret that the Last Minute Gift Wrapper will be guarding jealously, and after many years of practice he should now be able to do it in his sleep.
In fact, you need neither elegant wrapping paper nor fancy ribbon, whether it’s sticky or made of satin. The expert gift-wrapper knows that it’s impossible to plan ahead, and above all that he will never have all the right equipment at a moment’s notice. For this reason, at the beginning of the year he purchased from his local haberdasher several fabric off-cuts in different sizes and prints.
The fabric gift-wrap is really the perfect last minute solution, especially because, when it’s really urgent, you could always resort to the scarf your auntie Carla gave you and that you’ve never worn even once.
The Orient, the land that invented paper and the art of origami, is also where the master of all tricks comes from when it comes to gift-wrapping: the present wrapped sideways.
This way of gift wrapping is only for the most refined and patient punters. I estimate that before you fully master this technique you might need around 23 tutorials on YouTube, among which I warmly suggest you should follow one given by an elegant Japanese gentleman. If you’re patient enough, I can guarantee that gift-wrapping Japanese style will become your go-to technique at all times.