What is the purpose of gift wrapping?

What is the purpose of gift wrapping?

Wrapping the Present 

Gently pushing in my drawer with a “thud”, my scissors, glue, and pencils are properly locked back in their original places. On the clean table, sits a well-wrapped present that was crafted by all my tools. It is almost dusk, a beam of sunlight shines down from the French window, dyeing half of my wooden table into a color of shiny gold. But the sun stops before reaching the present. It has to, since the present is wrapped up by a faint purple paper with a yellow ribbon. A combination of night and moon, where the sun loses its prime. At such moments, the best thing to do is just sit quietly at the table and have a close admiration of my work, proudly. 

The process was not easy.

It took me days seeking for a perfect paper, and eventually I found this one: a purple paper with yellow dots, which reminds me of a night with a full moon. Sweeping across the paper’s surface with my hand, I felt a texture neither too rough nor too sleek, but a soft feeling on the tips of my fingers.

Now when it is done to be the outfit of my present. It still remains a smooth surface as my fingers feel when sliding down slowly and softly on the smooth surface of the cubic present. Some tiny paper fluff comes out from the side edge of the present box under a vague light reflected from the table, radiating out a light scent of printing ink and wood of the paper around the present box. Getting closer, the scent appears to be denser, and gradually lifts my spirit upon smelling.

As the sun sinks further in the west, the light shines in my room grows shorter and fainter. Yet a vague halo rounds the table up. It is the ribbon that mildly reflects the sun in its color, enveloping the gift in a soft color of yellow.


It is still daytime. The sky is clear, with only a few lazy clouds drifting along the breeze. The dusk sun pours into the room, painting the walls in a bright golden shade. A giant salmon-pinkish wrapping paper flats in front of me, accompanied by a porcelain cup in a gift box. Soon after, these items will convert into a birthday present for my closest friend. 

The paper was not an accidental choice. It has a surface that is able to reflect lights into a vague soft halo. When everything sets up, I carry the gift box and gently put it on the paper. Besides the spreading-out paper, a silver scissor, a yellow wooden ruler, and a white tape roll all seem to welcome their new work. I pick up a short old pencil from my drawer and make one mark at each box corner with a touch of the pencil tip.

Some extra spaces of the paper outside of the points-around area need cropping by a scissor. By connecting one point to another point, the scissor needs to cut along the invisible line; a crispy sound that comes from the cut paper, emitting a tiny cloud of dust through each time of cutting that dance in the golden light air. 

The next step is folding. 

Each time of folding varies the appearance of the present wrapping inconspicuously. The paper covers the front and back of the present box and leaves the two sides of the surface empty. For the uncovered places. The paper is folded oppositely and symmetrically along the folding lines. In order to have an approximate equal distance between each line. The delightful scent of paper ink flows out and dips my busy fingers.

My mind is getting so concentrated and falling into pleasure. Finally, a piece of tape is taken to stabilize the front-and-back-side paper, with the invisible trace adhering the paper patterns. After some adjustment of the wrapping has been done, the gift is completed perfectly. During the process of wrapping, you can find plenty of pleasures to find and obtain with ordinary procedures.

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Written by Rita Nie


What is the purpose of gift wrapping?