Gift giving is a tradition that is not unique the United States or to holidays like Christmas. It is something that goes back for centuries or even millennia depending on your definition of the tradition. People in ancient times gave gifts to one another in order to celebrate special events or holidays. They did it so show affection or to strengthen the bonds between families. The tradition has been embellished over the centuries. Gifts are now widely thought of when celebrating Christmas or birthdays.
An increased amount of etiquette currently surrounds gift giving in most forms. One of the pieces of etiquette that is especially important around holidays like Christmas is wrapping a gift. It is considered bad manners or awkward to just walk up to someone and hand the individual an unwrapped gift. Part of the process today involves the excitement of seeing the gift under a tree or on a table. The anticipation of wondering what is inside is exciting and helps to improve holiday spirit. Some gifts are also too personal to just hand over on the street or in an office. Those gifts are wrapped to maintain the privacy of the giver and recipient.
A major problem that many people encounter during the holidays is that it can be very difficult to wrap a gift in a way that looks nice. A badly done gift-wrapping job can leave parts of the present inside exposed. The paper could peel off while the gift is being transported somewhere. Wrapping gifts today is sometimes considered an art form because the resulting box looks elegant and can include many extra things like ribbons, bows and glitter. Someone in Japan figured out a way to wrap gifts very quickly and easily. The individual in Japan was an employee at a popular department store. The person had to work fast behind a counter wrapping gifts for a long line of customers. This meant he had to figure out the fastest way to create beautifully wrapped gifts at work. The method he came up with starts with a piece of wrapping paper.
Cut the wrapping paper so that it just barely surrounds the gift. You want two opposite sides long enough to encircle the entire gift in one direction. The other two sides should cover all but the topmost panel of the box. Turn the gift at a 45-degree angle to the direction of the wrapping paper. Get it close to the edge. Put the gift on the side and pull up the closest edge of the wrapping paper near the bottom of the box. This should partially cover the front of the box. Lift up the second corner along the bottom of the box. Crease the paper around the edges and corners of the box. Use a little tape to secure the paper on place. Lift up the third corner to cover the last side and the rest of the top of the gift. Tape the wrapping paper in place again. The final step is to fold in both sides of the remaining flap of wrapping paper, fold it down over the top of the box and secure it in place with tape.
This method of wrapping presents is incredibly fast and convenient. It does take a little practice to get correct. It can be hard to visualize the creases and folds until you do it a few times. If you practice, then you will eventually be able to wrap gifts of all sizes in as little as 30 seconds.