Watching this video the other day made me recall how bad I am at wrapping gifts.
While I am generally great at the whole arts and crafts thing, somehow, my gift wrapping skills would never get an A+.
When I first started working at the flower shop, it was super easy. We wrapped plants’ pots in material where I basically had a square piece of material that I placed the pot in the middle of, went around its sides gathering up the material and stapling it together, then added a ribbon to conceal said staples and that was it.
No fine lines, no issues about it not being symmetrical, it looked good no matter what.
At this other shop however, where people needed merchandise gift wrapped several times every day… I avoided it as much as possible. I wasn’t even good at wrapping boxes – I know, they have all symmetrical sides and everything, yet, I was a disaster.
I did my best to work the cash register, go help someone get a box from the highest of shelves (that also involved needing a ladder, which I had to bring out from the storage room – awesome stalling technique!), do elaborate calculus for how much it’d cost to change the curtains and drapes in an entire house, try to catch a mouse (okay, just that one time, but it was fun!), replace the tape in the dispensers, search for scissors unnecessarily, etc.
For the first three months, I always underestimated how much wrapping paper I needed. My colleagues quickly picked up on the fact and first checked the drawers, and used up my mis-cut pieces of paper.
And on the odd occasions that I did cut enough paper and the two sides not even simply met, but also folded over each other, the paper either a) ripped during my next moves, or if not b) it looked sort of like what a bomb might look like when wrapped in gift-wrap. (I’m guessing the fact that it might explode in any second is why they’re not wrapped prettily with nice sharp edges. Feel free to chime in if you’ve ever wrapped one.) ;)
Other than that, I tried to redirect, so my first question toward customers was "We have all these beautiful gift bags, would you like that instead of the single-colored paper?” This worked 70% of the time. As for the remaining 30% of the time, I’m sure the customers regretted not taking me up on my offer. My colleague A. and I used to joke that after finishing wrapping the gift we would’ve been entitled to say “I tried to warn you.”
With time, I got better, even odd shaped objects started getting easier to wrap. But to this day, if I don’t have to and unless it’s a box, gifts I give go in a gift bag or decorative box one can reuse.
Seems funny now, but just to avoid wrapping something myself in the past, I’ve given gifts in jars, learned how to make my own newspaper gift bags and had my grandmother sew fabric Christmas gift bags we have used every year since.
So now I’m wondering: are you as bad a gift wrapping as I am, or are you great at it? If the latter, here’s another question – how in the world do you achieve it?