Gift bags are more ubiquitous than wrapping paper, and for good reason, all you have to do with a gift sack is insert the gift(s) and maybe some tissue paper, whereas wrapping paper requires a flat surface, scissors, tape, and a bit of patience, time, and pride in your work to get the gift bundled neatly up. (I, for one, prefer that the edges of the paper are folded under for a crisper look.)
So, for the giver, gift bags are convenient, time-saving, and satisfying. But for the receiver, it's not always such a positive experience, and it's often even embarrassing. Here's why: when someone receives a gift in a gift bag, that person can't be sure if the one gift she's removed from the sack is the only gift or if there are more hidden in the caves and crevices created by the tissue paper. Even when the tissue paper is removed, sometimes the bottom flap of the gift sack looks like an envelope, and if the receiver tries to remove it, it provides an awkward moment for both giver and receiver. Wrapping paper, on the other hand, is straight forward. When the paper is removed, the present is sitting there for all to see.
My advice when using gift sacks is two-fold:
1. If you are the giver of the gift(s) in the gift sack, don't require that the sack is opened in your presence. In other words, drop the gift off. But don't watch the receiver open the gift. This way, the receiver can rummage through the empty sack without experiencing humiliation.
2. If you are the receiver of the gift(s) in a gift sack and the giver is watching you open the gift, flip the sack on the side and slide out all of the contents, tissue and all. Then, proceed to unwrap the insides much like you would open a wrapping paper gift.
And if you don't want to worry about the above methodology, just relax. It's okay if you look a little greedy because you're digging through a present-less sack. It's okay if you didn't buy your friend five little side gifts to go along with the one main gift. It's all okay. Really.
- ► 2010 (11)
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