It’s a wrap

31 12 2009

This is half – one of many – of a large Starbucks® Coffee Company takeout paper bag that served a major purpose for me this holiday season!


An array of Starbucks® Coffee Company paper bags to choose from. All pretty enough to serve the purpose.

I THINK I would make a very good gift wrapper.  If ever that is what they are called.  I’m talking about the doer of the deed – not the paper.

To be a good wrapper of gifts you have to be very good with your hands and I am very good with mine.  You have to be creative and I guess I am.  You have to be someone who doesn’t mind working under pressure, surrounded by an organized chaos of all kinds of adhesive tape known to mankind (scotch, masking, packing, double-sided), globs of glue, puddles of paste, sheets of sometimes tacky paper and rolls of sometimes even tackier ribbon choices.  And I guess you have to be someone who wouldn’t mind sharing elbow space with a few other “wrap artists” as you get bossed around by demanding customers.

I realized this first hand while patiently waiting for my turn at the very busy, space-limited National Bookstore gift-wrapping section at Town.  No, I wasn’t waiting to have my purchases wrapped.  I was just there for the ribbon – the understated yet elegant yellow ribbon.  While extolling in my head the virtues of one shade of yellow over another (I had plenty of time for a debate), it was then that I noticed how insensitive this young lady was in demanding the ribbons to be tied and cut a certain number of ways.  I was so tempted to tell her off, to tell her to do the wrapping herself.  But the fake Coach bag she was brandishing caused too much interference in my neural traffic that I got stumped and didn’t know what to address first.  Hahaha!

Going back to my gift-wrapping.  For this year, I exerted effort to minimize my carbon imprint and opted to recycle paper.  I realized I had amassed tens and tens of Starbucks® Coffee Company’s large takeout paper bags.  So I tore them open, cut the uneven bottoms, removed the handles, and they were ready to wrap things with!  Each large bag yielded two sheets.  As if channeling my Japanese origami phase in my youth, I used each whole sheet and just folded and folded without cutting any of the excess.

Every gift I handed out was lovingly ensconced inside these recycled sheets, finished off with the decoration of a classic ribbon (in yellow!).  For the gift cards, I used fragrance testers I would collect from duty free shops whenever I traveled.  These are the pretty cards they spray the fragrance on for you to try.  Basically, a judgment call based on purely the top notes when you are pressed for time.

The gifts I wrapped may not be as polished as what the professionals would make, but they carried a part of me with them.  And more than anything, I guess they earned Batman’s stamp of approval.

Some stuff waiting for their turn with the "wrap" artist!


This latest installment from Jessica Zafra got garbed in recycled paper. Very shabby chic.


Two down, many more to go. I didn't sleep this night – first of three gift-wrapping marathon nights!


A couple of my work get appreciated.


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