The beautiful custom of gifting

Gifting is a custom that transcends cultures and communities. It has existed and delighted everyone young and old alike and even today, a gift, is something that one enjoys giving as much as receiving. Along with a gift, comes excitement, wonder, surprise and love.

So why not just look into this beautiful custom and see how it is just as important today as it was ages ago.

To begin with, we all might agree that a gift that is beautifully wrapped, instantly wins hearts. But why? It's all about the positive vibes sent out with the feel of the paper or fabric, the colours, strings and ribbons and finally the little note tied delicately to the gift that conveys a message of love. How lovely a gift can feel!

A simple object on the shelf in a store, turns into something that will be remembered and cherished for long.

And then there is always that wonderful feeling of surprise! What's inside! Let's open it! And that gives way to the beautiful moment of anticipation , unwrapping and holding the gift.

Don't we all remember Julie Andrews in the Sound of Music singing...

"brown paper packages, tied up in strings,

these are a few of my favourite things"

So when and how did wrapping gifts start?

A little research and reading told me that it was fabric that was used to wrap gifts way back around 180 CE in Korea - a symbol of protection and good fortune probably.  Also, the Japanese also had the tradition of "furoshiki" - wrapping gifts minimally yet aesthetically in simple clean fabric.

Above: My attempt at "furoshiki" using a piece of "Paithani" silk 

The transition to paper came around the 1800s - when people started sending paper Christmas cards to friends and family across Europe and America. Gradually, printers started printing patterns on tissue paper to match the cards. And this led to wrapping gifts in delicately printed paper around the 1900s. 

However, actual gift wrapping paper was introduced by Hallmark in 1917. As the story goes, they ran out of tissue paper and started printing on rolls of normal paper for gift wrapping and this became popular all over America.

The LivingClay gift wrapping - sustainable and beautiful

However, today, I think we need to look into the aesthetics as well as the environmental impact that all our little gifts make on the planet - earth friendly is beautiful!

Please do drop a comment below if you found the story interesting.




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