Christmas Past

The fascinating stories behind your favorite Christmas traditions

Wrapping Paper: More Interesting than you think!

Wrapping paper: More interesting than you think

A nicely wrapped gift is a perfect symbol of the holiday season. Wrapping paper makes for a lovely presentation and heightened excitement. And studies even show it can affect how much you like a gift. But it’s even more interesting than that. Have fun learning a thing or two in this Christmas Past short.

The wrapping paper of Christmas Past

Wrapping paper traces back to ancient China. Commercial gift wrap started out as white or single colored tissue paper. It wasn’t until the early 20th century that the decorative variety would arrive. Early decorative wrap often showed a simple repeating pattern, such as holly, a wreath, or Santa Claus’s face.

Interested in more?

Check out episode 7 of the podcast for a deeper dive into the surprisingly interesting history of wrapping paper. You’ll hear from author and historian Pat Lavin. Her book, Welcome to Dennison Manufacturing, is a history of the company that was once America’s leading maker of wrapping paper. You’ll also learn how the idea of wrapping Christmas gifts didn’t happen on its own. The influence of the media, a growing market for store bought goods, and the changing face of Christmas home decorating all played a part.

How about you?

These days, you have your pic of sources to show you how to perfectly wrap a gift. Maybe it’s a Pinterest pin, or a YouTube video, or a Martha Stewart article.  These are usually ornate affairs with elaborate paper folding and flourishes like holly sprigs or cinnamon sticks. But I remember getting some gifts wrapped only in the newspaper comics section. Stick-on bows and scissor-curled ribbon also featured heavily.

What about you? Were the gifts of your Christmases past photo-worthy spectacles? Or plain and simple? Do you have any memories of unwrapping a special gift? Or trying to guess its contents before opening? Well, that could have the makings of a great Christmas memory to share on the podcast. Contact me any time of year to discuss being on the upcoming season of the show!


Media credits

Thannoid — Blue Dot Sessions, via Free Music Archive

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