By Hilary Sheinbaum
While December is a popular month for giving presents (*checks bank statement for proof*), the truth is that gifting is a year round tradition. Between birthdays, holidays, weddings, anniversaries, and all other kinds of celebrations, there’s always a reason to wrap and deliver thoughtful items. (Alternatively: you also don’t need an excuse — or date on the calendar — to give something great. Wink, wink.)
For Min Polley and Elise Nach, the co-founders of The Gifterie, gifting isn’t about shipping any ‘ol gift. It’s about showing thoughtfulness above all else. They unwrap how to decorate and shop for a unique present.
“Gift wrapping is an art, but everyone can learn to wrap and package gifts, and look like an expert!” says Polley. She says beautiful wrapping paper always takes it up a level, but sometimes wrapping paper can be pricey — which is an added expense that’s just going to be thrown away.
“Learning how to tie a bow with ribbon is probably the one most important techniques to try and do,” she says, comparing this skill to tying shoelaces. With thousands of ribbons out there — which can get very overwhelming — Polley prefers hand dyed silk ribbons or a traditional and timeless grosgrain ribbon.
Adding some dried florals to the outside of the package, like lavender or a fox tail, is another simple way to add a little detail, she says. “It’s a delicate touch that brings a pretty smile to any recipient,” adds Polley. “We also love a tone on tone wrapping that will surely elevate the gift itself.” Her wrapping of choice? Matte black paper with black ribbon, or navy and navy.
Polley says that adding a personal touch to any gift makes the gift and the recipient feel that much more special. “It will seem like you put a lot more thought into the gift,” she says.
“As we always like to say, ‘Happiness doesn’t result from what we get. But from what we give.’”
Although Polley admits that it can be hard to pay attention to every detail of information that friends mention, if you are able to make small mental notes, it will go a long way. An easy way to save ideas in real time is by utilizing your cell phone. “We highly recommend using the notes app on your phone,” she suggests. “It’s so simple now to jot things down and always revert back to it. Then you’ll seem like a genius when the time comes to get a gift for that friend.”
“Small businesses have boomed in the last few years, especially the last year with the pandemic,” says Nach. “We try to shop locally and buy artisanal products when we can.” The Gifterie does this because they want to support small companies who are making remarkable products.
Not only does this gesture make the gift more unique, it shows a little piece about the gift giver (ahem, that’s you!) as well — especially if you are gifting someone from a different area, says Nach. “Just like anyone that loves to travel and pick up small tokens from the city or country they are visiting, gifts with a local accent always goes a long way,” she says.
It’s a lovely gesture to bring a host/hostess gift when you are invited over to a friend’s home, especially if this is one of the first times you are gathering at their home, says Nach. Hot tip: arrive with something unexpected.
“Everyone has the go-to bottle of wine, she says. “Sometimes it may come across as the ‘oh shoot! We need to bring something, just grab a bottle of wine’ moment.” Instead of a bottle of vino, Nach says — if you are able to plan ahead — grab a few extra of your favorite items that you know others will love as well and save them for gifts.
“Friends always ask for recommendations on all sorts of things, so why not share the wealth and give a gift of some of your favorites? It’s a great conversation starter,” she says. Examples include delicious cookies or cool charcuterie boards with cheat sheets to lay them out. “Some of our favorite host/hostess gifts are room sprays or soy candle wax and warmer, s’mores DIY kits, Olive Oil & Vinegar from your favorite restaurant or popcorn movie night kits.” she says
With these inspiring recommendations, we can’t wait for the next opportunity to buy and wrap gifts for friends and loved ones.