Shaatra weighs in on:Gifting with Glamor– How to present that present
with a pop of pizzazz.

This month’s expert:Gitty Israel, owner of The Swag Bag, Custom Favor Bags for
All Occasions and All Things Party.

Want your Hanukah gift to have the perfect presentation this holiday? “If it’s the unexpected, go for it!” says Gitty Israel, owner of The Swag Bag. As for actual giftwrap, “There are so many fabulous wraps out there you can use for a sharp, unusual look!” Gitty points out. But even something like newspaper with a bold color accenting it can do the trick in a striking way. “Anything around you, anything in a 99-cent store, can be repurposed to make your present look awesome. Use twine instead of ribbon. Feathers, crystals, and branches can go a long way. Got a spare belt buckle? Bangle? (Costume, of course!) Run a ribbon right through these around-the-house items for a creative effect. Those cheap fake flowers, adds Gitty, may seem tacky in the store, but snipped and pasted on a gift, will look breathtaking.

About It!

You can forget about incorporating too many colors into your gift’s presentation. Sticking to one or two colors with a hint of another will keep your gift wrap looking sharp and sophisticated. “Less is more,” says Gitty. (She notes children’s gifts as an exception, as those can be real fun with a burst of many bright shades.) How to choose? Gitty recommends choosing colors opposite one another on a color wheel for colors that really “go.” Orange and blue, turquoise and navy, pink and green, or gold and black are some sharp possibilities.

How would you recommend wrapping an irregular-shaped gift?

Gitty: “Out of the box” is best, quite literally. Sometimes, the best way to gift that gift is to avoid wrapping it up altogether. Instead, display your present (using Glue Dots) on a “stage” of wrapped foam. Use clear cellophane and adorn your masterpiece by the stage or use gathered cellophane with added embellishments. And the sky’s the limit with those: metallic dreidels, Hanukah gelt or any glittery objects will give your gift that dazzling finish. If it will be presented at or after a party, I find it cute and easy to accent a displayed gift with a theme-related knickknack. For example, a Lego figurine keychain fastened to a gift can really finish off a party’s theme in an adorable way.

Shopping List

Gitty highlights several items that will make your gift wrapping experience a lot simpler:

Sharp scissors– If you’re fighting with a plastic flower or ribbon or strip of twine, snipping and slicing for all your worth, then you know your scissors are not sharp enough.

Glue Dots– Glue Dots are utterly useful little objects, especially when it comes to packaging that present or gluing items down in a displayed gift. (See Q & A) You’ll be stuck on these little dots once you try them!

Double-sided tape– Using double-sided tape will lend your gift wrapped item that professional, perfect finish. “Hem” the edges of the wrapping paper by folding it over once (about one inch) prior to folding it onto the actual gift box, pasting each fold down with two-sided tape.

Food for Thought –
Gifts and the Law

Hanukah parties, birthdays, weddings, housewarming celebrations – all perfect venues for gift-giving. Appreciation in the form of gifts and tips to a bus driver, waiter, or teacher may be welcome, too. But be careful – gifts to government officials, policemen, judges, and the like may not be welcome, or legal, for that matter, as they are construed as bribery. The legalities of gift-giving are comprehensive and are laid down to members of these groups right from the outset of their careers.