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It's a Wrap: Packaging for Gifts

I've always thoroughly enjoyed buying and giving gifts to the people I love. I like to browse through catalogs and online stores and come up with great ideas for gifts. When I am browsing, I always have a list of gift-giving occasions and gift recipients nearby. That way, when I run across the perfect gift - whether it's jewelry, electronics, handbags, or toys - I can jot down the item on my list next to the person's name. I try to do my shopping ahead of time, and have a special closet in my home to store gifts until I'm ready to wrap them. When it comes time to wrap the gifts, I really try to go the extra mile. As they say, it's the thought that counts, and I try to express my thoughtfulness in both the gifts I select and the ways in which I package them. For example, when I recently gave a DVD player to my son, I put it in a larger box along with a bag of microwavable popcorn, a box of his favorite candy, and a new DVD that I knew he'd love. Likewise, when I give household items, I try to get creative. If I'm giving a set of mixing bowls to a bride-to-be, for example, I'll attach rubber spatulas to the ribbon on the outside of the box. If I'm giving a coffeemaker, I make sure to tuck a bag of freshly ground premium coffee into the box. I recently gave a recipe book as a hostess thank you gift, and tied cookie cutters to the ribbons. When I wrapped the cordless telephone that a close friend wanted for her birthday, I made sure to include an address book with the names, addresses, and phone numbers of her friends and family in the package. I also took the liberty of programming the new telephone's speed dial with her husband's work number, her kids' cell phone numbers, and - of course - my telephone number. My mother was always superstitious about giving knives, saying that if you gift knives, they can cut the recipient. So, like my mother, if I ever give knives as a gift, I always ask the recipient for a penny in return. The only limit to creative gift packaging is your own imagination. So, the next time you wrap a gift, go that extra step by using accessories or packaging that highlight the theme of your gift. Your thoughtfulness is certain to bring an extra smile of delight from your recipient.

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