Although I always enter the holiday season with a certain amount of reticence, I inevitably find myself drawn into the whirling vortex of gift-giving, often searching far and wide for the perfect gift wrap and packaging, because, as we all know - it's all about presentation. Forget "the thought that counts" and all that noise - packaging counts! So here are a few of my top picks for some of the coolest gift wrap around. If you don't impress them with the gift, you can at least dazzle and distract them with the packaging, right?
7. Geeky Wrapping Paper by Think Geek
Wow, this is ridiculous. I love this stuff. Who doesn't want a bunch of Christmasbots dressed up in elfin and holiday attire adorning their package? Developed by the ThinkGeek Gift Labs TM, this gift wrap line includes a binary code version -- all Matrix-like in neon green on black with "wrapping paper" written in binary on it (er.. how do you spell "nerd"?). Other options include handwritten scientific equations on graph paper, and "Have a Satisfactory, Non-denominational Capitalist Wintertime Gift-giving Season" varieties.
6. Nineteen Seventy Three papers
Jon Burgerman's demented doodles
Nineteen Seventy Three comes correct with some of the coolest stuff around. Their featured artists boast cult followings with big names like Dido as clients. Jon Burgerman's papers, whose designs consist of overlapping layers of bizarre and funky cartoon characters, are way too nice to be discarded, while Berlin-based pixel artists reach new ground with their 3D illustrations, blending imagination with iconic urban landscapes and pop culture.
Source: Nineteen Seventy Three
5. Blooming Wrapping Paper
How does your gift wrap grow?
Wrapping paper has become a point of contention amongst the ecologically-minded, and if you are disconcerted by the waste produced by traditional glossy paper, you might want to check out biodegradable "Blooming Wrapping Paper". These handmande rolls come with perennial and annual wildflower seeds embedded in their sheets, so once you're done ripping through your presents you can go directly to your backyard and plant the paper in your garden. How cool is that? The design is chartreuse or coffee antique suns on a white background -- not the most compelling print, but the concept behind it does it justice.
Source: Uncommon Goods
4. Dude Wrap for Whimsy Press
Duuuude... This stuff rocks! You know, I don't really think most guys get into the whole idea of presentation when it comes to gifts. Often they just tear through the packaging without so much as a glance, and get straight to the goods beneath. But this stuff will surely catch their attention. Paper Invaders appeals to the lost days of Atari (*sniff*), while Bugz brings back some visceral memories of squishing many-legged creatures in the backyard. Sticks and Stones appeals to his inner pirate (yarg!) and Burnin' Rubber hooks the need for speed.
Source: Whimsy Press
3. Happy Merry Whatever
Wrap it up Gift wrap can be so pedestrian, especially this time of year. Red, green, gold and maybe some white, thrown in for good measure - if you're feeling especially bold you might opt for a dash of blue, or maybe some silver. Yawn! Get out of the box and try something new, something spectacularly unconventional, like Sandwich wrap, perhaps. Happy Merry Whatever serves up a fresh plate of sassy for your holiday wrapping needs. If you have a chef in your family you might consider Plastic wrap, which showcases various culinary leftovers covered in cling wrap. For a doctor, maybe Bandage wrap, resembling an ACE bandage, fits the bill. Butcher-, Bubble- and Shawl-wraps are other strapping choices in this selection.
Source: Happy Merry Whatever
2. Mr. French Pop-Ink Gift Wrap
Stranger Manger indeed
What a goldmine this is. From retro prints and rich solids to iconoclastic figures and Asian motifs, Mr. French brings some original flavor to the business of gift wrap. Choose from Stranger Manger, Glazed and Confused, Tweet and Repeat, or Dog-On-It to meet all your wacky and unconventional wrapping paper needs. Maybe not appropriate for the mother-in-law, but certainly worth a few smirks within the right circle.
Source: Mr. French
1. Color Changing Gift Boxes
Magic BoxesAnd finally, I feel the need to mention a cool wrapping paper alternative. If you're too lazy to spend a few minutes slapping some paper on a box and taping it up, why not try these lighted gift boxes? These LED-ridden freaks of nature alternate between red, green, white and blue. You'll certainly get points for the dazzle factor, if nothing else. Sizes range from 175 mm and 75 mm, each requiring 3 AAA batteries.
So, there ya have it. A tiny selection in the world of papers for you to start your holiday collection with. I'm sure there's countless more gift wrap choices out there, so if you discover some noteworthy finds, let me know!