On the twelfth day after the birth of Jesus, following a star, three wise men appeared from the East. Each of them carried a gift in beautiful boxes – gold, frankincense, and myrrh for the baby. They welcomed the arrival of their Messiah on earth and wished him the best for his future life.

Welcoming a newborn with gifts is common in almost all cultures around the world. Gifts are part of every occasion, whether it is a birthday, a wedding, or graduation. Gifts are special. They are a non-verbal way of expressing your affection for someone. Especially when they are wrapped in fancy wrapping paper.

Have you ever received a gift without wrapping? A gift is not a gift unless it’s nicely wrapped and tied. Or at the very least, wrapped in wrapping paper and accompanied by a message. This adds a touch of surprise to your gift. It serves as a keepsake on momentous occasions. For example, at Indian weddings, it is customary to give return gifts to guests. This can be anything from a silver coin to a box of sweets – each item is individually wrapped to commemorate the occasion.

The Importance of Gift Wrapping

Even in ancient times, people used leaves, shells, animal skins, and baskets to wrap their gifts. Then, fortunately, our sense of aesthetics developed. Gift boxes and bundle bags (potli bags) came into fashion. Each kingdom had its gift boxes with insignia on them.

Designing gift boxes is a serious business. Gift wrapping is not only a way to add an element of surprise to your gifts, but it also plays a special role. On the one hand, it symbolizes happiness and on the other hand, it shows your class. Therefore, designers had to follow certain SOPs when designing the envelopes. In Asia, for example, the colors blue, black, and white are categorically avoided on auspicious occasions. In Italy, purple is considered an unlucky color.

Red and yellow are considered symbols of good luck and joy in most Asian cultures. In the earliest representation of gift wrapping, Chih Paos, Chinese gift wrappings were therefore red. In the 2nd century BC, during the reign of the Southern Song Dynasty, Chinese rulers presented monetary gifts to their government officials in chih paos. These envelopes were made of hemp paper, bamboo fibers, and rice stalks. The Chinese were quick to commercialize the paper, as most of their contemporaries wrapped their gifts in cloth.

Fabrics as Gift Wrapping

The concept of gift wrapping began with the use of fabrics. As the handloom gained prominence, people developed their gift fabrics. Around 57 BC, during the reign of the Three Kingdoms, Koreans used bojagi, a silk cloth, to wrap their gifts. This is one of the oldest and most unique forms of Korean textiles. It is believed that bojagi wards off evil and brings good luck. Therefore, it was mainly used to wrap ceremonial gifts at weddings.

Furoshiki or Fukusa is a traditional Japanese cloth originally used to protect temple objects. Then, during the Edo period (1603-1867), the Japanese began using silk and cotton Fukusa to wrap gifts and other goods. The fabric is considered sacred and is also used in Japanese tea ceremonies.

The Hallmark Revolution

But then the Hall brothers introduced patterned wrapping paper – yes, the owners of the famous gift brand ‘Hallmark’ The story goes as follows. They owned a stationery store in Kansas. At Christmas 1917, they ran out of traditional tissue paper for wrapping gifts. Instead, they gave a customer French envelope paper – a colorful designer paper used inside an envelope. It was an instant success. To meet the demand, the Hall brothers began producing large quantities of wrapping paper.

Whether it was Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, or Halloween, Hallmark used each special day to produce gifts and greeting cards for every occasion. There were also themed greeting papers and decorations.

Gift Bags

The 90s were a revolution. Who can forget Princess Diana’s famous biker shorts? Everything was in vogue: metallic pants, silver claw clips, bucket hats. Anything new was cool and accepted. It was the time when gift bags came into the spotlight. Originally, these gift bags were an extension of printed gift boxes with plastic handles. Now such bags come in different sizes and shapes. Designer gift bags with fancy designs and decorative materials are the latest innovation.

Environmentally Friendly Gift Bags

As the world has become more aware of climate change and environmental degradation, mindful gift-giving has become more important. People, especially Millennials, are looking for more sustainable ways to impress their loved ones. In addition, the feeling of giving something personal has overtaken modern traditional gift wrapping.

People are returning to the old traditions and using cotton, silk, and jute fabrics to wrap their children. Many are saving old wrapping paper and reusing it. People are even using old delivery packages, painting them, and writing their messages on them.

E-cards and Gift Cards

We are all digitally connected today. Social media platforms have replaced our social lives, especially since the pandemic. We have become accustomed to finding out about events through digital means. And in our fast-paced and hectic lives, we hardly have time to stop by a gift store to buy gifts for our loved ones. Thank you to e-cards and gift cards, which are our last-minute saviors. Still, digital gifts cannot replace the personal touch that physical gifts provide.


The gift-wrapping industry is constantly evolving. While everything is going digital, the need for a personal touch remains unwavering. For this reason, most brands offer the option of custom gift wrapping. So, when you order that designer suit from your sister’s wish list for her birthday, you’ll receive a gift box with a personalized message. Custom gift wrapping that reflects not only your personality but that of the recipient, is all the rage.

SimplyeVince meets this demand by offering personalized gift boxes that allow you to give a piece of yourself to your loved ones. Check out our wide selection of gift boxes or contact us for bulk orders and personalized gift solutions.