Gift packaging etiquette?

I have a few questions here. About gift packaging to be exact.

The first question I have is about reusing the gift BAGS. I was raised on this one, and I've never cared much or given it much though either way. Sometimes the same bags pop up under our tree -- who cares? As a person with two jobs and tons of coworkers, presents are constantly coming in for my mom and she's giving tons of stuff out. So is reusing a gift bag tacky? What are you supposed to do with all those gift bags besides trash them? Obviously, questioning reusing bags is "cheap" -- but you ARE talking to a girl raised in bankruptcy.

The other question I have is on quality of gift-wrapping supplies. First, the tape. Now I never think about tape -- I just go to the store and buy it. I usually end up buying the cheapest on the shelf -- it's just tape to hold the folds of the paper together. But the other day, while watching a commercial for the shiny new Scott "contour design" tape, I commented that "why do you care what your [throw-away] tape dispenser looks like?" This comment was met by a "not everyone is cheap." Mind you, that was a low-blow. But does buying the store brand TAPE make you cheap? I mean it's tape -- why buy the clear tape thats 2.79 when I can get the clear tape thats 99 cents? I never thought that made me "cheap."

The next 'question' I have is on wrapping paper. I say, the only time you need to get the really expensive paper is when it's a wedding or a gift that is by itself. Under my dads tree, there's a good 50 individually wrapped presents. These presents will be unwrapped all at once and the paper thrown away. Why should they be wrapped in hallmark paper? I also like the cheesy kinda paper. I can appreciate the gorgeous papers, yes -- but I like when my presents are wrapped with goofy penguins.

While looking for paper this year, I looked at BN, Target, Hallmark, & Walmart. I ended up going with Walmart because those fucking reindeer holding up the "NOEL" sign cracked me up. I would also like to note that penguin wrapping paper was nowhere to be found this season -- whats up with that? I didn't buy the 8-dollar wrapping paper sold at my place of work because I thought it was a waste of money. I didn't give this a second thought until I took my presents over to put under dad's Christmas tree. I presented the reindeer wrapping paper and was met with a very sarcastic (and rude) "Oh, so you're buying everything at BN now?" Then, of course, I had to reply that it actually came from Walmart & I couldn't afford BN wrapping paper anyway -- and I totally felt like white trash right then.

So I'm cheap? I never give gifts that look bad -- ask anyone. I take pride in wrapping and tying bows and such. But I don't see why the wrapping matters enough to make you "cheap" if you use the 99-cent tape. Isn't the GIFT what matters?

I'm not claiming to be upper class here -- I make 50 bucks a week. I HAVE to be frugal. I'd love to give everyone cars for Christmas and pay 50 dollars for a gigantic bow to go on the top -- but I'm not quite in that income bracket. And it angers me for anyone to imply that my gift means any less because I didn't pay 2 dollars more for my tape and 10 dollars more for the paper. And if I literally have a stack of 20 gift bags sitting on the counter that suffered all the wear and tear of sitting on someone's desk before being handed to me and then folded and stacked with the rest -- well I really don't feel too terribly bad about grabbing one of those to package a candle in.

4 Comments:

Anonymous Leah said...

dude. my two cents:

- ALWAYS reuse gift bags. that's what they're meant for. In fact, my mom labelled bags years ago, and we get the same bags every year -- I shit you not. I've got a green reindeer bag that I've had for years.

ooh, more later. door :-)

11:52 PM  
Blogger Becki said...

I don't see anything wrong with reusing gift bags, as long as they're still in decent shape.

As for the tape, I'm pretty sure that the "contour design" tape holder is meant to be re-used. And if not, then buying it is pretty ridiculous. You'd just be throwing away money that could have gone towards a gift.

12:19 PM  
Anonymous Leah said...

my last few thoughts: anyone who cares about how you packaged their gifts is a little weird. we've got stuff wrapped in comics, brown paper, etc under our tree. then again, we like to go for eccentric.

oh, and don't feel bad for not buying expensive tape. again, who cares?

7:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ya don't feel bad or cheap, that's not cheap just practical. My family always saves the gift bags to use again, we even save the bows if they're in good shape. We sometimes have wrapping paper but we also use the comics alot to wrap stuff too. It's not what you got someone or how you wrapped it, it's the fact that you thought of them. If they want to complain about their gift, that's their problem not yours.

8:52 AM  

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