As Charissa is cuddling new baby N, I’m coming to you from Shanghai for this guest post and so excited to have been asked to contribute a little something from my part of the world.
Unlike our neighbor Japan, wrapping is not customary when giving gifts here, and gift bags are often used in lieu of wrapping. It’s also not uncommon to see gifts not wrapped at all and presented in its original retail bag with the assumption that the receiver will be impressed with where it was purchased and its perceived value. Sometimes a branded box rules all.
The irony is that China produces most of the world’s wrapping paper, ribbons, boxes and stationery. Unfortunately though, almost none of it is for domestic consumption and instead is exported to the rest of the world. What we’re left locally is gift paper that is low in quality with terrible designs. I was faced with this challenge myself when I moved to Shanghai in 2005 and made the bold move to start up Paper Tiger Shanghai, in order to fill this niche.
Lucy, thanks so much for sharing! It makes me want to go back to school so I can research a dissertation on gift wrapping around the globe. Readers, do you have any tidbits to share about gift giving in other countries?
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