When it comes to gift-giving, usually our focus is on the gift itself—is it the right size and color? Will it delight the recipient, or miss the mark? But we forget that how the gift is given is often the most memorable part of a gift exchange.
There’s a moment, frozen in time, when the person you care about is holding a mystery in their hands! Their experience as their fingers rip through paper and pull apart ribbons is as important a part of the gifting as what’s in the box. Opening a gift, after all, brings us back to childhood birthday parties and mornings in our coziest pajamas, the scent of pine needles and cookies baking in the air, or evenings by the candlelight of the menorah.
So, how can we perfect the art of gift-wrapping to make our holiday parties or care packages just a little more magical? We decided to speak to an expert in gift presentation: Cascata Gifts Founder Kristy Parsons. Since her company’s mission has been curating intimate, meaningful, and beautifully wrapped gifts, we thought there was no better person to offer us insights about gift giving with purpose and style.
When was Cascata Gifts founded and what was the catalyst for the idea?
After spending the first part of my career in the corporate retail world, I decided I needed a change. At that time, I was experiencing a lot of personal loss. I had to say goodbye to an aunt and two uncles, and my best friend was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer.
After her diagnosis, I felt so helpless and wanted to find small ways to remind her she was not alone. I began sending her flowers at each chemo session until she finally told me I had to stop. Not because she didn’t love the flowers, but because the hospital prohibited flowers in her room due to her form of cancer. From that day forward, I changed my strategy and started sending her cancer care packages.
When I left my corporate job, I began doing some soul searching. I dug into research and discovered a hole in the market: carefully curated, thoughtful gifts with a personal touch.
I have seen my loved ones experience triumph, happiness, hardship, and loss; often within the same year. I wanted to start a business where I could help others share joy, sincerity, thoughtfulness, celebration and love.
Cascata was founded by a desire to create cancer care and sympathy gifts, but we quickly grew to cater to all of life’s events. We now offer unique gifting solutions for baby, wedding, corporate gifting, custom gifting, housewarming, client & so much more. For each box sold, we give back to “Feed The Kids Columbus”.
What do you feel is the secret to being a good gift giver?
Being a good listener. Giving the perfect gift without asking comes easily when listening and being present during meaningful conversations and time spent together.
What are some crowd pleaser gifts that are sure to spark joy?
Near or far, the key to sparking joy is understanding what the recipient needs without them having to say it. This year has been trying for many on so many levels, so the importance of a thoughtful gift is more important than ever. I absolutely love the idea of putting meaning behind the gifts being sent. For example, send a throw and add “sending warm hugs from afar” or a candle and add “sending you love and light.”
Gift-wrapping is a skill and not one that everyone has. What are your favorite tips for beginners?
The easiest way to elevate your gift wrap is to start with double sided tape, fabric ribbon and lined wrapping paper. Lined wrapping paper will ensure you cut to the exact dimensions of the box you are wrapping. Double sided tape with hide all seams, and ribbon (rather than a foil bow), adds an extra beautiful touch. Oh, and always tuck the seams!
What are some of your favorite non-traditional gift-wrapping ideas?
I love using scarves that could double as the wrapping AND the gift (like this one from Chico’s). Also natural dyed fabrics and burlap squares easily wrap gifts as well. With an added garnish of pine or holly, it is the perfect wrap (and oh so easy!).
Can you share some suggestions for extra chic gift wrapping this season?
Getting a beautifully wrapped gift is a gift in itself!
I love mixing fun and interesting paper and ribbon with a tied bow they have to undo. Adding an actual tied bow builds up the suspense of the gift and lets us savor the moment a little longer. And I love finding special materials! The first step is picking out fun, mixed textiles that look great together. I love mixing animal print, stripes and classic plaid. Fun ribbon is the perfect touch followed by a beautiful garnish – dried florals, pine, holly or any fun plant in your yard!
Gift Ideas from Chico’s
Now you know how to wrap a gift beautifully…but what if you still don’t know what to put in the box? Here are some in-a-pinch gift ideas for the special ladies in your life.
- Keep Her Cozy with Cashmere: We love this black jeweled cashmere scarf—and so will she! Gift-wrapping tip: Use a cashmere bow to foreshadow what’s inside the box.
- Bling it On: She’ll shine like a diamond in this aptly named Over The Top Crystal Necklace. Gift-wrapping tip: Bejeweled wrapping paper…because no, you can never have too much sparkle!
- Top Off Her Holidays: Keep her warm in style with a metallic knit and faux fur pom pom hat. Bonus: add matching metallic fingerless gloves so she’ll be all set for a white Christmas. Gift-wrapping tip: instead of a bow, use a mini pom-pom!
Explore all of Chico’s gift ideas—shop The Holiday Gift Guide at Chicos.com.