I have recently been accused by two trusted academics (my blogging professor and my mother) of being anti-gift bag. "Do you hate gift bags?" they asked me. "Because you never blog about them, and you always emphasize the importance that coincides putting effort into wrapping. You must detest gift bags."
Well. I was stymied.
Because I haven't ever given it much thought, honestly. On the one hand, bags can be a fast way to wrap easily, and they could look mighty pretty. On the other hand, it's the definition of lazy with a capital L. You know I love just a little more thought and effort than, let's say, tying your gift up in an ugly shroud of neon polyester. But who am I to criticize laziness anyway, huh? I'M LAZY! So that argument, I must dismiss.
All in all, I've decided, yes, I like gift bags. I really do! My reasons?
1) They are time savers. There are some birthdays that EVERYONE seems to have. September 9th? I know like five people with that exact birthday (I've since determined that New Year's comes nine months before that date, hmmm.....). Nevertheless, if you must wrap five separate tokens of affection, your feelings associated with those tokens might be considerably less affectionate after all that cutting and taping and folding. A gift bag can save the hassel.
2) They are easily reusable. Unless you get really pumped about opening presents like Nintendo 64 kid, it's much simpler to salvage a gift bag unscathed and pass it forward to future receivers of your generosity.
3) They CAN look really pretty. I have a friend who goes to the Fashion Institute downtown, and I feel like I'm treading on extreme turf whenever I give her a gift; it's probably not going to be cool enough, but I try. A couple summers ago for her birthday I found a nautical-themed gift bag in our wrapping closet. It had like, sailboats on it or something. Very Connecticut. But I stuffed it with clean, white tissue paper and draped a fresh hydrangea from my mother's garden over the edge. My friend was highly impressed. This is an example where I think that gift looked better than anything I could have wrapped that day.
4) Sometimes they have handles, and it makes the gift more portable. Does this really need explaining?
This gift bag is simple and well constructed. (Also, something about animals can always work). This particular bag is from Papyrus, a stationary store that I LOVE but I don't get to feature here very often because they don't sell a lot of gift wrap. They have a big selection of gift bags though; maybe I should be taking this as a cue.
So what's your take on gift bags? Lovely, or lazy?