I was scrambling. I needed a white elephant gift for a holiday office party that was in t-minus one hour. I didn’t have time to go home and grab a random gift from my own useless junk, so I settled for what was in my university’s newspaper’s newsroom. A 2009 First Amendment daily calendar was the most random gift I could find, and now I needed to wrap it to contain the surprise.
Being in a newsroom, it was almost a reflex to grab some old newspaper and wrap away. I’d always thought it was tacky to use newspaper as wrapping paper—it was difficult to find pages that weren’t text-covered and had appealing pictures. And newsprint is dull looking and lifeless.
After some contemplation, I looked at a fellow staffer’s wrapped gift, which she wrapped in magazine ads. The wrapping was glossy like traditional wrapping paper but not as cheesy as dancing snowmen or cheering Santas.
I reached for the nearest magazine and started flipping. I found a couple of similar full-page ads and began clipping and taping. Advertisers spend up to tens and hundreds of thousands of dollars on glossy paper ads that will most likely be thrown away in time, so we might as well reuse them for more than just advertising reasons.
So keep your eyes peeled for ads that you wouldn’t mind seeing your own gifts all wrapped up in this season.