Gift wrapping experts at Willowbrook Shopping Centre have tackled a lot of differently shaped presents through the years.

‘Expert’ Langley gift wrappers share secrets

Sometimes wrapping just isn’t possible, then bags must do.

Anyone given a gift covered in an entire roll of tape, Brady Bunch gift wrap, or mismatched paper that poorly concealed the box knows the value of a good wrapping job.

The elves at Willowbrook Shopping Centre have been hard at gift wrapping since Dec. 7 and will continue right up until Christmas Eve – when they will likely wrap 600 to 700 gifts that one day alone.

These hard-working, hands-on volunteers – who support the Langley School District Foundation – include students, teachers, parents, staff, administrators, and retirees who wrap gifts for a starting cost of $3.

The Langley Advance went behind the scenes at one of the busiest locations in the shopping centre. Susan Cairns, executive director of the foundation, gathered information from a few of her helper elves: Lenny Yun, Lara Petrie, and Laura d’Alva.

“On the first night of wrapping (Dec. 7) the team had to wrap a huge doll house,” Cairns responded when asked what the most unusual item was for concealment, so far this season.

They’ve dealt with scooters, an eight-foot by five-foot picture, and even a giant ball.

When approaching odd-sized or odd-shaped gifts, the team suggests planning the wrap job first and enlisting help of another pair of hands.

This can often mean going through the stash of paper to find the longest roll, and certainly one with enough paper on it.

Lay the paper out first, ensure it will cover the gift completely, then cut. Secure odd angles with tape before completely covering the gift with the paper and folding ends in.

Don’t push or pull paper too hard – this often causes rips.

Keep a bit of slack in the paper to allow for movement – which is the opposite of wrapping a smooth square item where paper should be tight.

Of course, some items are just too hard to wrap, and if there’s no box handy – go with a gift bag. Elves at Willowbrook often do.

Just remember to pretty it up with some tissue and ribbon.

When dealing with gifts from Santa, Cairns said, “Make sure that the wrapping paper is different from the stuff you have at home. Lots of parents come to our wrapping centre because they want unfamiliar paper so it looks like it came from Santa.”

Kids are surprisingly observant about paper, tags, and other items that surround Santa gifts.

Not only should the paper be different, but the writing on the tag should also be unfamiliar.

When the elves wrap their own gifts at home, Cairns noted they strive for a lot of colour under the tree. Reindeer and Santa wrap is popular for kids, silver and gold for women, and green and black are trending for men’s gifts.

Of course, coordinating ribbons and bows can bring the package to life, Cairns said.

Another trend this year is eco-friendly ribbon and wrap.


Just Posted

Power failure hits Langley downtown

Electricity was out for about three hours.

Aldergrove Mall site becomes election issue

Letter from developers supporting current Township council sparks flurry of responses

WATCH: Less parking, more public space in plans for Langley City’s downtown

Two options for Fraser Highway’s one way section are up for debate.

Retired football kicker wanted play hockey as a kid, but ‘it just wasn’t in the budget’

Surrey-raised Paul McCallum now backs KidSport and its annual fundraiser set for Friday

Cloverdale CHAMP celebrates War Amps on its 100th anniversary

Child Amputee Program provides financial and peer support

Live bear cam: Let the fishing begin

Watch bears in Alaska’s Katmai National Park catch their dinner live.

B.C. electric vehicle subsidy fund drains faster than expected

Province adds another $10 million to incentive fund

Fraser Valley horse trainer suing feed mill after death of five animals

Alicia Harper seeking $500,000 to $1 million in losses and damages from Hi-Pro Feeds

‘I’ll never forgive you:’ Victim impact statements at hearing for Calgary killer

Curtis Healy was found guilty of first-degree murder Friday in the death of Dawns Baptiste.

Man accused of mailing bomb to his brother in B.C. has died

Leon Nepper was found in ‘medical distress’ at the Whitehorse Correctional Centre on Sunday

It’s shaping up to be quite a finish in CFL’s West Division standings

The Calgary Stampeders (10-2) are first, four points ahead of the Saskatchewan Roughriders (8-5).

Twice-convicted killer set to inherit multimillion-dollar company found guilty of father’s murder

A Toronto judge ruled that Dellen Millard is guilty of first-degree murder in death of his father,

Fraser Health to buy two private MRI clinics in Surrey, Abbotsford

New clinics will provide 2,000 more MRIs by fiscal year-end

Campaign seeks to add Farsi to B.C. school curriculum options

Group wants Farsi added to list of nine languages in policy covering second language requirements

Most Read