It used to be a complimentary service at many stores every time the holiday season rolled around, but gift wrapping is becoming more and more rare as each year passes, NBC Palm Springs was only able to find a group of volunteers still holding on to the tradition.
Just like seasonal greeting cars and door to door caroling, gift wrapping seems to be the next holiday tradition going down the tubes.
It could be a shift in consumer habits as less and less physical retailers provide gift wrapping services, or a generational shift as Mintel, a British market researcher found less than half of twenty-somethings in the United Kingdom partake in holiday traditions.
On this side of the Atlantic, Roak Ely, a local who graduated college fits the study’s data, a young person with little interest in holiday traditions.
Ely prefers someone else wrapping his presents, “Usually if I can get it done online, I just have them do it.”
The only place in the desert we found still wrapping presents is a pop-up wrapping station in the Palm Desert Westfield mall, it does not charge but donations are accepted that go towards the YMCA.
Dallas Williams, a coordinator with the YMCA, said, “Most people that come in on December 23 and are just in a panic, they want their stuff wrapped but unbeknownst to them they’re actually doing a lot of good to the community.”
Williams said the trick for a perfectly wrapped present is to begin with only the amount of wrapping paper needed. He said the large surfaces of the box are covered first and then the sides of the box are covered by folding the leftover paper.
But Indio mom, Christina Rojas said she does not need gift wrapping lessons. She still wraps all of her presents herself, she said, “It’s not work you’re wrapping someone’s gift that you love, it is not work at all it is joyful.”
She said part of the joy is the surprise of unwrapping a gift, but wrapped present or not, it all depends on what Santa list you are on, naughty or nice?
Santa Clause at the Westfield Mall said, “What list are you on? Because you know what list you’re on.”
The volunteers from the YMCA will be on the holiday wrapping station until Christmas Eve, and will be open everyday until then.