It's usually the thought that counts when it comes to gift giving, but new research indicates that the wrapping is just as important.
With Christmas now a little more than three weeks away, Victoria University has issued research into the etiquette of wrapping.
PhD student Elizabeth Porublev said the way a person wrapped a gift could provide certain insights into the relationship between the giver and receiver.
''A naked gift can indicate the low worth of relationship or that the giver has an unwillingness to personally invest in the gift,'' she said.
Ms Porublev's research identified three types of gift-wrappers: passionate wrappers, conventional wrappers and detached wrappers.
She said passionate wrappers saw their use of paper and ribbon as a form of ''personal creativity'', while conventional wrappers simply regarded gift wrapping as a necessary social norm.
Ms Porublev said it was important to recognise the significance of gift wrapping, an industry which Hallmark listed as worth $2.9 billion a year.
''Just as we remove price tags to remove all commercial aspects of the gifts, so wrapping extends that process of turning a commodity into something sacred,'' she said.
The significance of a nicely wrapped gift has been recognised by the team at Shop Handmade, which is expanding to facilitate an extensive gift wrapping.
Co-owner Rachel Evagelou said the presentation of gifts had become increasingly important as people found themselves with less cash to spend on the present itself.
''With the Global Financial Crisis, people are thinking more about the gifts they are giving and they follow through with extra thought and time with the wrapping,'' she said. ''It allows the giver the opportunity to put their own character into the wrapping.''
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