Gift wrapping encloses a gift in some sort of material. Wrapping paper is a kind of paper designed for gift wrapping. ... A wrapped or boxed gift finished with ribbon and topped with a decorative bow is part of the Christmas tradition.
If gifts weren't wrapped, most of the fun of receiving it would be gone. Part of the fun of receiving a gift is the anticipation and curiosity that builds up the wonder of what the gift is. If the recipient could see what the gift was immediately, the anticipation and surprise would be lost.
Before gifts were being wrapped and put under a tree for children, they would get a stocking (sock) of theirs, (the biggest they had) and find it filled on Christmas morning with fruit, sweets, and perhaps a small toy.
The Victorians used thick, decorative paper, along with ribbons and lace, to cover presents as a practice of luxury. Sometimes paper pictures from a greeting card, or a piece of outside greenery were added to the gift box or wrapping, as extra decorations.
By 1903 gift wrapping was quite popular and in fashion, so the first printed wrapping paper was made which had green holly printed on it. Printed Christmas wrapping paper was actually developed by accident. Stores were selling white, red, and green tissue paper which sold out very quickly.
Many cultures celebrate holidays that involve the giving of gifts. The desire to hide the identity of a gift until just the right moment led people to wrap gifts long, long ago. Historians believe wrapping gifts in paper probably started not long after paper was invented thousands of years ago.
In ancient China, monetary gifts were wrapped with paper, forming an envelope known as a chih pao.
The Japanese began the practice of wrapping presents in reusable wrapping cloth in the Edo period (furoshiki).
In Korea, the bojagi, a square piece of fabric, has seen use since the Three Kingdoms Period.
Perhaps, this is why gift wrapping came to exist, to build up the anticipation of opening something special. The art of wrapping the perfect gift requires certain materials and instruments that will complete the gift you are giving, like icing on a cake. The decoration is just as important as the gift itself.
Read my blog on how to wrap a gift here.