Saturday, December 26, 2020


Wrapping it Up (And a Giveaway!)

by Cindy Regnier

Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas. Whether quarantined, sheltering or spending time with family, I do hope you felt the warmth and love of the season. We all know Christmas is not about the gifts, not really, but at the same time we’re pretty much dealing with the aftermath of that today. Maybe it's in a bag near your tree, maybe it’s sitting out on your curb waiting for a trash man or maybe you’re one of the ones who fold it all up carefully and re-use it. By now you know we’re talking about “wrapping paper.” Just where did this thing start and how come we do it? It seems expensive, wasteful, and a lot of work besides. Still, there’s something about a big red bow, right?

Let me preface this by saying I can’t verify the validity of this story but I did find it in more than one source. Plus, it’s fun so I’m going with it. Read along and be entertained. Obviously, it’s much more fun for the giftee to unwrap a gift and be surprised than to just hand them something. Wrapping gifts is too old a tradition to trace. It was done in ancient times with cloths, 





in the Victorian era with decorated paper,







and by stores using brown or manila paper wrappings for their wares.

Most popular during the early 1900s was the use of tissue paper, which was fairly inexpensive to make and buy. 




In 1917, as the story goes, two brothers in Kansas City who ran a stationery store were having such a good year that they depleted their supply of tissue paper. Faced with the dilemma of what to do and not wanting to jeopardize the wonderful year they were having, one of them found some fancy paper in a back room they had ordered from France a few years ago meant for lining envelopes. (Yes, lining envelopes was a thing back then.) At any rate the lining paper had never sold well so they had it packed away.  One of the enterprising brothers brought out the lining paper, marked it at 10 cents per sheet and encouraged customers to use it for wrapping gifts. How pretty would that look under a tree? It sold out instantly with people clamoring for more.

These two brothers were no dummies, so for the holiday season of 1918, they tried it again, offering lining paper as gift wrap. It was a huge hit, even more so than the year before. By 1919 they knew they were onto something so the two brothers began producing and selling their own printed paper. It was designed and decorated for the sole purpose of covering gifts from peering eyes until the big day arrived. With the continued success of the brothers’ idea, an industry was born that is still going full force today. You may have heard of these famous brothers. Their names were Joyce and Rollie Hall, later joined by another brother, William.  

Their store was named Hallmark.

Fun story, huh? And with that I’d like to leave you with this thought. We sing about the 12 days of Christmas every year, but after December 25 we’re pretty much done. It is my hope that you will begin thinking of December 26 as the 13th day of Christmas and that it may just be the most important day of all. The way we live on December 26 sets the tone for how we will live out the rest of the year. In the words of Dickens: “I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year.

I’m giving away a paperback copy of Mail-Order Refuge to one lucky winner, your choice of Kindle or paperback. Just leave a comment with your email address. I’ll contact you if you win.

Rand Stafford isn't looking for true love. He'd ridden that trail until his fiancée left him with a shattered heart. What he needs now is a wife to help him care for his orphan nieces. Desperate, he sends an advertisement to a Baltimore newspaper and hopes for the best.

Fleeing her former employer who would use her to further his unlawful acts, a newspaper advertisement reads like the perfect refuge to Carly Blair. The idea of escaping the city, the intrigue, and the danger to hide herself on a cattle ranch in Kansas is her best shot for freedom.

But its sanctuary comes with a price—a husband. While marrying a man she doesn't know or love means sacrificing her dreams, it's better than being caught by the law.

Or is it?


  1. Fun post, Cindy. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Interesting. cheetahthecat1986ATgmailDOTcom

  3. I never knew this! Thanks for sharing. bcrug(at)twc(dot)com

  4. Interesting story. Necessity is the mother of invention. Ingenuity!
    The book looks great. paulams49ATsbcglobalDOTnet

  5. I didn't know that, nor how Hallmark started. Very interesting, Cindy. ane[@]anemulligan[dot]com.

  6. That's a great story. I love to wrap presents.
    Theresa Norris
    weceno at yahoo dot com

    1. I like wrapping too, but glad its only once a year! Thanks Theresa

  7. I had never heard the story of the origin of Hallmark stores. How interesting!

  8. Thank you for sharing your interesting post.
    mauback55 at gmail dot com

  9. Hope your Christmas day was wonderful.
    This is interesting. Thanks for sharing.
    quilting dash lady at comcast dot net

  10. I will admit I folded some tissue paper to reuse next usually save all the gifts bags and have been reusing cloth bags we got about 25 years ago. Most of them are still looking really good :).
    Hoping your Christmas was lovely and sending blessings for 2021! Thanks for the giveaway.

  11. It’s interesting that they used to buy paper to line shelves, but not for wrapping gifts. Fun history!

  12. Your writing paints a picture. I hope to read more of your books!

  13. Hi Cindy and Merry Christmas a couple of days ago. I am fortunate to be close to KC - just a couple hours drive from here and also here in there is a Hallmark Store. I think it would be awesome to work at the KC company! I'm in the middle of Mail-Order Refuge and it's a great story. And, so is the story about Hallmark. Hoping your New Year is a good one!

    1. Thanks for your kind words Karen. You're right - It would be great to work at Hallmark. We could write greeting card messages!

  14. Congrats to Paula S,, winner of Mail-Order Refuge!