“You can wrap up a pair of plain old underwear and put it in wrapping paper with their face on it, and it’s special,” he added. A roll of personalized wrapping paper costs about $19.
There is also, of course, the waste of it all. A 2021 study by the Center for Biological Diversity, an environmental nonprofit, showed that Americans generate 23 percent more tons of waste in December than in other months of the year.
Meagan Downey felt guilty about that. “I tend to go overboard for my daughter’s birthday or special occasions, and there was always this horrible feeling of guilt,” she said.
So in the fall of 2020, Ms. Downey, who lives in Shelburne, Vt., started selling the Shiki Wrap, a reusable, machine washable fabric gift wrap made from recycled plastic. The fabric, which is inspired by furoshiki, or traditional Japanese wrapping cloths, is also stretchy, which means it can fit around oddly shaped presents. “It’s so easy — you can just bunch it up,” Ms. Downey said.
She estimated that the company has sold about 4,000 wraps since its start.
Patrick Kling, a theme park designer, also hated how he felt the morning after Christmas. “It always bugged me that we put all this trash into a black garbage bag, and we don’t even know if it’s recyclable,” he said. (It is, unless it contains chemicals, laminates, dyes, plastics, metals or glitter — which many papers do.)