The Paradox of the Perfectly Wrapped Present 

Great news for those who are terrible at wrapping presents. A study found that badly wrapped gifts are better received than those that look like they belong under Martha Stewart’s Christmas tree.

This is especially true for gifts that aren’t expected to knock the recipient’s socks off. An exquisitely wrapped present with crisp edges, expertly hidden tape, and a beautiful velvet ribbon tied in a perfect bow heightens expectations. If what’s inside the box underwhelms, the recipient’s high hopes will be dashed.

According to the study, a messily wrapped gift is less likely to disappoint and more likely to delight. Plus, it’s better for the environment not to waste all those unnecessary wrapping materials.

Bottom Line: The holidays are stressful enough—it’s okay if you can’t wrap like Santa’s elves.

I wish you all the best,

Dr. Samantha Boardman