Gift-wrapping adds an extra element of surprise while gifting a loved one, as the joy of gifting is as much, if not as enjoyable of the one receiving The anticipation of opening a festive gift box tied up with ribbons adds to the holiday excitement. Unwrapping a gift brings back the child in most people as it unlocks happy memories of Christmases with the family.
The SM Store makes gift giving more festive and fun as this year’s Christmas theme is centered on “one that focuses on the frenzy and excitement of exchanging presents.” It shows people of all walks of life celebrating the joys of the season by exchanging gifts, and there are many heartwarming vignettes. These include a girl juggling presents on her head, a dog delightfully gifting his pet mother, friends exchanging gifts, a jeepney loaded with Christmas décor and presents on its roof.
The theme is essayed with special edition holiday gift bags and wrappers designed by young New York-based visual artist Monica Ramos.
Born and raised in Manila, Ramos has been working in illustration for the past few years. So far, “it’s an interesting career choice, trying to distill ideas into interesting visual metaphors.”
The young designer said her favorite parts of the design are “the more tender human relationships, like the young girl tugging on her lola’s hand and a couple exchanging presents” and needs to be emotionally engaged before working on her illustrations.
“I start with a daunting blank page!” she shared. “Depends on what kind of job it is, or if I am doing my own work. If I am painting for myself, I usually just begin and see where it goes. I flip though my notebooks to find recurring themes or images that may fit [the theme]. I draw from my memories, things I’ve read in books or heard in songs. I need to feel emotionally engaged before I can draw anything.”
Her designs for SM’s gift wrappers are drawn from her own experiences. “Christmas has always felt very special. In the weeks leading up to it, I’d comb through the weekend bazaars, looking for presents for everyone I knew. Some years, I made ginger bread men or chocolate chip cookies for my friends and teachers at school.”
As the holidays approached, “I liked dressing up my ‘fancy clothes’ for all the family parties. I’d be so excited to see all my cousins for Noche Buena, especially, and be allowed to stay up late until midnight, when the older cousins and I would be responsible for distributing all the gifts under the tree,” Ramos concluded.