COUNTERPOINT, by the Ironic Catholic:
It has been said that a critical reading of Matthew argues that the Magi, being "wise men," did not wrap the gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh given to the Christ child; ergo, Christmas givers should not wrap their gifts as well. A historical-critical interpretation of the text, as licensed by Dei Verbum, yields an important counterpoint: there was no wrapping paper in 1st century Palestine. The precious nature of papyrus did not lend itself to one-time use. Let's face it, people weren't pounding reeds on rocks, painfully extracting the fibers, and drying them into paper to wrap anything.
However, the practice of wrapping gifts is evidenced in other sections of the Bible. For example, in Genesis 43, the gifts of silver, honey, spices, and myrhh that Joseph's brothers brought to him in Egypt were wrapped in sacks. In Genesis 24:53, "Then the servant brought out gold and silver jewelry and articles of clothing and gave them to Rebekah", the text clearly implies that the gifts came out of a container, perhaps, a gift box, by the verb "brought out."
Finally, we can agree that the greatest gift the world has known is Jesus Christ. And what did the Blessed Mother do? "She wrapped him in swaddling clothes...."
If Jesus was wrapped, so should we wrap our Christmas gifts, because...
1. The Blessed Mother was wise.
2. She was a woman.