If you are anything like me, you throw your gifts in a gift bag with some tissue paper and call it a day. But those handy little cheats weren't actually invented until 1987, and before that, even the laziest of holiday gift givers were stuck wrestling with traditional paper.
Hallmark gets credit for inventing the wrapping paper we use today. Before its invention in 1917, Americans wrapped gifts in red and green colored tissue paper. But as Hallmark tells it, when a department store in Kansas City ran out of the tissue, they brought in decorative paper from France and sold it for $0.10 a sheet. After the paper was a big hit, they upped the price to $0.25 a sheet the next year.
Fast forward to today and the gift wrap industry now accounts for about $2.6 billion a year in retail sales. Yet it is still outdone by gift bags, which have been the number one way Americans choose to give gifts since 2002.