While there’s no better feeling than giving gifts, wrapping them is another matter entirely. Bunched-up paper can collect on the sides, tape can tear the wrap, and awkwardly sized items can defy easy obfuscation. It's no wonder people often turn to professional gift-wrapping services or how-to videos. It's enough to elicit a wealth of very unseasonal expletives.

If you have a lot of presents to wrap, time is also of the essence. Fortunately, there’s a way to make this process nearly automated with a technique that purportedly originated in Japanese department stores.

The video above explains it all: You’ll cut out a square of wrapping paper so each side overlaps the item by two inches vertically and the top and bottom have enough paper coverage. Then you’ll position the gift diagonally in one corner. After flipping up two of the corners, you’ll have an immaculately-wrapped gift that’s tucked into the folded paper like a letter in an envelope.

If you really want to impress family this season with your superior wrapping technique, opt for matte scotch tape—it basically disappears into the paper. And while cheap wrapping paper makes a lot of economic sense—it will, after all, wind up shredded in a corner—it will tear easily during the wrapping process. Try to opt for slightly thicker paper to keep gifts intact until the unwrapping frenzy begins.

[h/t Today]