Unboxing the Holiday Spirit

December 17, 2018


Imagine waking up on Christmas morning, slipping on your fuzzy slippers and gathering around the tree… only to find that all the presents were already unwrapped! Unboxing is an essential part of the holidays, and Amazon learned that the hard way this year when they sent out gifts in their original packaging.

What is it about unwrapping presents that makes the holiday season holly and jolly? Take it from someone who knows a thing or two about iconic packaging: Apple’s Chief Design Officer, Jony Ives. “Steve [Jobs] and I spent a lot of time on the packaging. You design a ritual of unpacking to make the product feel special. Packaging can be theater, it can create a story.”

Fun fact: Apple has a secret room for the research and development of packaging. They go through hundreds of boxes for each product before settling on the one that makes it to market!

In a season that’s so filled with rituals — decorating the tree, making cookies, singing carols — gift wrapping plays an important part in the Christmas story, especially for children. Here are two of our favorite gift-opening stories that prove how important present packaging can be in making the season for a child!


The year is 1998 and the hottest gift of the holiday season is Nintendo’s latest video game console, the Nintendo 64. Brandon and Rachel, ages 9 and 6, rip open their present and their dreams come true… very loudly!

This timeless viral video shows exactly why gift wrapping is so important. It helps build up anticipation before unboxing— and we’d never deprive a kid the experience of shaking a wrapped present to guess what’s inside!



Big gifts come in small packages! This year 10-year-old Ivey and her siblings were up for adoption, not knowing how long they would remain in foster care. When her foster parents Paige and Daniel gave her a package to open, we learned just how important the unboxing experience can be.

We love Ivey’s reaction to the good news, and we’re so happy that packaging could play a small part in this special moment. Now, if you wouldn’t mind passing the tissues…

Sometimes all it takes to make someone’s holiday is a little extra packaging. See how you can enhance your product’s unboxing experience with our white paper, Unboxing Better Customer Experiences.

From our Ernest family to yours, we hope you have a very happy holiday. Don’t forget to recycle your wrapping paper!

Ernest Unboxing White Paper