Rashida Jones Says the Worst Holiday Present Is a Cake

Who knew Yara Shahidi has mad gift-wrapping skills?

In a new holiday campaign video for Tory Burch, the actress wraps gifts at warp speed, using paper branded with the designer’s logo. What’s more, the video was written by Rashida Jones, who is herself a gifted gift giver. “I’d say a 7 out of 10,” Jones says.

So in the spirit of the holidays, Shahidi and Jones compared notes and answered a few questions from InStyle on the joys of giving.

Any tips on how to wrap a beautiful present?

RJ: Tory’s wrapping paper is so beautiful. It’s geometric, so it’s important to line up the shapes to maintain consistency in the design. When done with precision, the results look professional!

YS: My best tip is to find a friend who also has gifts to wrap, and make it a special time to connect! Even if the gifts aren’t perfect, they will be filled with the spirit of love.

What are the best and worst gifts you’ve ever received?

RJ: The best gift I ever received was from my dad (Quincy Jones) on my 21st birthday. He gave me a giant library of CDs (remember CDs?)… It was all the music that ever inspired him. It ranged from Maurice Ravel to Miles Davis to Leonard Bernstein. It’s still the cornerstone of my music collection (digitized now, obvi). In a way, the worst gift I ever received is probably a cake, or holiday cookies, because it always ends in a food apocalypse — I eat until I’m unwell.


YS: No gift is ever bad! The funniest gift I have received was Sasquatch slippers that growl when I walk. My parents are really creative with their gifting. My best gifts are from them: my pocket watch, my typewriter, and a signed copy of James Baldwin’s Go Tell It on the Mountain. Those are probably my Top 3, but I have received so many great gifts from some very thoughtful people.

What are the best and worst ones that you’ve given?

RJ: The best gift I’ve ever given was probably the documentary film I directed about my dad. I feel like I don’t really need to get him something else for a while. The worst gift I’ve given someone was a cashmere sweater to a person that was allergic to cashmere.


YS: I tend to think I’m a decent gift giver, but when I was in elementary school, I gave a friend a grocery bag filled with gently used toys… and an old pencil.

What’s on your wish list this year?

RJ: I know it sounds crazy, but I feel like I have everything I want. My only wish is that the people who suffered any loss this year — whether it’s the fires in California or the crisis at our borders — can eat a warm meal with their families.

YS: Books, books, books! Time with my family… sunshine and beach time… time with friends! And a nice cozy sweater!

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