Arts & Culture

Surcees: A Southern Gift Tradition

Elevate your wrapping routine

photo: Nikki Russell

A surcee—a word with Scotch-Irish roots that many Southerners use to describe a “just-because” gift—delights any time of year. And during the holidays, tying a surcee onto a gift packages is a festive way to elevate your wrapping routine, and include a little something extra for the recipient.

To help get you in the spirit, we wrapped a few packages in Bunny Williams’s new paper (available from One King’s Lane) and then added three simple surcees: A North Carolina Moravian star cookie cutter, a pocket square hand-printed in Charleston, and vintage-inspired ornaments.


Choose a surcee you can tie easily into the bow (in this case, leather twine instead of traditional ribbon). As long as the scale is small, the possibilities are endless. Other surcee ideas include a silver napkin ring or two, a duck call, a cocktail jigger, even something edible, like a small bottle of great hot sauce.

Wrapping paper

 Pocket square; Wrapping paper.

Cookie cutter; Wrapping paper

Happy wrapping!