Friday, November 22, 2013

all wrapped up

It's that time of year when I start to stress out about the last few gifts I need to buy for Christmas.  This year, in addition to my own 3 children and husband, I have 22 nieces and nephews and 6 adults to buy gifts for.  It seems overwhelming, and I'm not going to lie, it is.  It's expensive some years, but most years I shop clearance and sale racks all year long to find good deals. Most years I find great deals and spend an average of $5 per child on a gift that is actually worth closer to $15-20.  Some years I make gifts.  I find the girls very easy to shop for, but the boys are incredibly difficult and stressful to find something suitable that isn't going to insult them.

This year, I'm thrilled to report that as of today I've got only 2 more gifts to buy, both of which will be Black Friday/Cyber Monday deals on electronics.  Yes, I'm one of those horrible people that is taking full advantage of the deals instead of boycotting for the sake of making a statement that no one listens to anyway.  However, I will boycott Kohls all weekend.  The one by my house is a spawning ground for Satan's little Black Friday helpers.

I digress.  This post's subject is gift wrapping, not shopping.

I love wrapping gifts.  I love that my daughters want to wrap gifts.

For years I have taken pride in creating beautiful packages with the prettiest bows and colors.  I love wrapping gifts so much that several years ago I took a seasonal job at Marshall Fields to work in gift wrapping.  I loved it.  I loved learning new ways to wrap and I loved seeing a pair of mittens transformed into a beautiful holiday package that someone would put under the tree.  I loved serving people, even the rude people who were never quite happy enough.  I'm pretty sure that those were the unhappy women who pretended to have more money than they actually did.  I loved seeing what people were buying for their loved ones. I especially took note of what the men bought and I could quickly figure out what kind of relationship they had with the women for whom they were buying (wine glasses, jewelry, slippers).  It was most amusing. That year, I wrapped Lorie Line's packages.  She looked just like her photo album when she came in: big hair, meticulous makeup.   By the way, she was not one of the rude ones.

I still love wrapping.  I love buying a gift and then going home to wrap it right away.  I love listening to Christmas music and spending the evening making pretty packages that color coordinate.

My daughters are both so artistic and have inherited my love of working with my hands.  They love learning and creating beauty.  They love helping me with my artistic projects.  I love that about them.  They can't wait to help me wrap all the gifts.  They're just adorable when they help.

I hate it when they help. 

I hate it when a fragile box is damaged.

I hate puckered corners.

I hate when the tape is perpendicular to the seams.

Even more so, I hate scrunched up and wrinkled tape.

I hate it when the paper wrinkles or, heaven forbid, rips.

I hate crooked ribbons.  I hate imperfection.

Are you beginning to understand my internal struggle?  I want my children to help and yet I hate it when they do.  I want them to learn the fine art of gift wrapping, but I don't want them to ruin my packages with their fingerprints all over the tape.

Oh! It's bedtime!  I think I'll wrap some gifts now.  My tutorial on seamless gift wrapping might be coming soon (but I'll probably not have time, so don't hold me to it). It makes a very pretty package indeed.


  1. My mom hated to wrap presents, and I was the only girl who loved it. Alas, now my older sister is far better at it than I. (She actually buys ribbons, bows, paper and coordinates them.) I never graduated the "neat and clean" packaging and wrapping step.

    1. I'm here to help, Becca. I can teach you, and I promise not to laugh at you. Well, not a lot.

  2. I feel EXACTLY the same way. The Christmas before Jack was born (8 mo preggers) I came home from work to find, to my horror, my inlaws were wrapping all my gifts. They had made a surprise visit to "help me around the house" and Jon had put them to work wrapping presents and doing a backwoods dairy farmer way, too. So I could relax a bit. It was all I could do from screaming in their faces, wrapping their heads in the crappy papper choices, and run away sobbing. Instead I said, "Thank you".

    1. Oh! That sounds like a nightmare! I bet Jon got an ear-full later, huh?

  3. The phrase MEASURE TWICE, CUT ONCE was meant for me but yet I can't ever seem to apply to real life wrapping. If I lived with you, you'd wait until I was asleep too.

    1. Haha! If you lived with me, we'd both have bigger problems.