Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Wrap it up!

I hate, nay, HATE wrapping gifts. I mean, I love shopping for and GIVING gifts. Just not wrapping them. For one thing, it's pretty stupid. Here, I'm going to buy you a gift, then I'm going to trap it in some outrageously expensive paper and use lots of tape so it will take you some time to open it, during which time you will rip said expensive paper and toss it on the ground. Huh?

Of course, most of the time, wrapping is confined to a smattering of birthdays scattered throughout the year so it's not a big deal. By the time another birthday rolls around, you've pretty much forgotten that you spent $15 on a birthday gift and $10 on paper goods to wrap it in, and you're ready to do it all over again. But Christmas is another story.

Millions of dollars are made each year on Christmas goods and wrapping paper, bags, tissue, tape and ribbon are a good portion of that. Because we need a crap ton of it! All those presents we've been buying since September? Someone's gotta wrap them. By someone I mean, ME. So, why do I put it off till the last minute EVERY SINGLE YEAR? Because, frankly, I do not enjoy it. Oh, sure the first few gifts are fun. I especially enjoy the nice, symmetrical boxes that can be wrapped with sharp corners and pleasing precision, then tied up with a decorative bow (store bought stick on bows? Hell no! My mother taught me better than that!). I might even include a decorative ornament or sprig of greenery on the first gift or two. But then the novelty wears off. Pretty soon, the corners aren't so neat, the stick-on bows come out (sorry, Mom!), and eventually I resort to gift bags - the holy grail of all gift wrapping haters everywhere. Stuff it in a bag! Throw some tissue on top! So much for peeking.

Last year I tried to make the wrapping day (also known as Christmas Eve, but who's keeping track?) more festive by moving the wrapping supplies into my bedroom so I could shut the door and keep it all under wraps (haha, I'm punny!). I popped in a movie, got myself a drink and some snacks and set up for what was sure to be an epically fun day of wrapping up my lovingly chosen gifts for my family. Or not. For one thing, have you ever tried to watch a movie while wrapping gifts? You can't do both! You must actually LOOK at the package you're wrapping, thereby NOT looking at the movie. It was very distracting. Also, besides the fact that I tried to set up my wrapping station comfortably, by about hour three I was cramped and uncomfortable and my back was killing me. I was sick to death of making loopy bows and picking out just the right gift tag to match the paper.

And today is December 21 and I have not wrapped a single gift. Not one. I'm sure our tree screams "no presents this year, kids!" when visitors stop by. But if I wrap and put them all out, where's the magic on Christmas morning when the barren tree becomes a virtual wonderland of Santa-covered paper and hastily tied bows? Who cares if it looks like aisle 14 at Wal Mart with all those gift bags lined up like so many groceries? It's AMAZING - gifts spilling out as far as the eye can see.

I always wondered why my mom was so tired on Christmas morning. She'd sit, bleary-eyed through the opening of gifts then pretty soon she would disappear to take a nap. Sheesh, I'd think, mom sure doesn't like Christmas as much as we do! Well, duh! Mom spent the entire night up wrapping our gifts (ok, and having a little drinkie poo or seven), and by morning she had a full-on gift wrapping hangover.

I always vow this year it will be different. I'll shop, come home, and wrap my purchases right away. HA! That has never happened, and probably never will. And besides, I've still got four days to wrap it up.

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