I admire those people who wrap their gifts with crisp corners and elegant bows. Those Christmas settings with deep red and green boxes under the tree, shimmering in style and beauty, inspire me.
I just can’t wrap like that.
When I get out the roll of wrapping paper, I can’t cut it straight. Plus, I end up with all this extra paper that gets hacked off. Yeah, it looks that way.
The idea is that I can turn the edges under and still have a nice gift wrap.
Huh. Somehow mine come out like they were first tossed under the delivery truck. Extra tape doesn’t help, either. I’ve tried that.
When gift bags came in vogue, I was all over that. Just stuff the tissue paper in there and I look like Martha Stewart, right?
Not right. I can’t stuff the paper elegantly, either.
My family has adjusted. On one of my husband’s birthday, the first gift came to him in a cute red “Happy birthday” gift bag. He fished out his gift, set the bag aside, and thanked the child responsible.
Then came his next gift from child #2 – in the red “Happy birthday” gift bag. Child #2 had snatched it, scurried to the kitchen and re-loaded it.
The birthday guy got four different gifts that evening in the same birthday bag. Talk about creative recycling on the run.
Some Christmas bags have been re-used so many times they’re part of the tradition. “Oh, you’re getting the Nutcracker bag. Who had it last year?” We use a marker to cross out last year’s name and add the current recipient to the list.
I may stop crossing out names because we’ve had so much fun recalling the bag’s history.
But my family has also descended to slap-your-hand kind of gift-wrapping. The operative question every birthday is, “Do you want your gift now or do you want it wrapped?’
We’re an impatient bunch. We accept gifts double-wrapped in Walmart bags. We snatch gifts from under a newspaper umbrella. We are happy to open a brown box – especially if the outside of the box doesn’t match the inside.
We figure the point is to disguise the gift as long as possible.
Just don’t tell Martha Stewart.