They say there is a certain art to gift-wrapping. That may well be true, since I certainly don’t possess an artistic bent of any kind – gift wrapping included.
Besides, I just don’t like to wrap presents. There is a saying (which I invented) that says: if it can be bagged, by all means bag it.
I hate cutting the paper, especially since I couldn’t cut it in a straight line if my life depended on it, unless it has those little dotted lines on the back. The stuff never smoothes out and lines up like I want it to, which leads to my immediate frustration, and which may, of course, explain the whole thing.
And forget about ribbons and bows – literally. If I get ‘em tagged so I know whom they belong to, I’m doing good.
Finally, this past Saturday, Christmas shopping pretty much done, I faced the fact that at least some of those gifts stuffed in my closet must now be wrapped.
I started by piling them on and around the dining room table. Depressed already, I took a deep breath and bagged anything I could until I ran out of bags and then tackled those things that fit easily (or could be forced to fit) into standard shirt/coat boxes. Even I can wrap shirt boxes, at least sometimes, or if they have those pretty tops, sometimes they go under my tree unwrapped.
Finally came the unusually-shaped gifts that defy me, usually the toys.
After a particularly nasty session of tug-of-war with wrapping paper that would not lay down smoothly, would not fold neatly and insisted on tearing just as I was finishing up, and after I had muttered some particularly “un-Christmas-like” things to myself, I decided to take a break. Charles had brought down the boxes and wrapping paper from the attic and I left it where it lay in stacks all over the living room.
I tried not to give a backward look at the mess and retired to the bedroom for an afternoon nap.
While I was asleep, Charles evidently wrapped his gifts for me, as well as a few others. When I got up, there they were piled merrily around the tree. His handiwork had neat straight corners, matching seams and he even put little bows on them.
I don’t think I’ve always disliked gift wrapping as much as I do now. As a child, I can remember enjoying helping to wrap gifts. I also enjoyed it when the kids were little. Charles and I would wrap their stuff after they had gone to bed on Christmas Eve. But to be truthful I may have enjoyed it because I bagged and tore the tape for him while he actually did the wrapping.
When our daughter Miranda got older, I could usually finagle her into wrapping the gifts that weren’t for her, and like her dad, she was pretty good at it.
My cousin Teresa (who doesn’t like to wrap any more than I do) and I use to tackle the job together sometimes – we’d go for a day of shopping and then make an evening of wrapping presents.
Anyway, except for a very few things the job is done for another year, and the finished product is satisfying to gaze upon – until it’s time to clean it all up on Christmas Day.
Margie Richards is a reporter and office manager for The Madison County Journal.