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Wrapping Presents

Somewhere deep inside, I think I believe you are how you wrap. I take wrapping way too seriously. And, I never, ever get it right.

Each year I think up a new theme for wrapping Christmas and holiday presents. One year I did all white paper and cobalt blue ribbon. Stunning. Trouble was I only wrapped about three presents in it, then got behind and in the usual Christine’s approach to last minute procrastination make it work moments, I just started taping together the white paper and threw on those stick-on ribbons where you peel the paper off the back and press it on the package. I’m not proud of this and must be given kudos for admitting to it because somewhere deep inside, I know you all have done the same thing.

Then there was the year I went green. I think this was actually before it was cool to go green. I went and got cloth napkins that I had in odd numbers and pillow cases that I didn’t use anymore, and I wrapped presents in the napkins and pillow cases with twine that looked “green” but probably wasn’t. They did not look Christmasy at all. And, to make matters worse, every single person asked me if they were supposed to return the wrapping. I got tired of answering the question and I think the last person that called received the, “You want to know what you can do with the pillow case? I was trying to be green!” I believe it was my sister who is never intimidated by my irritation and she replied something to the effect that if that was the case I might have wrapped in Christmas green instead of summer lime green which is many things but not at all Christmas.

Another year, I wrapped everything in grocery bags (maybe I’m naturally green) and bought a fabulous holiday plaid ribbon. Trouble with that was that again I was wrapping presents on Christmas Eve and the ribbon only had about a foot on each roll (they really ought to go to jail when they rip you off like that) and there was nowhere to go to get more ribbon, so I just passed the gifts off with no ribbon and in grocery bags. It so looked as if I hadn’t planned at all and that their gift was an add-on shoved in a grocery bag. It hurts to think about that year.

Then there is the issue of the cards to put on the packages. In the end, if I’m honest, I just sometimes write on the package itself or perhaps worse, use those peel off stickers. It’s really something I need to change about myself. If I am right and you are how you wrap, more thought needs to go into the entire presentation. Maybe I should think about how I deliver the packages as well. It’s exhausting.

This year, because I am spending Christmas in the stupendously sunny Caleefornia, I had to send most of the presents I’m doing east. I was realizing that I needed to send everything on Monday at the latest. I was wondering if it would be insensitive or cheap to write in big, bold letters on the outside of the UPS box, “THIS BOX IS THE WRAPPING FOR YOUR PRESENT. PUT UNDER THE TREE AS IT IS.” I was thinking maybe people would feel badly that I have to send so many packages and take pity, but I realize that’s not the way my friends think, so I had to get it all done by the end of the weekend.

I have spent all this time talking about wrapping presents, but the truth is, I haven’t even finished all my shopping yet. I have to go now. I have to shop and wrap and pretend that I have a Christmas spirit that is hard to find in the heat of LA.

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