There’s been a little bit of internet-style discussion starting about Christmas presents and the procurement thereof, and I’m very happy to be able to say that such activities have begun in earnest around these parts, thanks mostly to stumbling on a 50% off clearance sale yesterday. Gift acquisition can be a tricky thing, and one that gets away from me most of the time (especially with the inclusion of at least 4 December birthdays), so I’m hoping I can keep up the momentum. I doubt I’ll match my all time record of completion on the day before Thanksgiving, but at least I’m on my way.
Of course, obtaining presents is only the first step in holiday preparation (one little note: I am most certainly NOT overlooking Thanksgiving, which I think gets short shrift between Halloween and Christmas, and so I will be giving Turkey Day its due, and by due I mean both on Thursday with my born family and on Saturday with my in-law family, but Christmas is enormous, so I have to get a move on). There must also be card preparation and dispatching, domicile decorating (both inside and out), and baked good deployment (gingerbread men, I’m looking at you). And, lest we forget, wrapping.
I love the look of beautifully bedecked packages under the tree, and I guess I don’t really mind doing the work to make that happen, but of all the holidazical hoopla, wrapping is the one thing I’d most like to skip. The Grinch in me might say it’s all going to get ripped up in 4 seconds and thrown in the trash, so why bother? I don’t listen to him too much, as my inner Christmas Zealot typically squashes him like a bug, but he does have a point. Also, I have exactly zero help in the wrapping department as my husband likes to pretend he’s allergic to the paper rolls.
So here’s my wrapping philosophy. Wrap the straight up square and rectangle boxes. That’s a no brainer. If it fits in a gift bag, pop it in there and cover it with tissue paper (tape the top of that sucker shut if you have to). Anything left gets covered with paper and is delivered with a shrug to the intended recipient. I’m not so much for lots of bows or ribbons or extra stuff. Oh, and I love self adhesive gift tags (but not on the bags, as will be made clear below).
I am a big fan of the gift bag. In fact, I save them. And I reuse them. Yes, I do. Yes, there’s the environmental factor and it totally cuts down on the number of trash bags headed out to the curb, but let’s face it, the dictionary definition of frugal is see: Julie, so there you go. (If it’s all torn or wrinkled up, I do toss it, so I’m not that bad). In fact, I might just consider a good bag better than the gift inside, and I will snatch it away if I can. Bonus points if it’s not Christmasy and I can use it for other gift opportunities during the year.
Let me also say I come by this genetically. There is a mustard yellow Neiman Marcus box that my mother has kept for decades. I have no idea what came in that box to begin with, nor do I remember ever actually buying anything at Neiman’s, because who can afford that? But every year, Mom puts a gift in this box, wraps it up, and puts it under the tree. And you never did see a look of triumph as the one on the face of the person who gets to say, “I got the box!” that year. Then we take a picture.
So how do you wrap? Big, elaborate dressings like you see in commercials, or here’s the box it came in?