It’s time to come clean. With the Festivus “Airing of Grievances” yesterday, I’m in the spirit of honesty, and I need to get something off my chest.
I’m terrible at wrapping presents.
I used to think this was because I was buying the shitty wrapping paper that tears every time you look at it wrong, but even the expensive high-quality Hallmark stuff with the grid on the back is not immune to my abysmal wrapping skills.
When I was a wee lass, my parents taught me to wrap presents. Both my mother and father were adept present-wrappers. My father, an artist, used to fold ribbon into these beautiful, elaborate bows that were more gorgeous than any you could buy at the store. My mother had hospital corners on her packages. (Her natural gifts are heightened to dangerous levels when she ships gifts by mail, because she wraps them so thoroughly that they would withstand any natural disaster or terrorist attack.) My parents showed me how to cut the right amount of paper and how to fold the corners so the ends would come out nice, but no matter what I did, my ends came out lumpy and uneven.
Many of my skills have developed over time, but present-wrapping is not one of them. Okay, I know the general theory, and my presents come out looking slightly better than if I’d had a raccoon do it. The only thing that has changed is the amount I care. Meaning: I used to care, and now I don’t. I am an excellent buyer of presents. I have a file on my phone all year and I update it as the people in my life express their desire for gifts, and then at Christmastime, BAM, I have given them the perfect present that they don’t even remember wanting but still do. But the wrapping of those presents is still a task I dread. I’ve tried to turn it into a drinking game, but that did not improve the quality of my gift-wrapping.
It’s gotten to the point where I don’t even put bows on things anymore. Well, the cats eat them, so that’s been the excuse I use when asked.
My husband is an amazing present-wrapper. He’s doing it right now as I type this blog post: he has the paper all spread out, and his nice left-handed scissors because he’s one of those backwards leftie people (by the way, I GOT him those scissors, because like I said, I’m an excellent buyer of presents) and he’s making little ribbon curls and being just completely perfect with his present wrapping while I sit here on the couch and watch in awe. He even wrapped the gift cards. THE GIFT CARDS. Don’t you buy the gift cards so you don’t have to wrap them?
I’m not a hypocrite, either. I don’t particularly care if my presents are wrapped poorly. I’m always at a party where someone says, “Ooh, it’s almost too pretty to open!” 1) I guarantee they aren’t talking about my gift, and 2) It’s fucking not too pretty to open. It’s paper. Just tear into it! Don’t do that awful thing where you untape one corner and slide the gift out… what, are you going to fold the paper and save it for next year? Is this the Great Depression? Throw that shit away.
I just had this conversation with my husband, who is taking a break from making fucking decorative curlicues. I said, “I’m writing a blog post called, ‘I am the world’s worst wrapper of presents.'”
Him: “You really are, though!”
Me: *laughing* “Hey! You aren’t supposed to agree.”
Him: *Goes under tree and starts pulling out gifts* “This one’s not too bad, but you didn’t even put a bow on it. And this one, you’ve got too much paper at one end so you couldn’t tuck it all inside. You have to cut off the excess paper. And this one… you can feel the book sliding around in there. You’ve got to make this tight!”
Me: “But I just didn’t care.”
Him: *Goes back to making decorative curlicues with ribbon*
I’m a huge fan of gift bags, because tissue paper is supposed to look messy. When people start wrapping the gifts and then putting them in gift bags, though, that’s some next-level Matrix shit and you’re making the rest of us look bad. STOP IT.
So please ignore my terrible wrapping job, you ingrates. Remember, it’s what’s inside that counts.