I don’t know about you (though I can make an educated guess), but I have a full dance card this time of year. It would be hard to figure which of the many tasks remaining is the most pressing. Discounting everyday chores, the one that looms largest is the same one which every year, I procrastinate doing until later and later … sometimes until Christmas Eve itself! I’m generally not a procrastinator. Really.

Wrapping. The. Presents.

I bought paper. I bought gift bags. I bought ribbon and little sticky labels. I still need bows, but even without them, I’m good to go.

I am a capable, fast, and occasionally artistic gift wrapper. But over the years, watching people pick up their gifts, rip the paper and ribbons off without so much as checking to see whose name is on the label (like who is giving me this gift?) well, it has taken some of the bloom off that particular rose.

I used to put a lot of effort into beautifully wrapping packages. Now, I just wrap them. In whatever paper is the right size. Okay, I try to vary the paper so it make a pretty pile. And coördinate ribbons and bows to complement the colors in the paper. Make sure that I don’t give the fluffy pink kitties to the boys.

However, I don’t go that extra mile. I was probably over the top anyway. I made my own bows using miles of curling ribbon. Nobody can curl ribbon better than I can. But I was young and eager.

In recent years, I get wrapping done quickly, efficiently, neatly. Then I stand, admiring my handiwork for a while, hoping I haven’t left some important gift in the back of a closet where it may never be found.

Every year, I lose at least one expensive, important gift. I have reached an age where I should not be allowed to hide anything unless someone else knows where I’ve put it. Because the odds are high I will not remember where I put it. I may never remember. The next time it will see the light is when I am carried out of here, feet first, and my closets are finally emptied. It will be like archaeology.

When I am done with the wrapping, after I pick up all the little bits of paper, ribbon, and tape? I’m going to sit down in my recliner and watch “It’s a Wonderful Life.” While having a cup of cocoa. Does anyone have a better idea?

Author: Marilyn Armstrong

Writer, photography, blogger. Previously, technical writer. I am retired and delighted to be so. May I live long and write frequently.

29 thoughts on “OH HAPPY YULE”

  1. I’d love to be an artistic wrapper, especially now when I don’t have that much to wrap but I’m cack-handed and happy to achieve neat. I’m happiest when whatever I buy either comes in or fits in a box and I don’t have to try to wrap oddly shaped parcels. I guess I do consider the presents are part of the Christmas decor under the tree. We do read the labels and try to unwrap carefully, that paper may get recycled!
    I actually did forget a present this year for the first time. I bought something for my sister back in August, put it in my wardrobe and promptly forgot about it until just recently when I was surprised to find it there. Lucky girl gets an extra present now as I’d already bought her something else.


    1. For us, they invented “gift bags.” Except they have gotten really costly, so this year, I bought cheapo boxes. All you need is tape and a label. Simple works for me. That, and giving everyone their gifts before the holiday — unwrapped.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. I was very artistic — 30 years ago. Now? I think I lack the patience for it. A lot of these things are not so much difficult as requiring that you work slowly and carefully. I can work slowly and carefully, if something matters to me — but wrapping packages? Not really. I can barely tolerate whatever time it takes and these days, if I see someone close to the holidays, I just hand them their stuff and say “Merry merry — one more package I don’t have to wrap!” My son commented HE wasn’t wrapping anything either.


    1. We’ve had that one for at least 15 years. It isn’t glass — it’s some kind of stuff made from seashells, so it’s luminous, but not as likely to shatter. And it kind of goes with the room I think 🙂


    1. I could NOT find a mince pie. I think they’ve gone out of style or something because I managed to find just ONE last year and none this year. Garry was VERY disappointed. I think the pie is HIS favorite part of Christmas. Skip the tree. Skip the wrapping and even the gifts. Just give him great, old movies and pie.


  2. Wrapping’s the best bit! I worked in a pharmacy during my university holidays and learned to wrap pretty efficiently. Most of the customers were men buying fragrance for their wives / girlfriends and it used to get about 10 deep at the counter on Xmas Eve. I realised I was going slightly crazy when I noticed one guy with a look of total confusion on his face. I was half-way through putting ribbon on his box of paracetamol. 🙂


  3. I’m glad I’m not the only one who hides gifts and forgets them! I can handle the wrapping. My least favorite thing is the Christmas cards. I don’t send as many as I used to but I’m way behind this year. I think they will be New Year’s cards this year!


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