Wrapping Presents

Back when I was in high school, I told someone there was a difference between a present and a gift. I claimed that a present is something that is given to someone when they expect it, while a gift is something you surprise someone with. They believed me.

For about the last 10 years, I haven’t been able to get that out of my head. Mainly because I made it up on the spot and it sounded so convincing that I still can’t determine if my ancestors were dictionaries and I got their genes I believe my definitions to be true, or if I’m just an idiot.

Probably the latter. Feel free to disagree with me.

Moo-ving on.

If I distract you with a cow pun, I can start talking about something else and you won’t notice.

It’s that time of year again. You know the one. The one where the ugly sweater at the back of your dad’s closet isn’t ugly enough for an ugly Christmas sweater party because it doesn’t have a huge reindeer on the front.

Oh, what a wonderful time of year. Some would say it’s the most wonderful.

I don’t know, guys. I get pretty excited when we turn back the clocks an hour. That might be the most wonderful time of the year.

But let’s address the hippopotamus in the room under the tree. Today is Festivus, which means Christmas is in two days. Therefore, if you have a Christmas tree in your house, chances are you have presents underneath it.

When you really think about it, isn’t it silly that we wrap up items for people with festive paper?

Wrapping presents, for me, is a nightmare on elm street ordeal every year. Last year, I pulled an all-nighter the night before Christmas (when not a creature was stirring – just my very sick stomach) just to wrap presents.

I feel like there is a strong correlation between those who are good at art and those who are good at wrapping presents. That’s my excuse, at least.

Putting a gift in a bag is the easy way out. I feel bad when I do that.

So when I wrap presents, I normally sit on the floor with my tiny scissors from Grade 4 and try to determine where to cut the paper.

What if I cut too much? What if I don’t cut enough? What if my measurements are off because I don’t have a ruler, compass, or Google Maps available to help me figure out how much paper I need to cover my gift?

So I wing it.

Am I’m supposed to solve for the hypotenuse of the wrapping paper? Is this the part of life in which I’m supposed to apply that knowledge, or will that be at a later date?

If I’m wrapping an item in a box, I have images in my head of perfect corners and pristine edges. You know, a nice clean gift. Something you’d see in a Christmas commercial sitting on cotton balls, which are supposed to be snow, but are clearly cotton balls.

Christmas commercials, you’ve officially been put on notice! Shape up, or ship out…with enough time to arrive before Christmas. What am I saying?

And then my hands get a hold of the image in my head and it turns into a deflated football. I don’t know how. I really don’t.

Another conundrum is the whole, “Oopsy No Cutsy-Nufsy”, which is pig latin for, “Oh no, I didn’t cut enough.”

If I don’t cut enough paper, I’m forced to cut another small piece and patch it in. Don’t be ridiculous, there is no other option.

I call that the: “The Bow & Tag Will Cover My Mistake” gift wrapping technique.

Nine Christmases out of ten, it works every Boxing Day. 

Sometimes I think it would be easier to measure each side of the box, cut out paper with the same measurements, and glue a piece to each side. That sounds so much easier, doesn’t it?

Tape. Tape is the bane of my existence. It’s so dainty.

You slowly walk by the gift wrappers at the local mall and try to pick up gift wrapping tips in the eight stretched out seconds it takes you to pass by their counter, and you see that they use the smallest pieces of tape. So you try to do the same thing at home because DIY y’all!!, but it all falls apart.

The tape didn’t tape. That oxymoron had one job!

One year, I had no shame and used painter’s tape to wrap presents. It was green. I liked it. Didn’t even have to say the present was from me. Everyone knew.

I’m also not opposed to using staples to shut a present. Whatever gets the job done, right?

Once I finish wrapping presents, they go under the Christmas tree to mock who they’re for. If you think about that, it’s quite cruel and borderline sadistic.

“This thing…yeah, it’s for you! But I covered it with a thin sheet of paper, a lot of tape, and a strategically placed bow. You can’t open it until Christmas or else…or else…or else nothing will happen. But you just can’t open it until then. You must stare at it.”

So cruel. It’s like telling me I have to use a pizza box as a pillow to sleep on at night, but I can’t take the pizza out of it first.

That might be crueller. Mmm donut.

A cruller is a type of donut. It’s a pun. Laugh!…Ugh, Simon says laugh!

But I must admit, there is no greater feeling than the love of family (7th Heaven theme song) ripping open a present on Christmas morning. It’s just so much fun.

I get to take my anger out on the thing that caused me to take 5 hours to wrap 7 presents – wrapping paper. Off with your head, wrapping paper.

This post is taking a turn.

Let’s talk about stockings. Stockings are basically an homage to Halloween.

They say, “Anything you can do, I can do while dangling from a chimney. Suck it.”.

By “it” I was referring to candy canes, you weirdos. Gotta be PG.

Children fill up buckets with candy at Halloween. A stocking is the same thing, except classier. Much classier.

Does anyone know the origin of hanging stockings at Christmas? Did it start when some guy left a stray sock by the chimney after he did his laundry and someone decided to put a candy cane in it as a joke? I feel like I’m not too far off with this theory.

To recap: We put a tree in our house, hang socks on the chimney, and buy presents for others, which we wrap (I use that word loosely) in festive paper and force them to stare at until Christmas. And then on Christmas, we treat the wrapping paper the same way a raccoon treats a garbage bag.

Nailed Stapled it.

Ah, Christmas. Don’t ever change.

Bonus Feature – Wrap Rap

Yo yo,
I got my paper and crayola scissors to keep me wrapping for hours,
I hope they don’t mind I didn’t get them some flowers,
but I ain’t got those powers,
to add to the towers of presents under the tree,
everyone be wondering
what did Paul get for me?

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35 Responses to Wrapping Presents

  1. Jess says:

    Oh Paul. I’m not surprised by your wrapping skills. Also, I hate 7th Heaven. It really tests my gag reflex.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Val says:

    You’re nuts. 😉 But then so am I. I don’t use scissors anymore, I just fold, use string (or yarn, whatever’s to hand) and then hope for the best!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. peckapalooza says:

    “And then on Christmas, we treat the wrapping paper the same way a raccoon treats a garbage bag.” Accurate.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. this reminded me of the aunt chippy how to guide for wrapping presents on Jimmy Kimmel you sent me a long time ago for some reason

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Squid says:

    This was brilliant. Just brilliant. And the (w)rap was the bow on the Paul-wrapped Christmas present.
    I remember helping my friend wrap her Christmas presents and she was wrapping a collender (those bowls with holes so you can drain noodles, though I have no clue how to spell it) and she just pulled the wrapping paper over the top and punched it in, tearing the paper. It was amazingly unlroductive but made us laugh and laughter is good, soooooo…
    Anyway, good luck with your wrapping endeavors, and don’t get your fingers permanently stuck in those tiny scissors! (that’s no fun)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Paul says:

      Sometimes when I get my fingers stuck I will start shaking my hands and then I remember the scissors could go flying but I don’t really care because my finger is stuck and the scissors couldn’t harm an ant.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Squid says:

        I’m actually impressed that that paragraph was only one sentence. I only noticed it because I was going to tell you that I think that any scissors could hurt an ant (size difference) so that last sentence was false. Ha. That last clause was false?

        Liked by 1 person

      • Paul says:

        Lol I had my ranting gloves on. Andddd ants are resilient.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Squid says:

        True… As a Flordian with fire ants (colloquially known evil little ruddy demon ants from Hell that you should avoid at all cost) around every corner, I know full well what they can survive. However, it seems to me that something the weight of a pair of scissors should be able to squash and smear an ant (the only sure way to know that they’re dead).

        Liked by 1 person

      • Paul says:

        Lol these are like children scissors. You’d have to drop the scissors on the ant and then apply force.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. sportsattitudes says:

    I wrap gifts so badly people wonder if I’m opening them when I’m actually trying to wrap them. Brutal. Fortunately there’s no video because it would have to come with some kind of disclaimer that excessive laughter can lead to a loss of consciousness. I’ve been known to use a whole roll of scotch tape on one package. I feel shame.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Barb Knowles says:

    I could picture you wrapping. So funny. And so relatable. The absolute worst is cutting too little paper, needing another small piece, and having to use a small piece from a different roll.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Ariel Lynn says:

    I think your faux definitions (plus people’s unwillingness to look stuff up themselves when asking someone who sounds confident in their answer is much easier) may be leading to the downfall of the English language you posted about a while back. It’s part bad information, part laziness, all bad English.

    I’m with you! I worry about cutting the paper the wrong size, I can’t cut a straight line to save my life, the cat keeps trying to get me to wrap him (why else would he be on the wrapping paper?!), Scotch tape doesn’t offer the power my amazing presents require… So, I use packing tape. It pisses my friends off to no end, especially those weirdos who want to save wrapping paper (really, what the heck?!), but I don’t have to worry about the present revealing itself too early.

    Premature gift stripping problems, amIright??

    Liked by 1 person

  9. A Merry Christmas to you Canadian Paul. Oh, oh… I gotta go. I just heard 12 tiny moose-deer landing on our roof! My wife said Santa wouldn’t come if I stayed up all night… BUT SHE NEVER SAID ANYTHING ABOUT ANY MOOSE’S DROPPING BY! I think I may be in big trouble… or at the very least… my roof might be!!! Happy Holidays, Paul! 😀

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Pingback: Write Something Smart | The Captain's Speech

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