Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Joy to the World

...I have just officially wrapped my very first Christmas present of the year. This one is for my sister from Jamie and I. Sorry, can't share what it is but I really think she's gonna love it. My sister is the best person ever to buy gifts for. I love shopping for her and she seems to really like what I buy for her. Great combination.

But boy, I am so behind this year. Normally I wrap gifts as I get 'em. This year I've barely even gotten them and even the ones I have are laying unadorned in the closet of the spare bedroom.

Luckily, gift wrapping is a "chore" I greatly enjoy. I like for my gift wrap to be like a gift in itself. A neatly sealed box, everything is much easier and better-looking in a box. Not too much tape because you actually want the person to be able to get into the box. And then I like to choose a gift paper that I really feel the person will like. My sister, for example, loves red. So I really go out of my way to wrap her gifts in red. I try to do something a little more masculine for the guys and try and keep the santas and penguins and snowmen for the kids.
But then wrapping paper is really not enough. Ya gotta have the bow. It's gotta be the kind that wraps all the way around the box and ties in the middle. Those plastic stick-on ones....really only acceptable if they're used by a grandma who has arthritis and is therefore unable to firmly grasp and tie an appropriate bow. Otherwise, stick-ons are really just the lazy way out. And yes, I do get lazy and use them at some point or another every year....GASP! Breaking my own wrapping rules!
And then the much needed identification for the gift recipient a.k.a. the gift tag. It's gotta match. It's gotta be a co-ordinating colour with the gift wrap and also an appropriate size for the box in which the gift is wrapped. Otherwise, you end up searching frantically over the expanse of a big box only to find a tiny little white rectangle almost hidden in the corner. Write the tag in neat handwriting, place it proudly in a space on the gift for all to see and enjoy.
And that my friends will help you give a gift that recipients will almost not want to unwrap because of how pretty and perfect it looks on the outside.
Caution: Never make the gift wrap better than the actual gift. Otherwise there will be grave disappointment over actually having unwrapped such a pretty box only to find something crappy on the inside.

Just to let you know, this was never the intention at all of my blog to start with. I only wanted to express my excitement at FINALLY getting my first gift wrapped. But while I am ranting and raving, may I express my sincere distaste of gift bags. I tell my family every year that I want my gifts to be wrapped in paper. Tearing the paper to shreds on Christmas morning is one of the highlights of the day. Stress relief perhaps?
Here are the reasons to use a gift bag, in my opinion:

1. The item you are giving is very oddly shaped. i.e. hammer. My first choice would be to put the hammer inside a box. But if no box is found then you do not want to even attempt at wrapping an object such as this. Made for a great Canadian tire commercial tho'. Anybody seem that one? Everything under the tree wrapped exactly in the shape of the actual object, including the dog....ha ha!!!
2. You have carefully and lovingly made (perhaps sewn) the gift bag yourself. My Aunt did this one year for us. I adored those cloth bags!
3. You did not have a box for the item. i.e. a shirt. So you wrapped it up as is (soft and smushy) and then placed it down into the bag. This means the element of surprise is still there. If not in a bag, you would automatically know as soon as you pick up this gift that it is an item of clothing. But now, you get to dig through the tissue paper in the bag, and bonus! you still get to unwrap!
4. Your gift is for your "Secret Santa" or "Kris Kringle" or whatever you want to call it. Cause let's face it, we just end up buying candles or chocolates or a cheesy ornament for this person anyways so why bother with all the fuss of proper gift wrap. (See Caution noted above)
5. You are a mother of 3 crazy kids and 2 cats thus making it impossible to use wrapping paper without it being torn to shreds as soon as you place it out on your flat surface. And then you can't find the tape because your 5 year old has taken it to make a craft out of the empty paper tubes. And all the ribbons you had bought last year on boxing day are "God Knows where" and even if you did find them they've probably been crushed in the back of the closet still in the Walmart shopping bag you bought them in.
So there you have if the holidays weren't crazy enough!
For fun ideas on gift wrapping and decorating, visit Better Homes and Gardens, Martha Stewart, Cityline, HGTV or just do a google search...tons of great holiday ideas, I need to use some of them for my new home.
Wishing you all the best of this blessed Christmas season!


dafrhug said...

Just like you, I LOVE wrapping presents. But, I havn't even wrapped one yet. The Christmas shopping that I have done is all sitting in the closet in my spare room too. Maybe I will find time after my parents are here. I would never attempt to do it with the kids trying to help. lol.

Quirky Christa said...

Gift bags for small babies that can't open them, themselves...that's the only gift bag I gave this year. To Kristen's little sister who will only be 4 months old at Christmas. Figured Paula & Brian don't need to be too overwhelmed with unwrapping.