How To Wrap a Present

Another Yuletide Adventure

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First, lay out all the gifts and cue up a good Christmas or Hanukkah movie. Gather snacks, scissors and wrapping paper. Look everywhere for the tape. Why is there no tape? You know you bought some, because last year you did this exact same thing and had to run out and buy it. Find the tape. It’s empty. Use every curse word you know. Contemplate using masking tape. You’re out of that too. Would duct tape be too obvious?

Get dressed up in coat, boots, mitts and make the precarious drive to the neighbourhood drugstore. Purchase tape.

Upon returning home, shed winter clothes and try to get back in “the spirit”. Start holiday movie.

Begin with the easiest packages, the nice, perfectly box-shaped ones. Cut way too much wrapping paper for the first one, an unmanageable, ridiculously sized square. Get half way through wrapping before admitting defeat and grabbing the scissors. Trim off the excess and feel bad about the too-small spools of waste littered around you.

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On the next gift, you don’t cut enough paper. Now you’re trying all the tricks, turning it this way and that (everyone knows putting it diagonally on the paper works wonders!), yanking the paper as taut as it will go, then a little tighter so it rips a little. No matter what you do, you still end up needing pieces from the useless end bits you cut from the last one. Not so useless now! Ahahahahahahaha! You are the mad scientist of gift wrapping! All will look upon your franken-present and tremble at your patchwork genius!

Keep wrapping. Lose your pre-cut piece of tape, the one you specifically cut so it’d be ready when you were in this compromised pose, trying to hold various folded edges together. Flail at your husband, who is wearing earbuds and doesn’t hear or notice you. Swear on your life that you will smash those earbuds the first chance you get. Give up, release the paper and your meticulous folding perfection and get a new piece of tape. Later, you find the missing tape stuck to your face. The universe is full of mysteries.

Now that you are nearing the end of your patience and gift wrapping has lost its magic, start trying to wrap the mishapen gifts, the various, soft, plushy items and impossibly angled kids toys. Announce to no one that next year everyone is getting books and boxes of macaroni.

Wrap presents until you run out of wrapping paper or tape, your knees give out, your back seizes, or all three. Look resentfully at the single present left waiting to be wrapped. Use all of your curse words. Tell yourself you’ll stop on your way home from work tomorrow for more wrapping paper/tape and wrap it then. Put it off for at least five days or until about an hour before you’re due to give it. Panic wrap it in a cold sweat before tearing out the door.

Congratulations! You have mastered gift wrapping.

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