Updated: Mar 26
Phase Two of "Creating Christmas Wonder" has begun! I got out all of the supplies for present wrapping and started the tedious process of papering, taping and 'bowing' (I know, not a word, but it works!) the gifts to be placed beneath the family tree. I fully realized years ago that I wasn't a gift bag person. I've put the odd shaped gifts in a festive bag if I do not have an appropriate box, but for the most part, I'm a boxing and wrapping kind of gal. This has come with the price of taking 20 times longer to get the job done, but it's been worth it to me. Why, you ask? Read on, my precious friends. Welcome to my slightly askew brain.
It's all boiled down to this: there's something special about unwrapping a gift. I'm talking about tearing off a bow, ripping the wrapping paper, and opening a box to reveal what's inside. It brings a child-like glee to the receiver. I've never been able to put my finger on why this occurs. Pulling something out of a bag just hasn't had the same effect. I enjoy giving gifts, and watching the excitement unfold as they're opened. If my extra effort on the outside brings additional joy, then I'm in.
This could have stemmed from the gift opening "ceremony" with which I was raised. Our family would gather, sit in a circle, and unwrap everything one by one in front of each other. This was a time consuming event, but it taught me to relish the delight on someone else's face as they received something I'd picked out just for them. It also taught me to thoughtfully choose presents for each person, and make the wrapping part of the gift itself. This tradition made my OCD Daddy happy, because he could keep the room tidy as we tore off the paper. I've since inherited his trash gathering trait. I'm now the one making sure there's plenty of trash bags for everyone to use and keep their area of the room in order. I'm sorry family. At least I don't try to save every piece of paper by picking at the tape to keep from tearing it like he did. THAT was a joy for two young girls to endure. Merry Christmas.
I'll never forget the first time I shared Christmas morning with my first husband's family. They sweetly gathered together around the tree and then BAM! It was as if a gun went off to signal the beginning of a race. Bows and paper were flying everywhere, there were squeals and "thank you's" shouted to each other, and I just sat there with my mouth open. I'd never experienced anything like that and it frightened me a little. It was thrilling and terrifying at the same time. I had to stifle the urge to go find a Hefty bag and begin picking up the tornado of trash. I learned to love it over the years, and appreciated the difference in the way they opened gifts. What fun!
I'm not sharing this to guilt anyone away from their gift bags. I love a gift bag! They make life simpler, and during my retail years, they were a life saver. I've claimed that I would be open and honest on this journey, and this is another quirk I possess. Tying bows bring me joy! I once glued peppermints in the shape of a Christmas tree to the front of a present. (warning: place those out of your pets reach, I learned that the hard way) I've coordinated paper to the themes of trees throughout my house. That was a one and done, even for me. Having gifts all over the house made it too easy to forget some, thus causing me to make extra "Santa" trips after Christmas. I'll admit, it looked pretty, but it wasn't the smartest thing I'd ever done. Lesson learned.
Although it's required much time and given many aching cramps to my back and legs, I still adore putting on a Christmas movie or music and adding a little magic to my wrapping. I can't resist buying ribbon throughout the year when I see it on clearance. I have half a closet dedicated to wrapping storage. "Hey, I'm Beth, I'm a wrapping paper junkie." There is no support group for this, so jump in at your own risk. At least hub doesn't complain about the short term mess. As long as he doesn't have to do it, he says, "Carry on!" and keeps on walking.
Are you a wrapping fanatic like me? Share some of your tips, mistakes, and successes below. bethroperstewart.com is where we weirdos gather, so subscribe today! Maybe we'll start a wrapping support group. Lord knows I need one.
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