Lately I’ve been thinking about the holiday season, and how it comes with the keeping of many traditions, such as the tradition of Eating Cookies Shaped Like Snowmen Until Your Pants No Longer Fit, along with the classic tradition of Attempting To Find A Parking Spot At The Mall Because You Were Once Again Too Lazy To Shop Before Christmas Eve.
There’s also the tradition of Trying To Properly Wrap Presents But Failing Horribly At It. I’ve kept this tradition as far back as I can remember. Simply put, I cannot wrap a present to save my life. When I’ve finished wrapping anything, it always looks like it was the victim of a direct artillery strike. The tape is randomly scattered about, rarely even holding anything in place. The wrapping paper is rumpled, torn, and uneven, many times leaving gaping views of the present itself. I never even attempt such flairs as ribbon or bows, as I’d most likely end up strangling myself.
I believe that my lack of present wrapping ability is part of my genetic makeup and cannot be corrected, even with complex rehabilitation. I’ve had people show me how it’s done, and it always makes total sense when I watch it, but when it’s my turn, everything goes terribly awry. I also believe that I’m not the only person afflicted with this problem. My guess is that there are many others out there like me, the vast majority of them male. (I also figure that most of these individuals cannot fold a shirt properly and have serious issues fixing their beds.) So, in order to help other people like me out, here are a handful of methods I’ve come up with to confront my wrapping weakness:
The Duct Tape Method – This consists of placing the gift in a paper bag and layering it with several rolls of duct tape. The purpose is to make it nearly unopenable, which is always snicker-inducing, plus it allows for the bypassing of wrapping paper altogether. This is the favorite method of my brother. I’m not sure if he’s afflicted with the same wrapping deficiency as me, or if he’s just evil, but it’s his trademark. Sometimes he’ll wrap the present in a bag and duct tape it, and then place that entire thing in another bag and repeat the procedure, sometimes up to several times. He’ll then cackle the entire forty-five minutes that it takes to tear it open. However, it is a tradition, and it never gets old. For him, I mean.
The Make It Worse Method – This is when you embrace your deficiency and, instead of trying to do a good job, which you’ll undoubtedly fail at, you set out to wrap the gift as badly as possible. This usually involves a large amount of wrapping paper, some tape, and a blindfold. When you’re finished, the original size and shape of the item isn’t even remotely reflected in the final product. When done correctly, anything from a digital music player to a snowblower could be concealed within. The payoff comes when somebody sees your wrap job. They automatically assume that it’s your idea of a hilarious joke and laugh at your craftsmanship, while never suspecting that if you’d truly tried, the finished product would’ve only been marginally better.
The Acceptance Method – This is when you simply accept the fact that you’re hopeless at wrapping. You still make the attempt, which leaves you with what I call artillery strike presents, which you should push towards the back of the tree to keep from being an eyesore. On Christmas morning, when each recipient finally gets to theirs, they’ll treat you like a child who’s drawn them a picture they can’t discern exactly what of. They’ll say something like, “Wow, what a…uh…interesting wrap job!” and you’ll die a little inside. I’ll admit it’s not a perfect solution, but it is the easiest.
Even if you use one of these methods, it still isn’t a lot of fun being terrible at wrapping gifts. This is why you should always keep in mind the old saying that it’s the thought that counts. Remember, a perfectly wrapped present or an artillery strike present should be viewed the same in the eye of the receiver. Still, if you want to hedge your bets, make sure you give something a little extra. Nothing helps your thought count more than a few twenties tucked away under all that duct tape.