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Wrap This!


Since we happen to do our grocery shopping at the Holy Grail of Awesomeness (read: Target), we always spend the last half of our shopping extravaganza perusing all of the cool stuff Target is trying to convince me that we need. This includes their 8 mile long stretch of wares that I affectionately refer to as Christmas Row. Included in Christmas Row is an aisle I have always blatantly ignored: The Wrapping Paper Aisle.

Now, just as I am neurotic with Christmas Cards, I have always been slightly less so, but still neurotic about my wrapping paper. My brother and sister-in-law have always spent an insane amount of time and money procuring The Right Wrapping Paper, and while I have admired them for it, I simply can’t get behind spending my life’s savings on something that someone may briefly enjoy, then throw away.

I love cheerfully wrapped packages, but so long as the paper doesn’t come in a 6-pack with cheesy looking Santa’s, or stupid messages of holiday cheer, I’m fair game. Although I have admired the really funky textured metallic stuff, I simply cannot get behind spending $6.00 on 10 feet of paper. The volume of gifts that I have to wrap simply precludes this.

But because my family has grown exponentially over the past couple of years, I have notice an alarming trend: I have found myself increasingly excited about thoughtfully wrapping gifts (which you would think would be opposite, especially considering that I alone wrap the Christmas gifts. Even my own. Does that sound depressing to you?).

This year has even FOUND me perusing the Aisle of Wrappy-Goodness. Yes, I am admitting here and now to The Internet that I willingly (cheerfully, even) spent AT LEAST 20 minutes examining all of the cute doo-dads that one can use to wrap gifts with. I’ll probably never be crafty enough (she’s CRAFTY!) to make my own doo-dads out of ordinary household objects, but I may begin to pick them up here and there.

Sometimes, I take a step back, examine myself and wonder who the hell I’ve turned in to. I mean, I used to wrap gifts in newspaper or whatever was lying around (birthday paper at Christmas? WHO CARES?), or better yet, I used to bribe my mother to wrap my gifts for me.

So, it’s YOUR turn, you crafty souls out there. I’ll never scrapbook (although I did get some supplies, before I impotently decided that although I made my wedding invitations, I’m just not that kind of person deep down), knit, or crochet (even platitudes!), but I know that other people do this sort of thing willingly.

Any suggestions?

And Aunt Becky is dying to know what YOU do with your gifts? Are you anal about them (oh, the search terms on this one)? Do you care at all about what your gifts look like, or do you subscribe to Aunt Becky’s School Of Why Waste Money On Something People Will Throw Away?

13 Comments to

“Wrap This!”

  1. On December 12th, 2007 at 12:53 pm Gail Says:

    It is very hard for me to admit that I hate the way the gifts look at our house. When I lived with my mother, we always very carefully chose each year’s color theme of wrapping paper and bought extraordinary amounts of matching and/or coordinated paper and wired edge ribbon. We would work together to tie spectacular bows that required yards of ribbon apiece. It looked amazing. And on Christmas morning, as the gifts were opened, people were required to carefully roll up the lovely ribbons and return them to my mother, who would put them all away in boxes in the basement to be used again the next year. But the next year, we would change the wrapping theme, and the old ribbons never really got re-used. Ah, extravagance.

    Then I met Barbara. Green queen. She would only wrap in newspaper, and then require that it be recycled anyway. We went through a phase of finding appropriate newspaper articles in which to wrap gifts, that would give a clever clue to the gift inside, then try to guess.

    We have finally compromised, and I get to have pretty wrapping paper. As long as it’s recycled. And no ribbons. Sometimes, I live on the edge, and use a bit of curling ribbon, but it never curls properly to my satisfaction and I am invariably disappointed in the result.

    I miss the pretty packages, but the environment thanks me…

    PS – One year, I hand-beaded ornaments for each gift recipient that had their name worked into the design. I had a lot of time on my hands, that year.

  2. On December 12th, 2007 at 1:20 pm Chris Says:

    When I was a child, we were cheaptastic (because dad works in sales and people don’t buy his wares in the winter, that’s why), and so the quality of wrapping paper under the tree depended on how broke we were that year. If we were already living on Ramen, my mom would make an afternoon out of us decorating the unprinted-side of paper Jewel bags in a Christmas theme. Otherwise, we went to the dollar store.

    I love the meticulously-wrapped gifts with matching bows, but I can’t find it in me to spend money on something that’s going to get tossed. I’m a dollar store gal myself, believe it or not. The nicest things I purchase are the Christmas gift labels (mom and dad just write on the gift with magic marker) at $1 for 40 of them. And do you know what the worst part is? That’s EFFIN EXPENSIVE. This year, for all the gift cards, I went to JoAnn Fabrics and bought these teeny little gift bags that came in a packet of 5 for 98-cents. I COULD GET A WHOLE ROLL OF WRAPPING PAPER FOR 98 CENTS. *sighs*

  3. On December 12th, 2007 at 2:20 pm Gail Says:

    Becks, you can generally recycle non-metallic wrapping paper.

  4. On December 12th, 2007 at 1:58 pm becky Says:

    Gail, this is what I SHOULD do. Do you know if I can recycle wrapping paper? I’ve been dying to find out about this.

    Chris, I HATE GIFT BAGS FOR THE SAME REASON. I only buy them IF I am using them for a member of my immediate family because I reuse the hell out of them. I’m pretty much thinking all of the Christmas gifts will be wrapped in baby themed bags. Sounds sexxy.

  5. On December 12th, 2007 at 3:08 pm Cricket Says:

    I throw some paper on ’em so that the logos are covered at least. Wrapping is no longer neat or careful. When I was a kid, it was sort of a hobby, but I outgrew it. I don’t even do bows anymore.

  6. On December 12th, 2007 at 3:18 pm Andria Says:

    We are essentially, for all intents and purposes, broke as hell, so I am using leftover paper from last year and recycled gift bags. Shoot, I even have two things in Target bags and I bet they stay there.

    Of course, I am glad I didn’t make the effort because child two opened some gifts yesterday while I was ignoring him blogging and number three finished them off this morning while I was vacuuming so there may be no wrap whatsoever by the time the day actually gets here.

  7. On December 12th, 2007 at 3:31 pm calliope Says:

    in my last real (paid) job I was in charge of wrapping 50 million holiday gifts for my boss. It was hell. Everything had to be perfect- complete with genuine ribbon (you know, the kind with the wire in it to make the bow extra poofy?).

    Now I use catalogues and magazines as wrapping paper. I have also used brown paper grocery bags…tied up with string of course.

    SOOOOOO glad your Father continues to do well.

  8. On December 12th, 2007 at 6:05 pm Kristine Says:

    I’m very much of the “It’s going to get trashed, don’t work too hard on it or spend too much money camp.” My Mother In Law nearly caused me an early heart attack when at the first Christmas I met her, her wrapping, complete with giant wired ribbon bows – goes straight into the fireplace. I may have taught her a little something about wasting money in the past 10 years, because she no longer does that.

    This year our gifts are wearing 2 or 3 year old wrapping paper, and the sticker kind of “To/From” Tags (I had post-it flags on them, but my husband objected to those.) No Bows. I have no time to chase 2 boxers and a baby around trying to stop them from eating said bows. I also have 1 roll of non-holiday wrapping paper. It’s stripes and it’s gender neutral. I have used it for 3 years worth of birthdays and baby showers (except when I was able to reuse a bag).

  9. On December 12th, 2007 at 7:11 pm Bri Says:

    Wes makes us have a color theme for our wrapping paper each year so that all the packages will look pretty together under the tree. Sometimes I rebel.

    Sending love and light to your family.

  10. On December 12th, 2007 at 7:25 pm becky Says:

    I am so glad to hear that I’m not the only one who reuses bags and doesn’t go crazy with the Cheese-Whiz. I may not be the greenest person on the planet, but I am trying.

    Plus, it never ends. The presents and wrapping just never ends. And I have a SMALL FAMILY! I cannot imagine those who have huge families. It’s just got to get insane.

  11. On December 12th, 2007 at 10:35 pm Gail Says:

    Oh, yeah, I forgot the other thing we recycle. Gift tags are cut out of the previous year’s Christmas cards that we received. 🙂

  12. On December 13th, 2007 at 11:33 am Cara Says:

    Gail, my mom has always made gift tags out of received Christmas cards. She also re-uses paper. But everything looks pretty.

    I like wrapping presents, but I always get the paper on sale.

  13. On December 13th, 2007 at 1:03 pm becky Says:

    Gail, that’s a tremendous idea. I’m always unsure of WHAT to do with all of my Christmas Cards. I don’t want to save them for a scrapbook because that’s not my thing, but I hate to throw them away.

    I think that’s what I’ll do next year.

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