I spent an hour on Friday wrapping Christmas presents after about 20 minutes on Thursday night wrapping other Christmas presents and it reminded me of a few things and made me think of a few others. Here's a list.
1. I remember Dad teaching me how to wrap presents properly when I was maybe in middle school. He told me if you do it right, you'll only need 3 pieces of tape, 5 if it's a super big present.
2. If the paper has glitter on it, you might need a whole roll. This is experience talking.
3. So avoid glitter paper. It's pretty, but it's a pain.
4. That, or get the good tape, not the cheap stuff.
5. My grandmother must have ironed her paper or something because I've never seen more beautiful packages.
6. Wrapping presents is kind of a pain, but watching someone unwrap (and not just pull it out of a bag) is nice. Especially if that someone is a kid figuring it out for the first time.
7. Unless the box is big and/or heavy. Then I hate wrapping.
8. Or oddly shaped so that you have to put it in a box to wrap it.
9. Bags are better than just being handed a box, though. At least give me a LITTLE mystery.
10. When we were kids, Caleb and I wanted to give presents to everyone in our family but we'd have maybe $20 to do so. So we'd occasionally wrap up our own stuff to give away. We always kind of wanted it back, though, so we weren't totally selfless.
11. We'd also wrap our own stuff for ourselves, so we'd have more presents under the tree.
12. Gift cards are so much easier to wrap and give, but not quite as fun to give or receive. The best is something you didn't know you wanted or finding that perfect item that just screams the person you're giving it to.
13. But if you have no idea what to get a person, a gift card is probably the safest bet.
14. Or even if you do have an idea but it's a highly personal item, give a gift card so they can pick it out themselves (books if they're filling out a set, clothing, etc).
15. Wrapping goes by faster if your 3 yo son is in the next room watching Day of the Diesels for the 15th time in a week and you're sick of it and want to get away.
16. Or maybe it's slower, because you have to hear it again.
17. If you have a 14 mo, you can't put the presents out until right before you open them because he will open everything for you. Also, your tree looks half naked because of how high the ornaments are, but that's ok because at least there's a tree.
18. I managed to wrap nearly all my presents with the same roll of paper. I was pretty pleased with that.
19. In the end, bags save the day. Wrapping presents for an hour with Thomas blaring in the background, I started tossing things in bags, even if they didn't quite fit.
20. Don't buy cheap tape. It's worth repeating.
21. Get the paper with grids. It's a lifesaver.
22. Skip the bows. Sure, they're pretty, but they get in the way when you have to pile presents and they get smushed anyway. No one really cares about bows.
23. Unless you do then cover your presents in bows, I don't care.
24. Always always always open the box, no matter what. I've been burned twice thinking the picture on the box was indicative of the contents and was sadly mistaken. One I thought was like a boombox and it was a sweater vest, one I thought was chocolates and was a beautiful hand crocheted shawl. I caught my errors before the thank you notes went out.
25. Write a thank you of some kind, especially to the older generations. Most of them kind of expect it (I know the older generation in my family does). Definitely do it if they're not there when you open the present. Even if it's an email or a fb message saying you got it and thanks. It's just common courtesy people.
26. A small part of me misses calling my friends Christmas afternoon and talking about our goodies. It wasn't necessarily a competition, just excitement.
27. In the end, do your thing: cheap tape, glittery paper with tons of bows, lots of bags with tissue paper, naked boxes.
28. I'm looking forward to tonight when our family opens our gifts as part of our Christmas Adam celebration and tomorrow when everyone else opens their gifts for the big Christmas get together. I'm hoping some of my gifts are of the special "didn't know I wanted this!" variety.