Widgets Magazine

Dec 21, 2011

The Ghost of Christmas Present

When I was a kid, Grandma worked in a Furniture and Hardware store. I know, that might seem like a strange combination, but I did grow up in small-town Utah and we all wore many hats. Her store was so awesome! You could find almost anything you needed there…fishing tackle, appliances, carpeting, furniture, hammers and tools, batteries, clocks and even a few toys.

We loved seeing the new furniture when it came in! But our favorite thing to do was play on the huge rolls of carpet and the stacks of samples. Mom made us a doll house that used carpet and wallpaper samples, but I digress…

As part of Grandma’s job, she was responsible for wrapping gifts. They had several huge rolls of paper there and she could always find the right-sized box for anything! She made amazing curls with their gold curling ribbon and her packages always looked just right.

So at Christmas time we went to Grandma’s house to wrap our gifts. Grandma was a saver, so she always had paper and ribbon and huge rolls of tape. The real Christmas paper was generally nicely folded and reused from the previous year…and the year before that…(at Grandma’s we were never allowed to rip and tear). But my favorite way to wrap gifts at Grandma’s was with the huge books of discontinued wallpaper samples.

We would flip through them for hours, selecting just the right piece to match the personality of the receiver. Then when a decision was finally made, Grandma would use a razor blade to remove the piece from the book. The pieces were about 24 inches square so one sheet would wrap most gifts. I loved the ones with flocking on them or texturing. The best part was that the paper was so thick it was really hard to rip. And if you found a pattern you liked, usually the next half a dozen pages were the same pattern in different colors.

Grandma would sit with us and make sure we did the corners just right. If your piece was too small, she would show you how to turn the paper sideways and still make it work with straight corners and seams. She was amazing! She could wrap anything.

I love wrapping gifts, but now that Grandma isn’t looking over my shoulder, I’m not always so perfect with the corners. I guess over the years I’ve learned that with so many kids I have to wrap quickly. When my sweetie and I wrap, he carefully cuts the paper to exactly the right size (he is an engineer, remember), then he makes the edges and corners perfect.

Not me…I can wrap ten gifts to one of his. And we gave up on bows and ribbons decades ago. They just get smashed in the fray anyway. Unless I want to turn a gift into a giant cracker, of course.

I spent an hour this morning and wrapped about 30 presents. (It took me a little longer because I had to change the tape in the dispenser…) Teach is also a wrapper. She loves to help the little kids with their gifts. All of my kids still give to everyone. Yeah, do the math. Twelve kids times eleven pretty packages…we are well over a hundred gifts before we even begin. How about you? Do you like to wrap? Are you a perfectionist or just a get ‘er-done?


Jennifer said...

I try to be perfect but it never comes out that way! Although my bows do look pretty good this year! I didn't put any bows on my daughters presents because it makes it to difficult for her to open.

LOVE MELISSA:) said...

Haha- I can barely wrap a gift, let alone put a bow on them! You guys have a fabulous Christmas!

Mom of 12 said...

I'm not going to say "Bah Humbug!" I love Tiny Tim.

--Dog Walker

Dreena M. Tischler said...

Love,love, love the wallpaper story. How sweet. What a wonderful memory -- thanks for sharing!

MaryAnne said...

Wallpaper samples would make fantastic wrapping paper!

I'm mostly a get 'er done wrapper, but I appreciate a beautifully-wrapped gift!

Rhonda said...

I love beautifully wrapped gifts. That being said I don't have a lot of time these days between family, school, running a business...so my presents aren't even wrapped yet! I guess I'll do it Christmas eve!

Natalie Ockey said...

Before I had children, I spent a lot more time wrapping. But now I just wrap to get it over with and we don't use bows or ribbon either.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...