December 23, 2011

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

What is the big deal with wrapping presents?  Seriously, is this anything other than a mechanism to enrich decorative paper producers?  My frustration has nothing to do with the fact that it seems like I have been wrapping presents for weeks - and stayed up until 2 am two nights in a row to wrap after the kids went to bed.  Two mornings from now, all of that paper and ribbon will be tossed about and ultimately stuffed into a big black trash bag - hours of work cast aside in a matter of minutes.

It will be cold here on Christmas morning, maybe this year we could get a fire going and toss the paper in as we go, to save me the heartburn of looking at it after the fact.

My stepsister is a bagger - everything in a gift bag, never batting an eye.  I don't have a problem with it, but in what seems to be some midwestern version of Christmas snobbery, my mom's side of the family has always eschewed the easy way out.  If I don't wrap and ribbon-top the gifts, it clearly means I don't care as much.  Or some such BS.

The kids do love tearing through the paper, though.  Typically, I give my kids some clothing staples (socks, underwear, T-shirts) for Christmas.  The usual reaction is a roll of the eyes as they toss the items into the 'clothes' pile.  Often the boys call for the telltale rectangular clothing boxes first, to get them out of the way.  Bearing this in mind, along with paper cut-striped fingers, I handed Bang his Christmas ration of athletic socks yesterday, rather than wrap them.  (It also played into the careful balance of how many boxes each kid would have on Christmas morning - value means nothing, it is all a numbers game).  I thought he would appreciate one less boring gift to open, but he seemed a little disappointed.

We have a loosely enforced rule at Harper House.  I have no problem with the shaking and good-natured guessing of the contents, but the smarmy (mostly teenage) pronouncements of what each package contains tick me off, so I instituted a rule that if they guess what a present is, it gets donated to someone else (an empty threat, but it keeps them cordial).  Bless The Princesses' heart, she was arranging gifts under the tree and noticed that one of hers was ticking.  I saw the look on her face, as she struggled with the knowledge and the possibility of what could happen, should she mention it.

I think it is winding down, just a few batches of candy to make, a couple of hearty meals, plenty of adult beverages and the joy of having my family together, healthy, happy and undeniably blessed.


CenTexTim said...

I thought we were the only family that had to make sure the present count came out equal.

We wrap, but don't ribbon or bow. We also use gift bags, but ribbons and bows are required on those. I've given up trying to understand the logic and just follow the rules.

InsomniacSeeker said...

Any chance your Mom used to save the wrapping paper and had a case of the vapors if anyone tore into their present? My Mom saved the wrapping paper pretty much until I left home. I'm sure the box of paper is long gone....


KatWA55 said...

You have blessed me this year reading about the Harper adventures and your musings on current events. I have been in recovery from hip replacement surgery and didn't have a clue as to how I was going to deal with the holidays. I'm feeling much better going into my sixth week of recovery and suddenly I'm excited about Christmas but am limited on time and money to do anything about the excitement. Now that my kids are grown presents just aren't that important, thankfully.
Have a happy Harper Christmas!

Harper said...

Thanks, KatWA55. I hope you are getting up and around - I know it is hard work to recover from that surgery, but worth it.

Tina - OMG! The 'save the paper!' days. If I am not mistaken, I think my grandma might have even ironed it out, if it got crumpled. I remember her ironing something that seemed nonsensical to me (sheets and tea towels aside).

InsomniacSeeker said...

My mom would iron the nice, fancy foil paper.