On the Joy of Wrapping Christmas Presents

So, I have to let you all know something.

I really enjoy wrapping Christmas presents every year.

It’s one of those weird holiday chores that you have to do because it’s just kind of tacky to hand over a gift that hasn’t been concealed in some festive wrapper, but every year I find myself looking forward to it.  I suspect it’s partly the fact that wrapping a present and putting it under the tree signals that gift shopping for a particular person is finished; getting that particular holiday activity out of the way early is always really satisfying.  It’s also partly because having gifts sitting under the Christmas tree was always a really big part of the festivities when I was growing up.  My extended family was quite large when I was a child, so my parents had to buy a lot of gifts; it was typical in our home for the weeks leading up to Christmas to see the living room become impossible to traverse because of the sheer number of items that sprawled out from the tree.  Part of my joy at gift wrapping just comes from the activity itself.

I am not very good at origami.  I don’t have patterns for any of the common shapes memorized, and my folds are usually kind of sloppy.  Despite that, I really love the act of folding paper.  It’s a very soothing activity.  Gift wrapping gives me a chance to do that to a specific purpose, and to make use of slightly more interesting materials than the scrap paper that I usually have at hand when I decide to do some origami.  Of course, my folds are never terribly neat, so my finished presents usually look a little homely, but part of the fun is in continuing to practice and improve.  I remember just how awful some gifts that I wrapped when I was still in elementary school came out, and I’m pretty happy to recognize that I do a better job now than I used to.  The most recent gift wrapping innovation that I came across was three years ago at this website.  I’ve been fascinated with Japanese style gift wrapping ever since, and every year a big part of the holiday season involves me looking forward to getting more opportunities to practice it.  Even after three years I’m still not great at it, but I think I’m improving.  Someday I’ll get those nice straight edge folds.

This year I decided that I was going to make use of ribbon for gift decoration as well, which is pretty much a whole new aspect of gift wrapping for me.  I know some basics for wrapping with ribbon, but I’m far from an expert, and the gifts I’ve put ribbons on this year could definitely look better, but I’m not complaining.  It’s all part of the fun of the holidays.

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