Is There Such a Thing as an “Ugly” Christmas Gift?
I completed most of my Christmas shopping on December 23rd and 24th. But I must also confess — I didn’t start Christmas shopping until December 23rd.
Call me a “late bloomer.” I’m a “closer.”
Foolishly, I figured that just about everyone would have finished buying their holiday gifts by that time and most of the department stores would be nearly empty except, except for a few desperate souls. Boy, was I wrong! Little did I know, most people piddle and patter around until the last minute to shop for presents. Idiots.
So, I dashed through crowds, waited in long lines, and darted all over Las Vegas the previous two days. Somehow, I managed to buy everyone special a little something for the holidays. Note to relatives who live out-of-state: Expect your Christmas gifts to arrive sometime around December 30th — just as soon as I can get to the post office.
When I returned home last night, however — I realized I had a problem. I forgot to buy Christmas wrapping paper.
Fortunately, Marieta is always prepared for little emergencies like this. She had some pretty wrapping paper leftover from last year. However, once that paper was used up, I still had at least half-a-dozen gifts to wrap, and no paper at 6:30 pm on December 24th. Do I know how to plan out my life, or what?
No problem, I figured. That’s what the daily newspaper is for. So, I started wrapping gifts for the least important people with the newspaper (the important people received nice wrapping paper with a smiling Santa Claus). I had some red ribbon to go along with the newspaper, so that would have to suffice for “decoration.”
Marieta saw this couldn’t believe what I was doing. She forbid me to wrap the Christmas gifts in newspaper. “Why not,” I asked.
“You can’t give people a Christmas gift wrapped in the newspaper,” she said. “It looks cheap. We’re gonna’ look like cheapskates.”
Me: “Well, I wouldn’t mind getting a gift wrapped up that way. It’s the thought that counts — right?”
“It’s the thought that counts — but you can’t give Christmas gifts that have a headline about a murder trial,” Marieta insisted. “That’s not every Christmasy.”
Me: “What does it matter? They’re just going to tear apart the paper and ruin it, anyways. They’re not going to read the headlines. Why ruin perfectly good wrapping paper — especially on the neighbors?”
Marieta wouldn’t budge. “There’s no way we’re giving Christmas gifts wrapped in a newspaper. It’s better not to even wrap them. Don’t sign my name on the card if you do that.”
Me: “Card? What card?”
“What! You didn’t even get them Christmas cards? How are they going to know who the gifts are from?”
Me: “Okay, so you don’t want me to wrap the gifts with newspaper. How about if I use the Sunday comics, instead. That’s colorful. That’s cheerful, isn’t it”
“Don’t wrap them. It looks tacky. It looks cheap.”
Me: “It’s the thought that counts.”
So dear readers, who’s right?
Sure, I should have planned things out better and bought plenty of Christmas paper in advance (then we have to store the leftover for the next 11 months). But if conventional wrapping paper isn’t available, is there really anything wrong with wrapping Christmas gifts in newspaper? To me, that’s being practical. Why waste a bunch of pretty Christmas paper on something that’s just going to end up getting torn apart and thrown away into the garbage? It just doesn’t make any sense to me. It’s wasteful.
In the end, we reached what you might call a “compromise.” At the very last minute, I saw the Christmas turkey and came up with the perfect solution. I realized Reynolds Wrap makes a great substitute for Christmas wrapping paper, even though it costs something like $6.75 a roll. Ironically, the least important people ended up getting the best deal — the most expensive wrapping paper. There’s also an added bonus. After opening gifts, the tin foil can be re-used and put to good use — for cooking.
Now, that’s what I call — being practical.
Merry Christmas everyone!