While anyone who’s read my blog for longer than five minutes knows that I wear a YOU’RE NUMBER ONE finger for Christmas, there’s one party of this happy-crappy, shooting glitter out of your ass holiday I loathe.

Wrapping presents.

A lifetime ago, I’d been all, “Someday” *shakes fists at sky* “SOMEDAY I will hire someone to wrap presents for me and they’ll be beautiful and angels will burst into my living room singing the Seventh Heaven theme song.” Then I shook my fist for even more dramatic effect, even though I was alone in the house.

Well.

We all know what’s happened throughout the past year, and most days I’m pleased to have toilet paper. Apparently the Universe not only laughed at my marriage, but at my long-held desire to have Christmas presents wrapped by someone who actually has thumbs and the patience for all those bows and shit.

See, the thing is, Pranksters, I have a complex (stop gasping at the computer, I know how shocking this is for you) about gift-wrapping. I can blame it on one person; one single individual, who ruined Christmas wrapping forever.

(And no, it’s not Pinterest, which is also responsible for making me feel like an ass for not taking beautiful pictures of gilded fish you can make in four easy steps with common household ingredients because I’M NOT MOTHERFUCKING CRAFTY, PINTEREST, SO SHUT THE FUCK UP ALREADY).

Many, many years ago, my brother was married to a woman who I hated, and not just because we shared the same name, although I’ll admit that I *did* get sick of people calling me to speak to her, mostly because she was a raging asshole and mostly because I was a teenager. Two mostly’s make a whole, right?

Anyway.

My brother married someone who took not only my name, MY name, but also any shreds of dignity I had about the presents I’d hastily bought at Walgreens on Christmas Eve (we all know my mother LOVED the “Happy Birthday Grandson” figurine I’d bought her!), then wrapped in a mere ten minutes with paper I’d taken from my parents. They weren’t pretty packages, and while I’m dead certain everyone enjoyed (read: threw away) the candy canes filled with assorted jellies (lies), I was pretty proud of myself for being all last minute and thoughtful and shit.

(“thoughtful” here meaning “fuck, it’s already Christmas. I should probably buy all the peeing dolls I can find at Walgreens – people love those things! Especially adults because PEEING BABIES = AWESOMELY THOUGHTFUL and not at ALL POINTLESS!!)

While my packages were often wrapped in plastic drug store bags, proudly displaying not only WHERE the presents came from, but also REUSING which is part of the recycling tree or food pyramid or something (I don’t know. I was always the one in the back of the class playing Bejeweled on my phone all thug-life style), she and my brother, who then lived across town, would waltz into my parents house on Christmas Day with bags of carefully wrapped presents.

They’d place them neatly under the tree, effectively ensuring that mine now appeared to have been wrapped in burlap sacks and smeared with dog poo. She’d go all the fuck out for that shit. I’m talking $15 A SHEET wrapping paper, bows that were folded in such a fashion that even Martha Stewart would’ve been envious of – before she stole the idea and then sold it for a zillion dollars at that craft store of hers. Each package had a neatly inscribed label, probably embossed or some shit, and she even managed to get the wrapping paper to line up at the back of the package so that it looked like one fluid piece. Along with the monogrammed tags imported from Paris or one of those third world countries where child labor laws go something like, “you have arms? YOU HAVE THE JOB!” she’d always add a little extra something. A trinket or doo-dad or whoodilly or whatever.

When it came time to open her carefully wrapped presents, she’d always manage to find a thoughtful – yet tasteful – gift for each of us, but I always hated destroying what must’ve taken her hours to do. I cannot imagine how much time she’d spent on each gift, but damn, despite our “differences” that girl could motherfucking wrap. It didn’t help that it seemed to cause her excruciating pain to watch people open her gifts, which I could totally understand.

Years later, I still think of her each time I go to wrap presents because even when I try HARD to make a present look purdy, it still winds up looking as though an infant had done it. My edges don’t match. Nothing is ever straight. My bows aren’t hand-crafted with tears from Unicorns and ribbons made of Pegasus hair, they’re usually straight from the bulk bag of bows – always mangled and misshapen – I’d found at an after-Christmas sale the year prior because I’m a cheap ass who balks at paying more than two bucks a roll for wrapping paper.

I’d been intensely proud of myself for getting my gift-buying done before Christmas Eve. I’d begun trying to pat myself on the back until I got distracted when I learned that you really can’t lick your elbow, and then the packages began to arrive. And when they did, I realized I hadn’t done myself any favors. 650 square feet = no one has any secrets.

Off to Dave’s I trotted to collect some of the wrapping materials I’d bought in years past, having every intention of getting them wrapped and under my ridiculous tree before, well, Christmas. It’s going to be a hard Christmas, of that I have no doubt, and I wanted to make sure the kids didn’t remember this as “the Christmas That Sucked Balls,” because while it’s going to be hard for me, I’d rather spare them the pain.

I’ve been eying the packages, wrapping paper, and tape (that my Prankster Jolie sent me as a gift, along with an ornament for my tree, which is just awesome. The ornament, not the tree. The tree was manufactured by Satan) every day, all, “IMMA DO THIS SHIT” until I get down to it and realize that no matter how pretty the paper, no matter how nice the bows, I still loathe wrapping presents.

I’ve set my sights a lot lower than the whole I WILL SOMEDAY HIRE SOMEONE TO WRAP FOR ME RATHER THAN BRIBING MY MOTHER TO DO IT because, well, that seems prudent. Plus, that’s a huge waste of money.

This year, I’m simply hoping my presents don’t appear to have been wrapped by a blind squirrel without thumbs.

But, because I know me, I’m not holding my breath.

————

What about you, Pranksters? What’s the one thing about the holidays that makes you crazy (besides everything)(and if you say Christmas music, I will cut you because I LOVE that shit)?

Comments are love, or some bullshit like that. Either way, they make my heart happy. You should leave (or at least THINK about leaving) a comment and SUBSCRIBE to my RSS feed or I will send my Chicago "friends" after you, yo.

33 Responses to All Wrapped Up And Nowhere To Go

  • All Wrapped Up And Nowhere To Go http://t.co/qqYQhpOs

  • Kizz
    Twitter: Kizzbeth
    says:

    Upside? You’re not going to have a coronary when someone tears into your wrapping job! That’s what I always remind myself.

  • Maggie says:

    Hey AB; Don’t hate me but I LOVE wrapping gifts – would you like a volunteer to come do it for you? (I’m not kidding – e-mail me).

  • Kelly says:

    My sister’s Facebook photos in Fucking September of all of her shopping and wrapping already finished. Pisses me off every year.

    And not all Christmas music, but I feel the urge to murder someone every single time I hear the Muppets sing the 12 Days of OMFG Make This Stop!

  • Cindy
    Twitter: WalkerCynthia
    says:

    I fucking hate all those people who bake perfect little cupcakes and cookies and shit that look like jingle bells and snowmen and prancing elves and shit. Those are pribably the same fucking people who can carve a damn beet to look like Santa’s sleigh and bake rolls shaped like reindeer, and then they use parsley to make little evergreen wreaths to use as garnish on your plate of roast beef and origami-fold napkins to look like baby jesus in a manger. I hate those people.

  • This is why i love her! RT @mommywantsvodka: All Wrapped Up And Nowhere To Go http://t.co/cShIyeBN

  • CycleNinja says:

    Now I feel better for neglecting the “gift wrap” option when I ordered your gift. Always seemed like a waste if you’re giving it to an adult, anyway.

  • blu_canary says:

    On the other hand, you can always wrap them like you always do….but tell the KIDS they were wrapped by squirrels! My daughter would likely love that more than the gift. Oooooh….have an oak tree nearby? Use acorns as the bows! Or did I just cross the line into Marthatown?

  • Shawna says:

    You, my dear, need an elf. I. HATE. Wrapping. with an unmitigated passion. So, I employ an elf. and by employ, I mean enslave… You find someone, like Maggie (above) who gets off on that shit and invite them over for a bottle or two of cheap wine and wrapping glory. You of course have the very important task of writing the gift tags and refilling her wine glass. She gets pasted and makes your presents beautiful!
    My elves have changed over the years, but I always make sure that I know which one of my friends have that Martha Stewart gene and book a date with her mid-December.! It’s a win-win. They love wrapping and you love having pretty things!

  • Sean Nordquist
    Twitter: beerforthedaddy
    says:

    1. I love Christmas music, too.

    2. I do not wrap well at all, either. I try to use gift bags whenever possible.

  • Brittany says:

    I pretty much hate EVERYTHING about Christmas…except for gift wrapping! I am a fucking genius with gifts! Tip: brown craft paper. Plain or sprayed with glitter spray. Then get twine, tie it around it, then buy those little evidence tags, use a gold or silver sharpie to write the receiver and voila! Gorgeous, simple, and impossible to fuck up!

  • Nicole says:

    I thought I was wrapping challenged. Then I had a kid. Shirt boxes are easy to wrap. Kid’s toys? Forget it. Whoever designs those packages apparently never had to wrap them. Gift bags abound at my house this year.

  • Sherri says:

    Once we got old enough, I had to wrap my sisters presents and she wrapped mine. Then we’d both wrap everyone else’s. I’m not sure how old your kids are, but there’s something to look forward to!

  • penny says:

    OOOO! i LOVE to wrap presents. it’s my favorite. if i still lived in chicago, i would totally wrap for you…for free!
    baking and/or decorating christmas cookies though is the WORST! but i’m told, apparently, it’s ‘tradition’ and you ‘have to’ or some shit like that!

  • cindy says:

    I fucking LOVE wrapping presents! They are not always perfect. You can tell when I got into the second bottle of wine. But I like the way all the ribbons are fluffy and the paper is all different. I’m a wrapping bitch.
    What I HATE is trying to do everything and accomplishing very little. I want to do some community service, see the neighborhood lights, bake cookies, handmake ornaments. But I’m out of time. I think in going to start a coke habit so I can get all this shit done!

  • a says:

    This is why God invented gift bags…

  • chickadee says:

    I always start out wrapping with great enthusiasm, but when I get to the last third of the gifts I start getting slap-happy. The best way to wrap presents (and my personal yearly tradition) is to kick everyone out of the house, light candles and turn on the tree lights, put “A Christmas Story” and/or “Miracle on 34th Street” in the DVD player and open a bottle of wine. Drinking that sucker makes the crappy wrapping look amazing.

  • Cindy DuBois says:

    Instead on no thumbs, I have 10 thumbs. My presents, when I manage to buy and get them wrapped before Christmas or any occassion, look pathetic. So, I either put them in a gift bag or send them from Amazon. Then I can blame UPS if they look “homemade.”

    When I lived at home, about a zillion years ago, my little brother wrapped all the gifts cause he could do a good job and he could keep a secret. I could do neither.

  • Melissa says:

    I bet she is a big fat liar! She probably had them professionally wrapped. Has anyone ever SEEEN her wrapping a present? I bet it was a conspiracy. Like going to one of those gourmet bakeries and buying a fancy cake and then put it into your own cake holder (what do you call those things anyway?)

  • Jolie says:

    Wow. I’m feeling all famous. *Blush*
    I hate those bows, they make me wanna smack something, cuz they NEVER look right, and I’m too cheap to buy fancy ribbon by the case and get Martha’y. So I take the skinny curling ribbon, tie about 15 pieces of varying lengths on it, and use the scissors to CURL it up. Varying colors helps make it look fancier. :)
    Rock on girl, ROCK ON!

  • chris says:

    My father.

  • Soni says:

    One word for you, girlfriends – GIFTBAGS!! Or is that two words? Get yourselves to the Dollar Store and buy every fucking bag they have (and there are many) and then don’t let the ungrateful recipients throw them away. Those things can be reused over and over and over. Much easier than wrapping, which was invented by someone as torture.

  • Carol Anne
    Twitter: NJdreaming
    says:

    Giftbags, giftbags are the answer. I put everything in a giftbag and if I”m feeling fancy I put tissue paper in the bag and a bow on the outside. Most of the time you get a bag with what I bought you in t. I don’t wrap. Although you should ask me some time about the shower-gift-microwave, and the contact-paper-like-wrapping-paper, and the 2 kittens.

  • Kay says:

    I wouldn’t stress out about crappily wrapped gifts, especially for your own kids. It would be a complete waste and not appreciated anyway as they rip through everything. The best I will do for them is reused store-bought stick-on bows. I only buy new when they’re looking pretty haggard. I also have a storage of gift bags that my kids or I get from other people, rarely do I buy gift bags myself so I just try to store them neatly so they don’t get too wrinkled and use new tissue paper, sometimes colored tissue paper. I recycle all those gift bags. After receiving some beautifully wrapped gifts with cloth-like handmade bows and such from an aunt a few times, I did buy some of that bendable ribbon cloth on clearance one year but have yet to use it. Saving it for special gifts, most likely an adult who would appreciate the effort but mostly I haven’t wanted to take the time to make the effort either. Slap on bows are good enough for something that’s most likely to be tossed in the trash within two minutes of receiving the gift.

  • Pete In Az says:

    I use any Christmasy newspaper to wrap presents. No pattern to match, no gift wrap to buy.
    and
    I have a couple of hours of Christmas music on my computer. I crank it up the day after Thanksgiving.

  • Janis says:

    The thing that drives me crazy about the holiday season is that if you take classes, even if you’re just a part time art student like me, things like projects and finals take up valuable time that could be spent doing cards, decorating, celebrating, or even wrapping presents.

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