Over the last 25 years, James and I have established some definite Christmas traditions – Christmas Eve with one side of my family; Christmas Day with the other side (what James came to refer to as the “tour of homes” as we hop from place to place); baking a ridiculous number of cookies; and me wrapping Christmas presents.
And yes, that last one has really become a tradition.
Somewhere along the way, James realized that I really liked wrapping presents. And if I was that happy to do it, he was even happier to allow me. Each December, I wrap pretty much everything but whatever he may have bought for me. We also receive gifts from his parents that usually require wrapping, not to mention a bit of coordination so we don’t open the wrong Amazon box and spoil the surprise.
Plenty for me to do and a husband more than willing to relinquish that task.
I’m not certain at what point gift wrapping became part of my DNA. I’m also not sure if this is a gay thing, an architect thing, or a gay architect thing. I can recall pre-architecture days being offended when someone asked if I’d had their present gift-wrapped. What am I? An animal? I’ve always tried to wrap presents for any occasion as nicely as possible. Even when I couldn’t get good – aka thick – paper, I would double wrap the box to make sure the recipient couldn’t see what was inside.
I will say I have become somewhat particular about not only how I wrap, but what I wrap with. Every time requires sharp scissors, good tape (I can’t even begin to explain that), the appropriate ribbons and bows, and various boxes for the odd shaped gift. However, the most important element has become the paper, something I’ve managed to wrap James up in – so to speak.
Every December you can find us at The Container Store walking up and down the aisles checking out every roll of paper. And we’ve become somewhat particular about this. Not only does the paper need to be a sturdy paper (is that really the right phrase?), whatever we select needs to be cute. Something involving snowmen. Maybe something with animals. Or maybe an unusual color.
This year we did manage to keep our selection to 10 rolls (probably because we had to shop online). You do want to be prepared, and woe be to the present wrapper (aka me) who must make a late season run for a couple more rolls.
Of course, wrapping extends beyond the materials. There’s also the method. Corners needs to be crisp. Patterns need to be visually level with the edge of the box. And the ribbons and bows not only need to compliment but require a particular placement.
Combine all of that and part of me really thinks this is an architect trait. With the gay gene thrown in as a bonus.
Happy wrapping & Happy Holidays to all!!