Sunday, December 12, 2010

Chore or Pleasure?

I have a love-hate feeling about wrapping presents. It started when I was sixteen and worked at Penney's in the back of the store wrapping presents for the week or two before Christmas. I was taught how to make the packages pretty with tight, symmetrical corners on their nice paper, properly placed tape, and a lovely bow. I took pride in my dollar an hour job, but as I saw the lines of waiting shoppers with purchases getting longer and longer, I had to hustle. Behavior being mostly learned, over the years my wrapping has become much more hustle than neat and pretty. To my shame . . .

Presents can be beautifully wrapped in many ways, from silver paper tied with shimmering silver bows to a child's special homemade paper. My grandmother had her own identifiable style of wrapping that - looking back - must have been in vogue then. She used white tissue paper with red or green curling ribbon and often placed a sticker or two somewhere on the top. Each year I wrap a few the same way (without the sticker) as I remember her. Christmas is a time of carrying on traditions, is it not? Those bags that are so commonly used to hold presents now are practical especially for odd shaped or bulky items, but I don't think they hold a glowing votive to any kind of paper with ribbon. And a present without ribbon? Like sending it off in its underwear!

Off to finish my wrapping. I will try to do a better job on the ones remaining just in case my grandchildren will carry a memory of if into the future.

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