The older I get, the more worn I get by wrapping gifts. Each year, I get closer and closer to carrying the gifts out into the front yard, then spray painting them. I’d choose a different color for each child and for each grandchild, then I’d go at it. I would imagine if there’s snow on the ground and if I’d use a latex based paint, there should be no problem with pollution. But my kids have already nixed that idea, and I still have a heap of gifts waiting for me, SIGH.
When I was young and still living at home, somehow I ended up wrapping most of the gifts. Mom would keep my presents hidden and pull out the gifts for my grandparents, my dad, my brother, and my sister. She’d gather the wrapping paper, ribbons, tags, and Scotch tape. The one thing that made the task more miserable was the lick and stick name tags. The glue tasted terrible and they made my mouth dry after wetting so many.
The brightly colored paper was different back then. There was no shiny, metallic looking paper. Many of the colors were beautiful, but the designs were either very simple or extremely lavish. Then the paper was thicker and I am sure the ink that colored the paper came from metals; because as I burned the trash and tossed the wadded paper into the fire one at a time, the flames of the fire would change colors: blue, green, and sometimes orange. It was necessary to carefully check the trash to be sure that no stray sock or lost underwear had gotten into the discarded paper and burned.
My wife Cindy was fanatic about wrapping gifts. Everything had to be wrapped. If she bought a nail clipper as a stocking stuffer, she concealed it in paper. Any gifts that I bought for her had to be wrapped as well.
She snooped, shaking and feeling the presents once they were wrapped. She wouldn’t allow herself to peek in bags or boxes before they were paper clad. She considered them off limits; that is until they were wrapped. It was my mission to camouflage them so she couldn’t guess the contents until Christmas.