Monday, December 24, 2012

Santa's Birthday Eve

I can't believe Christmas Eve is already upon us.  That's the downside of Christmas falling on a Tuesday--I feel like I'm jumping straight from work right into the holidays, and that's never an easy transition.  I completed my annual newspaper gift wrapping session yesterday and pre-stretched my favorite eating pants earlier today, so I'm all set to let the celebration begin.

The greater the number of people who learn that I wrap Christmas gifts in newspaper, the more I find myself explaining the benefits of a black and white Christmas.  Luckily, I can simply send people to last year's holiday blog post on Passionately Apathetic, where I detailed the benfits of eschewing traditional wrapping paper in favor of old school media. However, I feel my wrapping skills may have regressed a bit this year--for some reason, I even found myself struggling with standard rectangular gifts.  But buried deep within my shoddy wrapping lies an important lesson.

The holidays are all about appreciating the things in life that truly matter, right?  I've seen people so skilled at gift wrapping that they can wrap a gift brilliantly while only using two pieces of tape.  I'm not one of those people. What better way to teach people that it's what's on the inside that counts than handing them a gift that looks like it (barely) survived World War II?  Tattered newspaper, exhorbitatnt amounts of scotch tape, and a desh of holiday spirit are the key ingredients in my annual holiday gift wrapping sessions. 

Nothing says "don't judge a book by it cover" like a brilliant gift ensconsed in scraps of hideous paper and a quarter pound of scotch tape.  Well, brilliant might be stretching it a bit on the gift department.  But don't let the lack of color fool you--my holiday spirit is alive and well.  Those black and white gifts look just fine under the tree, especially when they're mixed among the traditionally wrapped gifts from the less progressive members of the family:

We're also trying something new this year and saving the vast majority of the gift opening for Christmas morning.  It's a bold experiment, but I'm warming up to the concept.  I feel like Christmas Day should still be at least a week away, so putting off the main event is a step in the right direction.  And there's always a part of me that goes to bed after the Christmas Eve festivities a little disappointed, thinking "I have to wait another year to do this again?"  Now I can delay that disappointment for twelve more hours! 

That said, waiting won't be easy. I'm hoping that the anticpation of Christmas morning doesn't overwhelm me.  After all, there's nothing I love more than seeing the look of disappointment and confusion on the faces of my friends and family as they open my gifts.  It warms my heart every year.  Festivus may be over for 364 more days, but I still have Santa's birthday to look forward to tomorrow.

A second lesson also came from my gift wrapping this year: when you wrap gifts in newspaper, it's critical to immediately label the gifts.  If you wait a full day to bust out the Sharpie and apply the labels, it's nearly impossible to remember what's inside every package.  Then, of course, the unsolved packages end up with labels like this:

I'm not sure who's going to open this one, but I'll be just as surprised as the receipient, whomever that may be.  I love Christmas morning surprises, and now I'll even by surprised by the gifts I picked out.  Fantastic!

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