Tuesday, December 24, 2013

(W)Rap Artist

Christmas Eve is also my mom's birthday, so this day has had a hint of sadness since she passed away almost 19 years ago.  There are so many things that come to mind when I think of my mom and Christmas, but I have the most memories when it comes to wrapping presents.

I remember how quickly she could do it herself, always perfect in the amount of paper she used and the amount of ribbon she pulled off the spool.  Her organized mind was evident in the pre-torn pieces of tape she would have stuck to the back of her hand, or stuck to the side of the table where she was wrapping, ready for immediate use at each fold of the paper.  I noticed she never tried to wrap an odd-shaped toy or mug or whatever without putting it in a box first - this ensured the neatness of the package.  And she never left a present without a bow - she had a bow maker when she wanted to be fancy, but she wasn't beyond using the stick-on kind.  She just wanted it to be nice.

When I started choosing presents on my own to give to others, the first thing my mom did was to teach me how to wrap them properly.  Of course, teaching me to use the right amount of paper and ribbon involved lots of eyeballing, which I was bad at doing.  Many times I'd cut too much or, even worse, too little.  In the latter case, my mom told me to save that piece that was cut too small, because inevitably there would be another gift of appropriate size to use it on.  I still make that mistake to this day, so if you look inside the tubes of gift wrap in my closet, you'll find many rolled scraps meant not to go to waste.  Folding the corners on the present wrapping proved to be even more of a challenge.  Whereas her corners were always so crisp, mine left wrinkles and bulges that made the gift look like it needed a facelift.  But she assured me that, with practice, the corners would get more snug and the edges more flat.  After 30 years of wrapping my own presents, she was right.  And, per her example, I never forget the bow.  For any of you who have received a wrapped present from me, you know my fallback is curling ribbon.  Curly is about as fancy as I get.

Now in no way am I against gift bags, in case you were wondering.  I just feel like I'm honoring my mom when I wrap at Christmastime.  I value what she taught me and I don't want to forget it.  And I think the way I wrap presents is a good reflection of my mom:  simple, considerate, and nice.

"And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn."  Luke 2:7

Merry Christmas, everyone!

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