How to Wrap a Christmas Present

It's the most wonderful time of the year!

You know what time I mean: the time when most Western-cultured humanoids spend about ten minutes selecting and purchasing gifts for others and the rest of the Christmas season trying to get those presents wrapped without lapsing into a stress-induced coma. 

Maybe stressing about wrapping presents isn't part of the normal holiday experience, but it's certainly always been a problem for me. 

This present-wrapping frustration is mostly due to the fact that although my hands may appear normal, they don't actually function as standard hands should.  They function more like two fleshy stumps complemented with a fanning array of ten differently-sized thumbs, an eventuality which--as you can imagine--makes for some awkward package-wrapping difficulties. (Not to mention lots of good offers to join the circus.)

In the end, my presents often look as if Wolverine helped wrap them.

If you find yourself facing a similar struggle, read on. This highly instructional (and helpful!) four-step blog post will have your package-wrapping issues sorted in record time, leaving you with even more time for curling up under the Christmas tree sipping a hot, spiced coffee (assuming, of course, that you're able to work the coffee maker with all those thumbs). 

How to Wrap a Christmas Present:

STEP ONE: Decide whether or not your gift is actually wrappable.  This may sound simplistic, but depending on what you've chosen to buy for your loved one, you may want to take the hint from Lexus and just plant a giant red bow on top.

If you skip this crucial pre-wrapping step, you could find yourself many hours later, lying in a drift of discarded wrapping paper clippings, your arms covered in small cuts held closed by half-used tape ribbons, weeping softly as your nephew's pogo stick stares malevolently back at you from across the room--still unwrapped.

STEP TWO: Make it square.  If you've been foolish enough to select a gift that is round, triangular, oblong, floppy, or star-shaped, understand that you're making an already difficult task no easier on yourself (and all your thumbs). Short of cutting lots of little oragami-shaped slivers of wrapping paper in order to individually cover all sides of your many-faceted gift, your best bet is to make sure you have a square box handy to shove your present into, thereby ensuring that you'll just need to cover those four sides with one easily-cut swath of Christmas paper and four small thumbs of tape.

Of course, shoving oddly-shaped gifts into giant boxes may lead to the awkward discovery on Christmas morning that a large, much-anticipated box contains nothing more exciting than a collection of fake eucalyptus branches meant to be added to a table centerpiece; however, as that look of disappointment dawns on the face of your loved one, at least you can content yourself that the wrapping job took only moments.

STEP THREE: Choose your workspace wisely. Although it may at first seem like a good idea to spread your wrapping operation across the living room floor, understand that doing so without first vacuuming the carpet may lead to the embarrassment of dog hair, dust bunnies, and (in some extreme cases) small household pets and/or rodents stuck between those unforgiving strips of clear tape and the wrapping paper.

After realizing that you don't have time to clean the house and wrap presents in one afternoon, you will contemplate in turns the kitchen counter (where the avalanche of unopened mail lives), the kitchen table (currently in use by three family members working on various projects), the hallway (too narrow), and the bathtub (too awkward) before coming to the conclusion that it would be much easier just to return all of the presents and just give everybody cash. 

STEP FOUR: Pay somebody else to do it. For every reluctant wrapper out there, at least two high school fundraising volunteers stand ready and waiting in their pilled Santa hats and fake reindeer antlers, eager to do the job for you... provided that you chip in a few dollars for new marching band instruments.

To my mind, paying someone else to wrap presents is more than worth the investment. Not only do I get to support a local cause, but I now also have an excuse for why my presents always look as if they were wrapped by a toddler high on methamphetamines.  Instead of blushing sheepishly when my mother holds up what appears to be nothing so much as a giant wadded up ball of Christmas paper covered with nearly an entire roll of tape, I can say, offhandedly, "Don't look at me. Some kid with cystic acne and a fake Rudolph nose wrapped this."

Then we will all chortle with glee, glad that someone else's questionable wrapping skills are on the rack for once.

And that, my friends, will be a true Christmas miracle.


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