I’m coming out.
Opening myself up to the whole world, vulnerable and exposed. I can’t wrap a Christmas present to save my life. I use twice as much tape and “not-quite-enough” paper for every gift I attempt to wrap and create un-necessary tension with my wife who watches helplessly as I mangle yet another gift.
Last weekend I was happily wrapping away, repeatedly mushing up the clean and crisp edges of our brightly colored Noel glitter paper. I could feel her tightening the lines around her lips as the beautiful designs and elegant paper got smeared across the corner edges of my sasquatch-like folding job…she didn’t say anything, BUT I could tell it was making her crazy to watch me butcher the task at hand!
I feel like a six-year-old who is flunking out of my first grade arts and crafts final. I can’t cut the line straight, (scissors always jump irregularly across the paper after about 18 inches and creates an un-intentional jag where a nice clean line is required) and then when I need to mentally measure the distances needed to actually completely cover the item, I either over compensate by about a foot and a half or miss by less than a tenth of an inch. Never really getting the space and size calculation correct for the amount of paper needed to cover the box or item in question.I can sense the scorn, then frustration and finally “pity” that my wife and kids show for my under-developed skills. As if a grown man has to have help to tie his shoelaces or brush his own teeth. Fundamental abilities that they take for granted as being “assumed” of all adults.
Sadly…this is NOT true for me.
I wonder if I am the only father around who scrunches up the paper when it’s time to tape it. I wonder if I am the only guy who uses six pieces of tape when two would do just fine. ( I always am afraid the wrapping is so bad it could literally fall off the box if I don’t) I wonder if other dad’s can wrap paper and watch TV and listen to Christmas music without taking fifteen minutes per present? I can’t.
I’ve tried every Christmas season to improve. I’ve watched my wife and mother in law as they quickly and expertly tie bows from scratch, and add ribbons and personal name tags with custom designs and lace and color coordinated paper. All flawlessly clean and crisp, edges unwrinkled and just the right amount of paper and tape to leave the gift in an exquisite state of display. Ready for Christmas day without a single flaw on its pristine multi-colored outfit.
It doesn’t seem to help. I try to do what they do, but my big beefy fingers get in the way and my ability to work tiny things like scissors and tape dispensers while holding my finger on a line of paper for the tape to be applied are distinctly lacking.
The good news is this. I still try. Every year I get in there and load up my CD player or iPod and listen to the baritone voices of Nat and Bing and Johnny as they croon to me about perfectly white Christmas days and Holly and Joy and Families at night by a crackling fire. It’s Awesome.
I stink at wrapping gifts, so true…but I love to do it.
It’s my special time of the year to let my family know how much I do love them. Love them enough to take the time to wrap up my gifts personally. That the items inside are just symbols of the reality I carry around in my heart each day of the year. Love. Gratitude and Joy at being their dad, uncle and husband.
But it’s always cool to find a store that wraps for you… 🙂
Merry Christmas from RTP!