Friday, December 17, 2010

Day 351 - Wrapping Presents

I love wrapping presents. More than unwrapping presents.

I am NOT a fancy wrapper. Sheet of paper, cut straight, folded neatly, some tape.

If I'm wrapping something really special that needs a little something extra, I might stick on a stick-on bow. Probably not.

I don't even buy tags. I just snip a rectangle of wrapping paper. Turn it over, and... Presto! Free Tag!

The tags are actually my favorite part.

I inherited a tradition from my mom and step-dad of using the tags as riddles. Just the "From:" part, actually. You kinda need the "To:" part to be pretty straight-forward. Otherwise, Bobby might get a Barbie Corvette.

The idea is to give a hint as to what's inside. The trick is to make the hint hard enough that the gifted can't figure it out before they open it, but have it be obvious after they open it. Puns, historical references, inside jokes, codes, they're all fair game.

For example, last year one of my son's gifts was from Ned, Earl, Ralph, and Fred.

Get it? Ned, Earl, Ralph, and Fred. N.E.R. and F.

It was a NERF gun.

Another was a small box, about the size of a deck of cards, and the tag said "From: The Index Finger."


I highly recommend this practice. It's really fun, makes the wrapping process way more interesting, and lends itself to my personal preference for gift opening. I despise the Christmas morning feeding frenzy, like pirana devouring a dimwitted cow.

Each family member in turn gets a present. The card is read aloud, a moments pause for everyone to try to figure out the riddle, and then unwrapping and the reveal. And once the contents is known, you all share a chuckle, or a groan, or an "Oh, I get it!", or "That's just plain stupid."

Whatever, that's not the point. The point is that the giving and receiving are acknowledged, and appreciated, and most importantly, remembered.

Great occasions shouldn't be rushed. We only get so much time with family, and even less time with kids not clawing each other. If you don't slow down and pay attention, it'll fly by, and you won't even remember it.

Savor the good things.

Good running,

P.S. Feel free to post a guess as to the contents of the "From: The Index Finger." present in the comments, but only guesses. No fair posting if you know what the kid got last year.

Numbers: 3.0 miles on quiet streets, and the occasional cleared sidewalk.