I love to wrap presents. I don’t know what it is about menial crafty tasks. It’s so simple, but it takes skill. (Just ask my sister. I love you, Sabrina!) I love choosing the paper. Sometimes I like to color code by person in case the name tag falls off, an excessive measure, but fun nonetheless. I love finding boxes to disguise the gifts inside, and strategically placing bows and tags so they look just right.
A lot people really hate to wrap presents. There are even wrapping services online and at the mall where people get paid to actually wrap. I have been advised to charge too, but I love it so much, I usually have to beg people to let me wrap their things. That was the great thing about my boss at Payless. He used to bring his gifts and wrapping paper into the backroom and let me wrap his daughters’ gifts in between customers.
Usually, wrapping is an event for me. I stockpile everything together and then bring it down onto the living room floor, spread out so I can see everything with something Christmas-y on the TV and a glass of eggnog nearby. Then I get going, one by one, measuring just enough paper without wasting any, tucking in the sides and avoiding getting pet hair on the tape before I stick it onto the package.
When I'm finished, I always pile everything together to see all that I have done. Unfortunately, we can't leave our presents under the tree; the pets would mess with them. But I always love to contribute all of my gifts to the mass under the tree at my aunt's house on Christmas Eve.
RADIO: Cinnamon Bear “Muddlers”, Jump Jump and the Ice Queen “A Crack in the Ice”, JonathanThomas and his Christmas on the Moon “The Wall of Doors”
MOVIE: I don't entirely understand why everyone loves National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation so much. It is just as corny as a lot of the Christmas movies people slam (like Christmas With the Kranks) but people laud it the way they do Christmas Story and Miracle on 34th Street. Still, it has its moments; I especially like the slapstick because I'm a sucker for that kind of comedy, even though I know it is incredibly low-brow. I also enjoyed seeing Mae Questel in the flesh, rather than just hearing her voice as Betty Boop. This certainly wouldn't be on my top ten list, but it is worth checking out at least once.
SONG: "The Christmas Waltz" by Peggy Lee
GIFT MEMORY: One year my grandma bought my dad a DVD player for Christmas. This was several years after DVD players had become more prevalent so our family was definitely a late adopter of the technology. But I had been begging for a DVD player for a long time because I discovered how wonderful DVD extra features could be. My favorite movie at the time was The Goonies, and even though I had a VHS copy of the film that I'd seen over and over again, I wanted, I needed the DVD. Not only did it have a featurette of the making of the film, the music video of the Cyndi Lauper song, and deleted scenes, it had a commentary featuring all of the original Goonies! I was beside myself with excitement when I saw him open that gift, as much if not more than I already was about my own presents. I began chanting at him from across the room: "Goonies on DVD! Goonies on DVD!" And a few days later after we got the machine hooked up, I went to Blockbuster and rented that glorious DVD and watched those Goonies all grown up and talking about one of the greatest movies ever made.