By Ken DeLaat
I hate wrap.
No not rap.While not an aficionado of the genre there exists strong appreciation for its impact on the musical world and when pressed must admit to giving certain artists an extended listen or two.
I’m talking Wrap. As in Christmas wrapping.
Of all the tasks assigned to the season wrapping ranks just below the post-holiday removal of pine needles from the carpeting on my least favorite pastimes.
Why? Because I am not very good at it.
And that’s an understatement.
My gift wrapping skills fall far below acceptable and though I have honestly tried to be a little more careful or at the very least a bit more uh, neat I guess, my conclusion is that once a youtube demo fails you any hope for a major change dims considerably.
Years ago when LSC Lil and I resided in the GR area I would call on my oldest (longevity not chronologic) friend Henry who for whatever reason was a true wrap artist. Maybe he got it from his Mom who I recall from childhood as being considerably creative, but he was most definitely a master.
I’d give him a call and bring over a couple of beers that we’d split while he went to work, never once measuring the gift up to the paper just cutting and taping. There was a rhythm to it, a kind of freestyle flow to his movements as he would finish one off then eye up the next as he began to cut again never moving the gift until the paper was laid out.
These days I have attempted to give it a go since I only see Henry a couple times a year and a bi-annual card game is hardly the place to be bringing over gifts for him to wrap.
Here’s the thing. Lil ( a woman of strikingly superior patience) wraps really really well. She certainly matches Henry in quality if not in pure showmanship. This ability is a great thing when I am on the gifting end of other people and can enlist her services.
However gifts for her need to be self-wrapped (I’ve asked if she would do it but she won’t budge on this) and when my futile attempts rest under the tree alongside of her wistfully wrapped wonders the scene can look a bit, I don’t know... unbalanced I guess.
This year I once again journeyed the paper trail and took a stab at attempting to make my gifts look more like inviting and non-wrinkled packages and less like the upshot of a scotch tape assault on the holiday itself.
Results have been... well… mixed, I guess. Easier things that have even corners have gone well but few of my gifts seem to fall into that category and none seem to have the appropriate dimensions for a box or gift bag. I’ve been advised before that my gifts could be a bit less ‘offbeat’ but I’ve found fun rarely comes neatly packaged.
There’s still too much tape involved and my reticence toward waste (along with perhaps a parsimonious predisposition) creates an occasional patch of unmatched paper over a tear but we can live with that.
Despite some shortfalls like leaving a gap or two and a couple of way too wrapped pieces it felt good to try. After all if it’s truly the thought that counts when it comes to the gift should not the wrapping be equally regarded?
So there, quality of wrapping aside, it's the thought.
And the primary thought yours truly put into this whole process as he does every year?
“Where in this weary world is Henry when you need him?”
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