Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Christmas is icumen in

I dunno what's up with the 'icumen'. I just like silly words.

Anyway. Christmas. For something that happens every year, at the same time, and gives so much notice that it's possibly outstripped only by a pregnancy test--which, after all, never gives a firm date--it still manages to catch an overwhelming number of people out. Including me. All of a sudden, it's December, and then I realise I don't actually have a whole month left, just 25 days, and when you take out all the days spent travelling to see aged relatives and recovering from festive hangovers, that's not much time at all.

Still. According to the lists I've been making, I'm not terribly behind. Of course, I keep forgetting to put things on the lists, so I'll probably get to Christmas Eve and realise I haven't sent any cards yet, or bought anything for my brother--oh crap, actually I haven't. His birthday is Christmas Day, and once again it's something that catches me out every year. Every damn year! Well, no wonder he thinks he's God.

But look! Lo! I have wrapped presents! I'm actually ridiculously frivolous with present-wrapping. I actually enjoy it. I know a lot of people loathe it, and if you're on a budget (ha, the parents pay for my wrapping supplies, in return for not actually having to do any of it themselves) or short on time, I can see why. I spent two hours the other day wrapping about five presents. Maybe less. I can't remember.

Anyway, if you hate wrapping presents or find they always look a mess, here are my top three tips. Ready? 1. Use lots of tape. 2. Use lots of tape. 3. Use a box.

No, seriously. I wrapped a teapot the other day (don't ask). Have you ever tried to wrap a teapot? Quite apart from the fact that the paper tears every five seconds and it ends up being mostly sellotape, there's just no disguising the shape. I stuck it in a box, and wrapped that. Boxes are your friend. You can buy pretty ones you just have to assemble, or get them from the supermarket and wrap pretty paper over the top, or use the ones your internet shopping comes in. Or, get things giftwrapped by the internet shopping people.

And yes, that's another point. The internet. As Kate Monster points out on my mobile ringtone, the internet is really, really great. No parking hassle, no chavvy teenagers with prams, no hideous, soul-destroying Christmas music (I want to go back in time and remove Doris Day's larynx), no queues, no crowds. Have credit card, will shop.

I remember the dark old days when I used to have to take my dad shopping for my mum's presents. For a man who's been married 35 years, he still has no freaking clue what to buy his wife twice a year. Now I buy everything, wrap it beautifully, give him some tags to sign (with the words 'To B love K'; eight letters which he still never gets around to writing until Christmas Eve) and present him with a credit card bill. He pays it, perfectly happy that he hasn't had to do any of the work. Outsourcing. It really, really works.


  1. I am an awful present wrapper.

    To the point where I don't have to put tags on things because people can tell from the horrible wrapping that the present is from me. (And yes, this includes stuff in boxes).

    I still enjoy it though.

    And yours look super nice, but not nearly as cute as the kitty!

  2. Anonymous3:48 am

    Your presents are prettyful!!!

    Seriously, I spent the evening wrapping and I hate it. I suck at it though.

    But if I were as good as you, I might like it.