Wrapping Presents

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I hate wrapping presents. It takes a shocking amount of effort to get them to not look like they were done by a five year old in a hurry. I used to work retail at a place that offered complimentary gift wrapping. I dreaded customers requesting it. I passed it off to my coworkers whenever I could. But, it’s a Christmas Eve tradition. Santa would never leave unwrapped presents, and the elves wouldn’t be sloppy, so I stay up late every Christmas Eve wrapping and rewrapping.

This is the first year my daughter is in the know about Santa Claus. I was sorely tempted to leave a bunch of unwrapped presents under the tree, but I just can’t. Whatever my daughter believes or doesn’t believe, it seems very bah humbug not to wrap the presents. The one concession I made to the new reality is that I didn’t buy new wrapping paper this year. In the past, I’ve always been very careful about being Santa. That means that I never used the same wrapping paper twice and I never used the Santa wrapping paper for anything else. There’s been a bit leftover every year that I’ve just stashed in the basement. I’m using the leftovers this year.

I realized as I was beginning to wrap that we’re going to miss out on another family tradition because of COVID. Every year, my aunt gives the youngest a big, wrapped box. Inside that box is a smaller wrapped box. Inside that is another, and another, until, finally, they unwrap an actual present. My cousin was the youngest until he was around twenty when my nephew was born. He got the gift within a gift all through his teenage years. We’re only going to see my aunt virtually this year, so we won’t get the fun of watching a kid get frustrated opening box after box after box.

I’d better go finish the wrapping. Whatever my daughter believes, I’m sure she’s going to wake me up early tomorrow morning.

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