02 January 2012

Throw Some Paper On It

I used to be so creative. I used to show such pride in my work. I used to spend such time. I used to pay attention to such detail.

And now, NOW I just throw some paper on the thing and call it wrapped.


My family has had an unofficial non-judged gift-wrapping competition for many years. And I used to have at least one un-official entry in this non-judged contest each year. Usually more. I loved it. I am a creator at heart and this was a fun outlet. I also love giving gifts and giving them in beautiful packages makes it exponentially more fun.

But now, NOW I have children.

And that’s that. End of story.

Let me demonstrate…

Example 1, Pre-Procreation:

Christmas in 2004. Charlotte. I remember this Christmas well.


I remember this tree and this enormous pile of presents clearly. It was the first Christmas that Mikey and I were married. It was Sar and Dave’s second Christmas in their cozy and sweet apartment that they moved into as newlyweds. Good times.


Here’s me, looking young and silly and excited over Audrey Hepburn movies. I do love me an Audrey Hepburn movie. And that haircut is the haircut I had in my first drivers license that I got when we moved to Colorado and I took my love’s name. And those sweat pants were favorites that I wore all through college. I had them in navy blue too. And that wooden etagere in the background used to be my Aunt Gail’s and we used to lay in her bed and watch movies on the TV that sat on it when we were kids. Oh… the memories abound in this photo… who knew?!

This photo and commentary is irrelevant to the topic of this post, but I thought I’d share anyway. In fact, I couldn’t help myself. Also, for many of you, this may be the first time you’ve ever seen me without mascara. Please don’t be alarmed. And now you understand why I always wear mascara.



This was my best entry that year. The gift was for Dave. I had “DAVE” written on the front using only ribbon taped down at different angles. It’s gift-wrapping creative genius, no? I was so proud.

Example #2 Pre-Procreation:

Whatever year this was, we apparently did hand out actual awards. This is the winner of ‘The Best Ribbon Award’. I don’t know who fashioned this ribboned masterpiece, but I stand amazed.

Best ribbon

Example #3 Pre-Procreation:

Another Christmas. (Duh) Not sure what year it was, but it sure looks prehistoric, judging by the photo, Mikey’s hair and my slimmer waistline.


It showcases more artsy ribbon placement. It’s like a gravity defying ribbon explosion. Love it.

And now, if you’re ready, I’ll sheepishly show you some of my ‘work’ this year.

Examples 4-8, Post-Procreation:


Oh my.

The ones I’m showing have ribbons, which most didn’t. This one’s ribbon was so badly sized that just setting it on the floor made it slip off the sides. And instead of even bothering to hide the gift-tag on the bottom, I obviously haphazardly stuck it to the top. Before, I wouldn’t dream of messing up the design of a beautiful package with a silly tag stuck on the front.



Several times when I started wrapping a gift I realized that the paper didn’t quite cover the back. A few years ago I would have chosen a different paper and begun with a new gift wrap design (seriously). But now, I just grab any ol’ scrap and throw it on the back.

No one looks at the back anyway.


This charming little one was crumpled, folded and taped on one end and gathered and tied at the other end with a ribbon. Snowmen paper again. It must have been the roll on top of the pile. And you can thank me, also, for it’s odd shape because I was too lazy to try to find a gift box to fit one of the skirts I made my daughter so I shoved it inside a misshapen roll of paper instead.


This lucky devil got more than just the paper. And more than the occasional curling ribbon. It got extra embellishment! In previous days this tinsel garland could have been carefully and imaginatively applied to achieve an interesting and thoughtful piece.

In previous days.

These days it’s thrown on the top with some GINORMOUS pieces of tape that didn’t even stick because my girlie was crying in the other room and what good are gifts if the receiver cries in solitude while the ‘cheerful giver’ is wrapping and cursing at her lack of time to spend wrapping gifts alone in the other room?

That wouldn’t be good at all.

Soooo the pretty ribbon days are over. The slap-the-paper-on-it-and-call-it-done days are here. I’ve accepted it. I have.

But I do hold out hopes that maybe when my kids are middle school age-ish, that the unofficial non-judged gift-wrapping competition can live once again, someplace outside of my heart and memories.

My hope is that I can one day proudly win back The Best Ribbon Award.


  1. I can't prove it, but I'm pretty sure I won that Best Ribbon award (it looks like one of my well-known ribbon roundabouts!!!........and that it was the first year you & your hubby were overseas for Christmas. I remember we took all kinds of pics of our traditional fun to e-mail to you because we missed you so much!!
    We all let it slip especially badly this year. WAIT!! NO, I TAKE THAT BACK!! Your sweet sister still made the effort this year ~ she had pretty bows!
    However, I officially challenge you to a decorative ribbon tie-off during Christmas 2020!! Look out!! I'm going to start planning any day now!! And, just so you know ---- I will not be sharing any paper or ribbon that year ~ a definite disadvantage, because you know I always store up the best stuff!! ;)
    Challenge offered ~~~ Challenge accepted??

  2. I think you might be right about that ribbon award! Rings a bell. And I accept your challenge for 2020, I think! I better start stashing my own stuff now... Ha! Love you Mom!

  3. Suz, you are hilarious! Love your writing, as usual. :-)


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