Monday, November 23, 2009

Wrapper's Delight

As we know, there really are no shortcuts in life. There are, however, implements, tools, and systems that can make the going a heckuva lot more palatable, and on today's episode of My Reality, Starring Me, we'll examine ways to make holiday wrapping easier, creative and, dare I suggest, even fun. We begin our sojourn at the website of a brand we've all grown up loving: 3M. From Romy & Michelle's assertions of business prowess to VetRap for securing a bandage on a horse's leg, 3M also brings us Scotch tape. I personally don't love wrapping gifts, though I do love presenting very well-wrapped and beautiful gifts, and for many years I struggled on the floor of my bedroom with a classic roll of Scotch tape and a pair of scissors. Inevitably there would be a few dog hairs picked up on the tape despite my best efforts, and despite the precision exhibited by those gift wrap people at stores, my scissors would hit a snag when I tried to zip them across the roll, resulting in semi-jagged edges. Jagged is good for little pills, no so much for gift seams.

A few years back I acquired the wristband pop-up tape and life got a little better. Gone was the need to hold a piece of folded paper with my toe while I used both hands to cut tape (incidentally, like performing maintenance on one's own toenails, sitting in the floor to wrap gifts can also lead to an increased sense of Feeling Fat (tm) and let's face it, no one wants that) but still, I longed for success in the snip-zip-rip sphere. Enter the Gift Wrap Cutter which is new to me this year. It's essentially an Exacto knife, but a little more safe, and as a bonus it includes a ribbon curler on the handle. Eureka! I have also learned that it's best to wrap gifts standing, preferably on a table that's about at hip height, and fairly wide. And while we're at it, go ahead and organize your wrapping items in a container designed specifically for this purpose (or be creative with something you already have or can repurpose). It will make your life easier and you'll not be as grumpy when you're required to wrap a gift.

What's even cooler, I must admit, is this comprehensive How-To Wrap website developed by 3M. It contains a wealth of information on wrapping, and isn't limited just to holiday gifts. Already I'm eager to investigate more of the Japanese section. In years past I have wrapped gifts in plain brown shipping paper (applied learning: use hot glue to secure as tape doesn't really stick) and painted with a washed metallic paint, embellishing with ornaments or even silk flowers, and this year I'm actually crafting holiday gift bags out of fabric. Point being, there are so many cool options out there and focusing on the presentation, for some odd reason, tends to calm the anxiety many of us feel around selection of "the gift."

On a final note, I'm already cheating on my new bitch K-Mart. I have discovered Dollar Tree (again), and the one in West Mobile has a TON of good Christmas stuff - including above-mentioned tape dispenser and refills. For a Child Left Behind where math is concerned, Dollar Tree is my personal shopping salvation. The fact is I can actually count, and I can sometimes do multiplication (and hello, I have in iPhone), so I can sort of manage a budget there.

It's the little things.

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