Friday, December 23, 2011

All Wrapped Up

One of my favorite parts of giving gifts is the wrapping-so they bring joy even before they're opened. Maybe that's why I buy my paper months in advance and rolls of ribbon too. When I see the perfect print I buy it, whether it is January, or June. 

This Christmas I started shopping early, and wrapping early. It has made such a huge difference on my checkbook, and on my sanity. I feel for each and every person who is running around like a nut right about now, trying to track down those last few presents and dreading the late nights to come taking care of last minute wrapping, assembly and finishing touches. I have certainly been there. But this year it is different.

I started wrapping before Thanksgiving. Instead of hiding presents all over the house-well, I did that too-I wrapped them immediately. If the kids found them, which I am sure they did because they were stacked in the corner in my less-than-clean, disorganized bedroom, they would have to rip open the paper to see what was inside. In late November I added embellishments; ribbon made into beautiful bows and decorative name tags that coordinate with the ornaments on our tree in lime green, pink and red.
A combination of coordinating gift wrap, ribbon
and reusable decorative boxes.
After the kids left for school each morning I set up my wrapping station and transformed each package into a decorative masterpiece. Wrapping didn't seem like work at all. In fact, it was therapeutic and relaxing, like working on a scrapbook or sewing project. I felt accomplished as the piles of gifts grew under the tree, sitting patiently, waiting to be opened on Christmas day.

Today my parents arrived from NH to celebrate Christmas with us. We spent the better part of the day sitting in my nice room by the tree, surrounded by the kids and all the wrapped presents. My mother added her gifts to the pile, with her big, beautiful bows that closely mimic mine. She taught me the craft of wrapping early, and introduced me to the beauty of a carefully decorated Christmas tree decorated with thoughtful ornaments-antiques, vintage bulbs and handcrafted specialties. This year I added tinsel for a little extra sparkle-like the sparkle in my kids' eyes as they look at their gifts, occasionally turn over a name tag hoping to see their name, and imagine what's inside.

Whether you started shopping early or are kicking yourself for waiting until the last minute, take some time to enjoy the beauty of the season. From the sparkling lights on the tree branches to the gifts below, to the smiles on faces and the warmth in your heart, allow time to take it all in. Instead of worrying about what hasn't been done, enjoy what you have accomplished. Take time to do the things you love-sing out loud to Christmas carols, decorate a gingerbread house with your favorite candy (and favorite children), turn the most special presents into decorative masterpieces. But remember, the best gift you can give yourself and your children for Christmas is time to enjoy what makes the season special.

Our kitty Olive whose favorite holiday past time
is clawing at the  Christmas tree and presents.