Good things come in whatever packages

The Examiner

I’m coming rapidly upon the dreaded time of the year. I can tell you in two words. Gift wrapping.

I can make a sow’s ear out of a silk purse, I’m telling you. 

Annie Dear

There are only so many square objects one can find to give as meaningful gifts, and try as I might when shopping I always manage to end up with ridiculous shapes that require ingenuity, dexterity and patience to wrap – not much of which I have.

Have you ever seen the art of gift wrapping by the Japanese? I remember being in a department store in Tokyo, watching in absolute awe as the doll-like delicate sales assistant wrapped one of the aforementioned silly shapes with amazing precision, and using only one piece of tape to boot. I bow to her superiority, and while it looked incredibly easy, I’ve never been able to get remotely close to her talent.

I confess I’ve often resorted to the fabulously convenient gift bags, but even then, you have to make it more interesting by adding cleverly scrunched tissue paper, which I end up rending unto the paper intended for the trash can rather than looking like the blooming flower it was supposed to resemble.

As we speak, I’m mentally preparing myself to wrap. As you can see, I’ve delayed the task by writing this epistle. No doubt I will further delay it by giving myself a quick dose of A.D.D. and will succumb to doing laundry. I might even drag out the ironing board, which hasn’t seen the light of day since the Bush administration.

But wrap I must. I was even intelligent enough to buy Scotch tape at the store – so that’s no excuse. I know I have miles of Christmas wrapping paper in the cupboard, and I have curling ribbon.

I must say though, in my defense, the quality of the rolls of wrapping paper you can buy is of terrible quality, and trying to cut it without ripping it is a challenge. Then if you hit a sharp corner of your gift at the wrong angle of the paper you are again in trouble. Mummy! Don’t make me do it! ...

I’m back. I have achieved wrapping with only minor injuries, I’m so chuffed!

Not only did I achieve wrapping, I achieved decorating. I used to do the Christmas tree, the lights, the cheese and crackers for Santa when Madam was just a titch, but neither Sir nor I are big into holidays, so the tree remains in the basement, the lights are long abandoned and Sir and I scarfed the cheese and crackers.

My decorating, therefore, is extremely simple. It’s a wreath between the storm door and the front door. That’s it. Let’s not muck about, troops. That’s it.

I did manage to clean the glass in the storm door, and I would judge from the amount of dirt removed this was also last done in the Bush administration.

I have achieved, I cry! Not a sow’s ear to be seen. I think I need a nap.            

Annie Dear lives in Lee’s Summit. Email her at