Atlas Insider: Wrap Star
Ominous rumblings from the MDK mailbag these past two weeks. Hold on, I need to prepare a cool compress and take a BC powder before I tackle this subject.
“Can you wrap that for me?”
Now, if you’ve got your copy of the fully illustrated The Careers of Amazing DG (foreword by Joyce Carol Oates) handy, take a moment to open it up to the page that falls between “worked for a national newsmagazine” and “made marshmallows for a living” and you’ll see a brief chapter—a footnote, really—called “Gift Wrap Death March,” which
thoroughly excruciatingly documents the season I spent wrapping gifts at a tchotchke shop my sister managed for a while.
It seemed like it would be fun, mainly because I do like wrapping gifts. Who doesn’t? But what was profoundly un-fun about it was that everyone, every single person—Every. Single. One—wanted it done while they waited and when they were informed that it would be two to three days before they could pick up the ding-dang “Life is a Cabernet” wine glass dealybobs they’d picked out for the upcoming office party, I could only sit in the shadow of the mountain of personalized coffee cups ahead of them in the queue and say, “Sorry, all the Cayleighs and Coopers of the world are ahead of you!” while suffering doleful glares and a barrage of “You’ve ruined Christmas!” accusations. (My Christmas gift to you: Diagram that sentence.)
I felt for them. Really, nothing beats a hand-wrapped gift. I am split about 49/51 when it comes to which matters more: the thing or the wrapping of the thing. “Oh, just shove it in a gift bag,” I can hear you saying. Now look: I am quite firmly anti-gift-bag (and this is a hill I will gladly die on). You don’t have to agree (and I can already hear you loudly not doing so, so save it for the comments!), but I am a big believer in “It’s the thought that counts,” and I don’t want anyone to think that the thought I was thinking was, “Oh hey, I’m at Walgreens getting some ointments and unguents and poultices and salves; might as well pick up a few sad gift bags while I’m at it.”
No, I’m a stone-cold wrapper. I believe in double-sided tape and good, heavyweight gift wrap with one-inch grids lightly dotted on the verso. I believe in clearing off the dining room table and setting things up in an elaborate fashion that would put Candy Spelling’s gift-wrapping room to shame. TO SHAME. I believe in curling my own ribbon with the sharp edge of a scissor; I believe in asking some innocent person walking through the dining room (HI SISTER MEG!) to hold their finger in the middle of the knot while I tie up the string. My faith is deeply entrenched in invisible seams and folded edges and bows that untie with a simple tug: no knots. A perfectly pinking-sheared gift tag tied with jute twine has been known to induce a mild swoon. I love the smell of kraft paper in the morning!
But! I really believe you should do it yourself. You should stay up late on Christmas Eve and drink five hundred cups of coffee (or eleven glasses of wine) and wrap those thoughtfully chosen gifts! Cut those fingers on the serrated edge of the tape dispenser! Lose the scissors over and over and over again (they’re in the trash pile, duh)! Get mad at the cat for sitting on your rolls of gift wrap!
Having said all that—or if you thought all of the above was TL;DNR, here’s the short version: Naw, sorry, but we can’t wrap yer MDK purchases. My own to-be-wrapped stack is big enough. Don’t tell my family it’s a whole big pile of empty boxes, though. Sssshhhh.
Help us change up our wrap routines. The prize is also a tip! A Bento Bag. Tie the flaps together and you have a tidy bundle that makes a useful, re-useable gift wrapping! But, you know, maybe add a sprig of something festive or a pom pom (and fill it with yarn, of course).
How to enter?
Step 1: Sign up for our weekly newsletter, Snippets, right here. If you’re already subscribed, you’re set.
Step 2: Share your favorite wrapping tip or unvention in the comments.
Deadline for entries: Sunday, December 12, 11:59 PM Central time. We’ll draw a random winner from the entries. Winner will be notified by email.