wrapping station

Christmas is right around the corner again.  That wonderful time of the year, full of caroling, wrapping presents, hot chocolate, wrapping presents, sitting around the fire, and wrapping presents.  Around our house there is no end to gift giving.  The typical Christmas season involves picking up a present here and there, bringing it home and storing it in the back of the bedroom closet, away from prying eyes.  Some time in the final week before Christmas, and more often than not, on Christmas Eve, we find ourselves wrapping a huge pile of presents, swearing at the invisible tape, long into the night.

I have an aunt who does all her shopping in July.  She wraps each present as soon as she brings it home.  So when Christmas comes, she’s the only one who is calm and peaceful and not frantically wrapping gifts.  Of course, this only gives the rest of us something besides the tape to swear at.

This week I ran across an ingenious method of maintaining sanity around the holidays, without requiring ninja organization skills.  How about a gift wrapping station?  As soon as I say it, I think you know what I mean.  Pick a table or a counter somewhere out of the way, lay out all your paper, bows, ribbons, tags, tape, scissors, and red and green colored pens.  Don’t put anything else on this table.  That way, when you bring home the occasional present, everything you need to wrap it is already waiting patiently for you.  You can wrap it immediately, without having to drag out the supplies and put them all back away again.  In the final week before Christmas, most of the hard work will be done and you can remain peaceful.

This trick is easily adaptable, too.  Don’t have an extra table?  How about a guest bed?  Just put a piece of thick cardboard over it, and there’s your wrapping station.  Don’t have a guest bed?  How about one end of a kitchen counter, or one end of the kitchen table?

Set up the wrapping station right now and leave it up until after the holidays.  That way it’ll be available and you’ll be able to wrap each item immediately, and you can also wrap any last minute presents that pop up.  And don’t forget to wrap something for your favorite newspaper columnist.

This article originally appeared in the November 19, 2008, edition of the Greenhorn Valley View.
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