Just Sayin’: Who Raps … Or Wraps?

Let’s see the hands all  of you who love to wrap presents… or even like to wrap presents. OK, I’ll settle for ‘tolerates’ gift wrapping. Thank you. Both of you can put your hands down now.

I know the members of this tribe are few and far between, but I am a card carrying member of “love-to-wrap-presents” tribe.

If I ever had a million dollars to design and build a house, it would have one room designed just for gift wrapping. I’ll admit, as much as I love to wrap presents, it’s getting the stuff out , putting it away and finding a place that takes a lot of the fun out of it. So, my room would have that stuff all designed in and installed year round.

I’ve always thought of gift wrapping as an artistic adventure. Next to cookies, it’s the best part of Christmas… even birthdays, for that matter!

One year, during the Holiday Home Show at the Civic Auditorium, Trig and Mike Marshall (original owners of Marshall’s Florists) had the entire stage set up with demonstration trees. One of them was done up in colonial blue and dusty pink, (this was the early ’80s , after all). I remarked to Mike that tree, of all the  trees, looked like it belonged in my living room. Guess where it ended up? So, my goal that year was to wrap all my presents in colonial blue/pink/silver. Sure, there were other presents under the tree, but they got stacked under the color-coordinated ones (well, at least for the pictures).

The one exception I have found to all this fun is when you have to wrap presents to be shipped. You KNOW they’re going to get smushed and mangled. And, since my son and his family (my only grandchildren) have lived overseas for most of the last 20 years, there has been a lot of smushed wrapping.

Except for the first year they were in Italy, when I spent two months with them, I went for Thanksgiving and stayed through all the holidays, including President’s Day. As is the case when I visit any of my kids during the holidays, they save up their presents that need to be wrapped. Well, my youngest grandson was four at the time and he thought it was absolutely the most fascinating thing to watch me wrap “purr-sents.” He wanted to wrap too, so I gave him some old scissors and a bunch of my scraps and tape. He was a happy camper… except, we adults had to make sure anything we didn’t want to have gift wrapped, stayed above the reach of a four-year-old.

Of course, one of my favorite ways to wrap a present is to find a box where the lid fits clear down over the rest of the box, then wrap that lid so that it lifts off. My mother and I had a box like that in which I had received an 8th grade graduation present. We were still giving that box back and forth when she passed away some 35 years later. It’s been recovered a half dozen times and whatever is in it is not nearly as important as getting the box, itself. I think my daughter has it now.

I’ll have to see if I get something in it this year.

Adrienne Jacoby is a 40-plus-year resident of Shasta County and native-born Californian. She was a teacher of vocal music in the Enterprise Schools for 27 years and has been retired for 11 years.
A musician all her life, she was married to the late Bill Jacoby with whom she formed a locally well -known musical group who prided themselves in playing for weddings, wakes, riots, bar mitzvas and super market openings. And, oh yes . . . she has two children, J’Anna and Jayson.

Adrienne Jacoby
Adrienne Jacoby is a 40-plus-year resident of Shasta County and native-born Californian. She was a teacher of vocal music in the Enterprise Schools for 27 years and has been retired for 11 years. A musician all her life, she was married to the late Bill Jacoby with whom she formed a locally well -known musical group who prided themselves in playing for weddings, wakes, riots, bar mitzvas and super market openings. And, oh yes … she has two children, J’Anna and Jayson.
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18 Responses

  1. Avatar Dede Barnes says:

    Adrienne,

    I belong to the "I love to wrap," club, too. My first paying job while I was in high school was as a Christmas gift wrapper at Surprise Valley Drug in Cedarville, California. My first mistake was spending too much time artfully making each gift extra special. The owner objected, and quantity won over quality. I still love to wrap. I just wish I had more quality time to get the job done.

  2. Avatar Canda says:

    Count me in for the "loves to wrap" club. I agree that it's an artistic endeavor, and one that I've always enjoyed. When my parents and grandparents were alive, I always got to wrap all the gifts they bought for everyone. In those days I remember sitting on the floor for hours creating my heart out. These days the wrapping is done on the kitchen breakfast bar for obvious reasons, but the joy of creating beautiful packages is still there.

  3. I'm a wrap-lover, too. It's one of my favorite things to do. You should see my dining room table right now … totally covered in wrapping supplies. Fun, fun, fun. 🙂

    • Avatar `AJacoby says:

      Can't you just imagine how fun it would be to have a room all set up year round? I'd have the front of the cabinet let down like a Murphy bed with the rolls of paper and ribbons behind and the Murphy bed area would be the wrapping table. Now, if only my lottery ticket would come in. . . maybe I'd better even buy one!!

  4. Avatar Joanne Lobeski Snyde says:

    I learn so much from you Adrienne. Presentation does matter; with food, art work or with presents. I'm only just learning this lesson. Thank you for another excellent article. By the way, I'm taking wrapping paper to school tomorrow to help a couple of students wrap presents for moms and grandmothers. Would that you were there to direct the project!

    • Avatar Canda says:

      I loved having my students make their own wrapping paper using large sheets of newsprint and crayons. Those were real treasures.

    • Avatar `AJacoby says:

      Next year let's set it up!!! I'd be HAPPY to come show and tell and help and consult . . .

    • Avatar `AJacoby says:

      Joanne . . . . Here's a rule of thumb . . .

      the more senses you can involve, the more impact in the event. Serving a plate that looks good, states good and smells good has more impact on the consumer that a bowl of unflavored mush. I just thought of that . . . but it seems to hold true!! Now, if I could just get the deviled eggs to sing . . . .

  5. Avatar J'Anna says:

    awwww. mom, I loved this article. you could conduct a whole seminar on bow-tying alone! I'll look for that special box. just one more thing…is 'smushed' really a word? I hope so!

  6. Avatar Stan says:

    Well, flute girl really enjoys wrapping presents and does a great job and……..I am oh so lucky because that's not something that I like at all. It's pretty easy to tell which ones were "wrapped" by me.

  7. Avatar Sally says:

    Oh A.J. – as much as I enjoy everything you do, and admire your seeming unending talent, I have to drop out over the love of wrapping. Wrapping and ironing are among the many things I do not do well. A job in highschool was with a toy shop where I was hired to wrap the Christmas presents purchased for children. All the tools were available for my use, but as a short time went on, it became obvious, because I was young, helping suggest gifts for grandchildren was my forte. The bosses happily moved me from wrapping to selling! Yes, I wrap gifts, but a child could do a better job.

  8. Jennifer Jewell Jennifer Jewell says:

    I am a member of the shamed and chagrinned oh-my-I-dread-wrapping-presents populations. Oddly enough, I am NOT saved by the bag and tissue on top solution because I so admire a well wrapped gift that anything less just screams compromise to me. This week, I added to my nightly prayers the following: Things I am thankful for – wrapping paper with cutting guides on the interior side for the likes of me…..I never mind wrapping in fabric, however. Great article – the world can be cross-sectioned in so many ways.

    • Avatar `AJacoby says:

      Oh my . . , cutting guides are the BEST!!! Makes life so much simpler. Never being sure what's on the underside when buying wrapping paper, I looks for designs that have a repeating pattern that can also act as a guide.

  9. Avatar Patty Large says:

    I to am a card carryin' gift wrapper. When in high school, I worked at our local JC Penny's and went to gift wrapping when they needed extra help. LOVED it. I sovled the smushed bow thing by wrapping each one of my Grandchildren's presents (we have 5) in their very own theme paper. Then I topped each one with a themed gift tag. No bows. So instead of asking which presents were theirs, they wanted to know which paper was theirs so they could count them…..miss those days. Now all they want is Gift Cards! Still enjoy the thrill of the wrap!

  10. Avatar Charlotte Brothwell says:

    AJ. I loved your article and the memories of my Christmases Past it brought to mind. I USED to really like to wrap presents. Now, with 13 great grandchildren and being a last minute person, it gets a bit hectic. I'm sorry about that! I DO love a pretty package. Keep up the good work Creative Friend! And have a Great 2013.