A Skill Not Possessed

I can’t wrap.  It’s an art I never mastered and I am sure it is connected to the same ADD tendencies that cause me to literally cry if I have to paint a room.  I just do not have the patience to neatly roll out a wall with paint without bursting into tears of frustration, nor the finesse to wrap a tidy gift without bungling the edges or tearing the paper in the process.  This lack of patience/focus also manifests itself when rolling a burrito (although the summer before last I was given a great burrito rolling lesson which has improved my skills considerably).  It interferes when I have (pathetically) attempted to crochet or knit.  Actually, there is a list of manual skills concerning patience and neatness which I do not possess.  This is a person who colored outside of the lines in kindergarten. Things haven’t changed much since then.

When someone receives a gift from me, they probably know it is from me without ever having to read the tag on it, because it will resemble a lump.  There could be the most incredible, thoughtful or expensive gift underneath that paper, but the outside will be a wad of wrapping and too much tape.  I am an adult.  It was my assumption that by now this is not supposed to happen, something that would have been outgrown.

Conversely, my youngest sister gift wraps beautifully.  Her presents are a delight to see, the colors and bows a sparkling portent of good things inside.  Something to be savored and opened carefully.  Granted, she spent time working the holidays in a gift store in her youth.  But still…..

Here are some gifts my sister dropped off here the other day –

And here is one I gave.

Perhaps a quick workshop/tutorial on The Art of Gift Wrapping would expand my horizons.  Something to think about…..maybe a mini-goal for the upcoming year.


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10 Responses to A Skill Not Possessed

  1. annieb says:

    I took gift-wrapping lessons from a friend many years ago. I was always terrible at wrapping. One year she wrapped all my gifts for me, and husband-person was finally satisfied with the job “I” did. The next year she taught me how to do it.

    I think Jews just don’t learn gift wrapping. Maybe it is because Jewish children don’t give Hanukkah presents to their parents, so never learn the skill at a young age. I don’t know if that is the answer, but it always seemed to me that Christians were always better at wrapping gifts. It’s kind of like snapping gum. Jews can’t, as a rule, do that either.

    The best way to learn wrapping is to start with easy stuff – calendars, small boxes. The photo of your gift is of a squishy-looking item – while your sister’s gifts were boxes. Squishy is hard to wrap. Practice on boxes.


    • daeja's view says:

      I grew up with Christmas… unfortunately, I cannot apply your theory/excuse in my case.
      I would say my gum-snapping skills are minimal… not very impressive, but I think I might be able to still do that.
      When I wrap a box, it looks the same as that squishy package.


  2. Judy says:

    I have the same disability so this year, in honor of Mother Earth, I wrapped all of our presents in whatever used store plastic bags I had around, with colorful rubber bands around the top. The bags get used multiple times, and I don’t have to fret over my pathetic wrapping. Win-win.


  3. I was going to say that your sister’s presents are in boxes, and yours looks like it’s not. That can make a huge difference, but you wrote in your response to annieb that it’s the same with boxes too. There goes my theory. 🙂

    That being said, I love to get pretty presents too, but ones like yours have their own charm. They take me back to being a kid and not being concerned with how the package looked all that much, but just to wrap it and give it. 🙂 There’s a beauty to those packages all the same. 🙂


    • daeja's view says:

      Ironically, after I finish wrapping and see the results, I do feel like a kid again, or much like I did when I was a kid and examined my handiwork (or lack thereof). Also, often there is no box, or I haven’t found an adequate box, thus the lump style wrapping, not that it makes a difference for me. But thank you for seeing the charm….I like that….I am going to keep with that theme in mind… 🙂


  4. I have learned that in order to wrap a present properly, I must be in the right frame of mind to do it. I am usually in a hurry, and do not have the proper accouterments to do the job – which usually makes me cranky and even more impatient to get the job done.
    I have found that I obtain much better results by preparing in the following way:

    1. Having a cleared space to move around – I hate it when things get knocked off the table….
    2. A selection of nice paper and ribbon
    3. Tape and scissors
    4. Allowing myself time to do it!! – Which is the most challenging for me…


    • daeja's view says:

      Cranky and impatient is right! My sister always has a nice collection of ribbons and paper and that’s part of it right there. I try to recycle the pretty bows, but inevitably they are lost by the time they are needed….they do tend to brighten up a wrapped lump thought…. 🙂
      And yes, a cleared space! Trying to wrap on top of a bed or the corner of a dining room table that is so covered with things that you can’t see the table top is a deterrent…….and time….always time….you said it.


  5. TIME is the most important – or the allowing of it. I do upon occasion make a point to spend the extra few dollars to buy the wrapping paper. It is so satisfying to wrap a gift in something that is not Hallmark junky paper, and is something that I love. I guess in the end it really is all about priorities. ox


  6. annieb says:

    When my mom remarried – I was 13 at the time – we moved from the NY burbies to the Big City. We learned many new things from our extremely hip stepdad – and one of those things was how to wrap “the cool way”. We used the comics sections of the newspaper and multicolored yarn, and he encouraged us to use the yarn in fun ways – spiderwebs, interesting bows, and even wrapping it around the package a lot so that the yarn looked like fabric.

    Once I grew up and married and found my man to be a bit anal about wrapping I had to learn the grown-up way of wrapping. He is very fussy about the paper – something that looks pretty to me can be unacceptable for mysterious reasons. He is the same about the little gift tags as well.

    But the idea of making sure that the ambiance is correct – good idea. I have to be in the mood – wine always helps – and I spread everything out on the floor. Messy corners can always be covered up by creative ribbon styles. I have become a master at ribbon curling and enjoy doing that – probably to a fault….


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