Saturday, December 17, 2005

Gift Wrapping Tips for Men

This is the time of year when we think back to the very first Christmas, when the Three Wise Men; Gaspar, Balthazar and Herb, went to see the baby Jesus and, according to the Book of Matthew, "presented unto Him gifts; gold, frankincense, and myrrh."

These are simple words, but if we analyze them carefully, we discover an important, yet often overlooked, theological fact: There is no mention of wrapping paper.

If there had been wrapping paper, Matthew would have said so:"And lo, the gifts were inside 600 square cubits of paper. And the paper was festooned with pictures of Frosty the Snowman. And Joseph was going to throweth it away, but Mary saideth unto him, she saideth, 'Holdeth it! That is nice paper! Saveth it for next year!' And Joseph did rolleth his eyeballs. And the baby Jesus was more interested in the paper than the frankincense."

But these words do not appear in the Bible, which means that the very first Christmas gifts were NOT wrapped. This is because the people giving those gifts had two important characteristics:1. They were wise.2. They were men.

Men are not big gift wrappers. Men do not understand the point of putting paper on a gift just so somebody else can tear it off. This is not just my opinion: This is a scientific fact based on a statistical survey of two guys I know.

One is Rob, who said the only time he ever wraps a gift is "if it's such a poor gift that I don't want to be there when the person opens it."

The other is Gene, who told me he does wrap gifts, but as a matter of principle never takes more than 15 seconds per gift."No one ever had to wonder which presents daddy wrapped at Christmas," Gene said. "They were the ones that looked like enormous spitballs."

I also wrap gifts, but because of some defect in my motor skills, I can never completely wrap them. I can take a gift the size of a deck of cards and put it the exact center of a piece of wrapping paper the size of a regulation volleyball court, but when I am done folding and taping, you can still see a sector of the gift peeking out. (Sometimes I camouflage this sector with a marking pen.)

If I had been an ancient Egyptian in the field of mummies, the lower half of the Pharaoh's body would be covered only by Scotch tape.

On the other hand, if you give my wife a 12-inch square of wrapping paper, she can wrap a C-130 cargo plane. My wife, like many women, actually likes wrapping things. If she gives you a gift that requires batteries, she wraps the batteries separately, which to me is very close to being a symptom of mental illness. If it were possible, my wife would wrap each individual volt.

My point is that gift-wrapping is one of those skills like having babies that come more naturally to women than to men. That is why today I am presenting:

GIFT-WRAPPING TIPS FOR MEN:* Whenever possible, buy gifts that are already wrapped. If, when the recipient opens the gift, neither one of you recognizes it, you can claim that it's myrrh.

* The editors of Woman's Day magazine recently ran an item on how to make your own wrapping paper by printing a design on it with an apple sliced in half horizontally and dipped in a mixture of food coloring and liquid starch. They must be smoking crack.

* If you're giving a hard-to-wrap gift, skip the wrapping paper! Just put it inside a bag and stick one of those little adhesive bows on it. This creates a festive visual effect that is sure to delight the lucky recipient on Christmas morning:

YOUR WIFE: Why is there a Hefty trash bag under the tree?
YOU: It's a gift! See? It has a bow!
YOUR WIFE (peering into the trash bag): It's a leaf blower.
YOU: Gas-powered! Five horsepower!
YOUR WIFE: I want a divorce.
YOU: I also got you some myrrh.

In conclusion, remember that the important thing is not what you give, or how you wrap it. The important thing, during this very special time of year, is that you save the receipt.

~Male Author Unknown~


margalit said...

I just saw something on Ellen where a man gave his wife a chain saw last year for Christmas. Me, I think I'd USE the chain saw on him if I got one for Christmas.

I have taught my son how to wrap presents. I think it's part of being a mensch.

Michele sent me.

Anonymouse said...

Oh my had me rolling on the floor with this one!!


BTW...Michele sent me!!

Carmi said...

I am a hopeless wrapper. I used to wrap all gifts in aluminium foil because it was pretty hard to mess that up. My wife has tried to train me, but I have been untrainable.

I DID hang around the gift wrapping party at work this year. And partering up with someone who used to do this professionally helped me gain confidence. Crunched corners and wasted paper soon gave way to somewhat neat and tidy wrappings - stuff my wife would be proud of.

I'm still no pro, and I won't quit my day job. But I'm well on my way to pseudo-respectability. But eight days of Chanukah...OY!

craziequeen said...

Me and MB are the other way around. I'm the lousy wrapper and he's the perfectionist - neat corners, just enough paper, neat tape, perfectly placed label.....must be the engineer in him! :-)

Michele sent me

panthergirl said...

I would agree, except that my first husband was an AMAZING gift wrapper. He was a graphic designer and he would make the most incredible gift wrap, sometimes with pictures of my daughter on it or tiny paintings.

So... it's not necessarily a male thing, although this post was really hilarious!

Here by way of michele again!

Valerie said...

HEEHEE I needed that laugh! PS Michele sent me.

Prego said...

Nothing says "I love you, honey," more than a $4.99 turtleneck from WalMart wrapped in the Sunday funnies.

Nice to see you again. Here from Michele tonight. said...

This is assuming the man even makes it out to the mall to BUY presents!

Good to visit your blog today, Judy. I've been an internet dropout the past few days.

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

Very funny! LOL!
I have known a couple of men who were fabulous wrappers, and a couple of women who were terrible...So, you never know..And one old friend worked in a Men's store as a very young man and he had o learn how to wrap really really well...So, I guess there are a few exceptions to the rules...
Here from Michele today, though I woild have stopped by myself, anyway, my dear...

Ralph's Homespun Headlines said...

I love buying people gifts except at Christmas - it seems like it is expected. But I always hate wrapping them. I save receipts for at least a year - you never know.

Trinity13 said...

Heehee...that is too cute! And it sounds just like my hubby! I'll def have to share this with him!!!

colleenR said...

That was fun to was the one below!

srp said...

These were too funny. I laughed myself into a coughing fit. All the men I know get the store to wrap the gift. I now know why.

tommy said...

michele sent me.

if she wanted something she should have bought it, she knows where the check book is.

I happen to wrap most of the presents in our house.

surcie said...

Michele sent me!

My husband and I spent about 3 hours together at the dining room table last night, wrapping gifts. I hate to wrap, but he loves it and does a much better job than I. Go figure.

Plumkrazzee said...

Cute. Michele sent me tonight.

Minerva said...

Loved it...absolutely loved it..
I am useless at wrapping but my *clears throat* ex-husband was great at it...
*note to self* Look for rubbish wrapper upper for next partner...

Michele sent me today but you KNOW I come here all by myself..


ribbiticus said... true. i am the official wrapper of gifts at my house. my brother never wraps any of his. he always comes to my room with his puppy dog look to ask me to wrap a gift for his girlfriend or wrap his christmas gifts for his officemates for him. of course, how can i say no? his solution to the gifts he gives me? gift bags with bows. am sure he thanks the person who thought of that everyday...

Kevin said...

As a man, I gave up wrapping gifts years ago. But that's only because my pack rat wife has cluttered the basement with about 2,000 "saved for reuse" gift bags. On the one hand I want to throw them out. But on the other, I want to bless her heart.

Pearl said...

So fun. I'm afraid I'm a man so far as wrapping goes. Gift bags rule.

Peter said...

Guilty as charged Judy.

Raindrop Fairy said...

I'm a female and a okey wrapper. However, I don't see any problem with using brown tape, if I'm out of blank.

My other half went out and bought my blank tape the other day. Because he doesn't want the presents to have brown tape. Go figure! :)

Ben said...

I think I'd recommend frankincense instead - it can better counteract the leaf blower fumes.

Joe said...

I never got the whole gift wrapping thing. Seems like a waste of time and money to me. But then again...I'm just a guy. lol

Here via Michele

Dak-Ind said...

wonderful! i think i am borrowing this and sending it in email to all the men i know!