The rush begins

Diane Prather
Pipi's Pasture

Thanksgiving 2021 is done, and now the Christmas rush begins. For awhile now I’ve listened to reports on the news, advising people to finish holiday shopping early because many products are in short supply, and then to mail earlier than usual because it will take packages longer to get to their destinations this year — and what isn’t taking longer? So for once I actually listened and ordered some Christmas gifts back during the summer. I even started picking up items during regular shopping trips.

I piled everything in an empty spot in the back hallway — and “pile” is accurate. Boxes and bags of Christmas gifts have been stacked up there all summer and fall until I was pretty sure visitors were thinking I might be hoarding stuff. So, in order to get the mess cleaned up and to get packages ready for mailing before Dec. 1, I decided to devote the entire day on Saturday to wrapping everything.

I cleaned off half of the dining room table and brought out all of the wrapping supplies. I propped the rolls of paper up against the dining room table, all except for one that rolled away into the kitchen with paper trailing behind. I set bags of ready-made bows on the floor next to the table and a bag of tissue papers beside them. The Christmas tags, rolls of ribbon, two rolls of cellophane, scissors, pens, and other such supplies were stacked neatly on the table, and a space was left for wrapping.

One by one, I brought the gifts from the hallway stash to the table. At first, everything went well. I cut, taped, wrapped, and made out tags, but then the wrapping space started getting cluttered with odds and ends of paper, too-short pieces of ribbon, tags removed from the gifts, and more. I had to hunt up the scissors and then the tape and the pen—not so easy to find in the growing clutter.

And then there were the larger items that needed to be wrapped, such as my great-granddaughter’s set of doll dishes. Picture a big roll of paper on the end of the table with the box of dishes on top and me trying to estimate the amount of paper needed and cutting it off — just a little too short when I’d finished. It was either clean off the table and start again or cut a piece of paper to fit the gap left by what I had already cut.

Needless to say, I was tired when the day’s work was done, and then there was the boxing of what had to be mailed. I am the absolute worst at packaging stuff for mailing. There isn’t a box that I take to the post office that isn’t bulging because I put too much in it or overly-taped (way overly-taped) because I’m convinced the tape will make a difference. But, hey, I’m ahead of the game this year, and that says something.

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