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It’s a Wrap – Pass the Scissors

Some people like to wrap gifts – it gets them in a festive, fun holiday mood. Not Janie Emaus. She’s about ready to pin a bow on it and call it a wrap. Read more from Janie on her website.


The older I get, the more I dislike gift wrapping. Not that I ever really liked it in the first place.

I’d just as soon put the presents I’ve bought in paper bags. But all that brown isn’t very festive and I don’t think my family would be too happy with what resembles bags of groceries for them to open.

Gift Wrapping - Pass the Scissors

So, I usually set aside a few hours, preferably when something I enjoy is on TV, sit on the floor and surround myself with the necessary materials: scissors, wrapping paper, tape and a very large bottle of vodka. (Vodka may be substituted with the beverage of you choice)

Now, I’m a pantser when it comes to gift wrapping. I delve into it by the seat of my pants, not really knowing where I am going.

Inevitably, a few minutes into this wrapping expedition, I lose the scissors. I start tossing paper around until I locate them. Then I can’t find the paper I needed. After several exasperating minutes, I find that much needed paper, only to have lost the gift.

And let’s not talk about bows and ribbons. I’m still at Gift Wrapping 101.

My husband on the other hand is my wrapping opposite. He’s a plotter with a doctorate in gift wrapping. He sets the gift onto the paper, rolls it over onto its side, measures exactly how much paper he needs, cuts and then wraps. Not a scrap is left over.

My gifts look like they have been dressed in a second hand store, whereas my husband’s sit like kings under the tree.

This got me thinking. Why do we wrap presents so differently from one another? There may be a government study on this topic. I mean, they’ve researched the antidepressant qualities of semen, of all things. So why not this? So far, I haven’t found one.

But after years of receiving gifts I have come up with my own conclusions based on those personality types so familiar in our lives.


  1. The Cheerleader – known in adult life as the social butterfly or the woman who decorates excessively. Her need for acceptance makes her wrap a present as if it were a competition with colorful tape and matching bows. She waits eagerly for the giftee to comment that the present looks way too gorgeous to open.


  1. The Nerd turned successful entrepreneur. His energy goes into choosing the right present, wrapping it is just an afterthought. He’ll use scraps of paper so as not to waste anything. Rarely will there be any extra ornamentation such as bows and ribbons.


  1. The Class Clown, or that annoying relative who tells too many jokes. He, of course, will put a necklace inside a box. Put that box inside another one and so on, ending up with a gift as large as a dishwasher, which takes up all the space under the tree.

Any way you look at, when it comes time to open the presents, everyone tosses paper and bows every which way. All that mess gets shoved into a big bag and carried to the recycle bin. Where it ultimately gets turned into grocery bags. And we’re right back to where I started.


Why not go with paper bags in the first place? This year, I think I just might.

Janie Emaus

Janie Emaus is the author of the time travel romance, Before the After, and the young adult novel, Mercury in Retro Love. She has an essay in the Best Selling humor anthology, You Have Lipstick On Your Teeth. She is a staff writer at In The Powder Room. She is proud to be named a 2013 BlogHer Voice of the Year . Janie believes that when the world is falling apart, we're just one laugh away from putting it together again. To learn more about Janie visit her blog and her website Janie Emaus. You can connect with her on Facebook and Twitter @Janie5010.

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Caryn/The Mid LIfe Guru

Monday 29th of December 2014

I can so totally relate to your non-wrapping skills. It is me to a tee (minus the vodka). I don't have the time or inclination to be cutesy. I get bored quickly and just want to get it over with. Thank heavens for curling ribbon so that there is some flare to my uneven corners and wrinkled paper packages. Ugh for gift wrapping.

Kim Tackett

Wednesday 17th of December 2014

I actually like to wrap. I don't know if my presents are beautiful, but I enjoy making paper and choosing paper for each person. Also, the gift cards. So my gift are "theme-ish". Tonight my daughter and her boyfriend arrived and Kate pointed out to him how they had special paper... so that was fun to see (and hear).

Doreen McGettigan

Wednesday 17th of December 2014

I usually love wrapping gifts. I use different but coordinating papers for each of our children's family's. I hand tie all of the bows. I usually do lose the scissors and the tape:) Because I was going to be wrapping up 30 gift baskets for a charity and a bunch more for our local veterans hospital I decided when I ordered gifts for our family I would have them all gift-wrapped. Amazon wrapped everything in the ugliest bags, my family is going to be a bit shocked. I won't be doing that again.

Ruth Curran

Wednesday 17th of December 2014

You crack me up - a "pantser"? Too funny! As you found out, I am such a bad wrapper, I sometimes just by pass that step!!!


Wednesday 17th of December 2014

I am the world's worst gift wrapper. I would rather pay for a professional gift wrap then burden someone with my uneven paper, visible tape and wrongly creased corners:)

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