Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Christmas Traditions: Packages Tied up With String

This year's tree with all the presents that weren't sent direct by Amazon!

Many years ago, my mom incorporated beautifully wrapped gifts with delightful fabric ribbon into our Christmas traditions. That first year she did so, I also remember that the area surrounding our tree was positively bursting with a bounty of gifts. If I am remembering correctly, it was difficult to enter the living room through the hall doorway because there were giant stacks of presents blocking the way. Looking back on it, that year must have really broken the bank, but it also created some very special memories for me that I try to emulate every year.

A stack of presents for my family

I get a little nuts about gift wrapping.* I also get a little nuts about the Christmas tree, both the decorating and the placement of the gifts below. I always want it to look just so. Over time, it has become a bit of a tradition to photograph the tree with all the beautiful presents carefully arranged beneath and beside it. Unfortunately, I won't be able to carry on this tradition at my parents' home as I'll be missing Christmas in Oregon for the first time in my life. As difficult and sad as that is, after five years of holidays apart, my boo and I are now alternating holidays (Thanksgiving and Christmas) with our families. It's the right thing to do, but it's still not easy.

Leeeetle, tiny presents with ribbon "scarves"

I miss my entire family, but I've realized that I'm particularly missing my mom. I think she and I are the most attached to our Christmas traditions. Most of the other family members probably wouldn't miss the careful wrapping on the gifts, the cookies, or the tree photo. Even though we'll have to be apart every other Christmas from now on, I hope we'll both continue our traditions--even if we are 1,000 miles apart.

Now, this blog wouldn't be adequately unenthused without a little snark. This year I splurged on some hipstery, overpriced wrapping paper that I was VERY enthused about! Then I discovered I had not purchased rolls of paper. I had purchased three sets of TWO FREAKING SHEETS of paper, wrapped around a cardboard roll. They weren't big enough to cover the boxes I had, and even if they had been, it would have only covered six presents. Six out of a gazillion.

Inspiration for next year via

Next year I am going to make smarter choices. I love the look of the gifts above. That ribbon is great! I think I am going to stock up on solid rolls that I can use during other seasons as well. I also like stacking gifts that are going to the same person/household. When sending via UPS, it's not an efficient use of space. Next year!

*I refused to send the gifts to my family in Oregon until every gift (including for friends and my in-laws) had been purchased, wrapped, and placed under the tree. I had to get my picture! As a result, I spent, like, half a plane ticket on shipping. Told you. Crazy.


  1. I love the new look of your blog, especially the back ground. I really miss you too! I really like your wrapping paper, esp the leeetle tiny presents. Help I need more ribbon.

  2. You are such an awesome wrapper.


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