Friday, December 24, 2010

The Great Gift Bag Rebellion

Today as I was wrapping gifts (not at the last minute...its still daylight) I was suddenly confronted by the single most controversial element of the Christmas season. Not the whole "It's not politically correct to say Merry Christmas while you're Christmas shopping in a major retail store decorated in red and green and advertising huge price cuts just in time for the holiday still officially known as Christmas" debate.

And not even the whole "how dare you put up a Nativity scene on your private property to celebrate a fundamental truth of your faith in this land of religious freedom and democracy because someone might see the display and be offended by such an obvious act of religious intolerance that they'll sue you, the city and the people who made the plastic baby Jesus sculpture."

No, my friends, I'm taking about an even more controversial issue. One that threatens the very heart of our Christmas traditions and festivities...the skyrocketing use of gift bags. That's right, the gift bag. It's the gift bag that is singularly at fault for the commercialization of Christmas...and the Zhu Zhu Pets riots...and basically the entire downfall of Western Civilization. Yes, every possible down side to Christmas is due to the insipid and sneaky rise of the gift bag to the pinnacle of present presentation.

See, I remember spending hours before Christmas trying to perfect the slide the scissors down the paper technique that my mom could do, defying the basics of geometry to smoothe snowflake bedecked paper around round corners, desperately trying to figure out the secret to wrapping ribbon around the package evenly and then debating the best location to place a big bow on top the whole thing. Only to see the carefully and lovingly created masterpieces of Christmas joy be shredded to microscopic pieces the next morning. And then gathering the wreckage into giant trash bags (saving the bows of course) and using the empty cardboard tubes as swords or telescopes.

But no more. Now the gift bag rules the wrapping roost. With its simple and time saving character rolls of colored paper don't stand a chance. The ease of dropping in a gift, stuffing with tissue paper and slapping on a gift tag has defeated the skill and precision of sliding scissors and precisely folded edges. No forced creativity to deal with an odd shaped box, no contortions to hold the paper in place while using your teeth to peal off a piece of tape, no frustration when an unruly gift pokes a hole through the wrapping. And no tornado of destruction on Christmas morning.

Those smug little gift bags are neat and easy, no stress, no challenge...and they're reusable. It's anarchy, I tell you!

So this Christmas, just say no to easy. Say no to the quick clean-up. Curl the curly ribbon...wrap a basket ball in an entire roll of wrapping paper and hold it all together with enough tape to put the space shuttle back in orbit! Wear your paper cuts with pride, my friends...and don't pay any attention to those gift bags under my tree.

Merry Christmas!!


  1. Thanks for the laughs this morning, Michelle! Merry Christmas, in all its red and green, nativity scene, gift bag glory, to you and yours!
    ~ Juliana

  2. You will be happy to know that as of now I only have one gift bag under my tree - for something that was not easily wrapped or put in a box. But... I'm not done wrapping yet. Still have to do more tonight, so I might, might, just give in. I will admit, however, that few have ribbons or bows.

    I also have to comment on your first note. It is frustrating when people do not even respond to your greetings of "Merry Christmas", esp when comming from a very cute (I'm a bit bias) five year old girl!!! grinches!

    Thank you so much for your enjoyable wit and love. Thank you for brining back the chocolate. Now that I cannot eat the real thing, I consider your blog my treat for the day!!!

    Love you!

  3. ha ha ha - too funny! We wrapped about half our gifts and yep, sorry to say it, gift bagged the rest. Sorry! Maybe it would be different had I read this first. :-) Blessings!