I have a confession to make: I am a terrible gift wrapper. And not only that, but I am terrible despite having two decorative organizational bins full of tissue, bags, gift tags, ribbons and pretty paper I've kept from gifts people have given me. (Yes, I'm one of those people.) (Also, I really liked writing "organizational bins" because it makes me sound like one of those crafty, organized Pinterest people, which we all know I am not. Why I still aspire to be like them is a mystery to me, but you gotta find motivation wherever you can, y'all.)
I didn't grow up celebrating Christmas all that much, but we did go to my grandparents' house in North Carolina almost every year where my Mimi always waited for my arrival before putting up the tree so I could help decorate it. Then she'd pull out all the beautiful packages she'd giftwrapped for me and my cousins. She was always ahead of the game on gifts--even after she died, we all had birthday presents for a couple of years, wrapped and everything.
Now that I'm all grown up, it's been fun for me to have a tree and hang a few of those vintage ornaments from the tree I used to decorate. The presents part? That has been a sad situation for ye old Mary El. I usually stuff gifts in a bag and attempt that decorative tissue sticking out of it, but it always looks sloppy. This year when I went home for Thanksgiving, I didn't even bother. While my mother and sister were slaving away in the kitchen, I manipulatively asked my eager nephews, "Do you want your gifts now or do you want me to wrap them first?" knowing full well they wanted those Bryce Harper t-shirts and Thermashield (or something like that) sweatpants ASAP. Yes, that is what they asked for this year. I will never understand boys.
So when BJ's Wholesale Club gave me $25 to sample their wrapping supplies, I was worried. Not only was I pretty sure my review was going to be a disaster on account of my lack of wrapping skills, but it's the holidays, making wholesale clubs a bit nightmarish.
Instead, I found one aisle close to the entrance with everything you might need for gift wrapping, and the checkout lines were managed well so I wasn't waiting for an hour to get out of there.
I settled on a pack of five papers woodsy looking papers with burlap bows, shiny ribbon, candy cane twine and gift tags for $12.99, and a spool of sparkly gold wired ribbon for $8.49 in case I decided to get fancy. I had a few dollars left over, so I gave it to the man in line behind me. It's amazing how such a small gesture can make a person's day (mine included)!
At home, I still had the task of wrapping everything, and I was still concerned. Could I pull off the gift wrapping anywhere near how my Mimi did?
I turned to some 80s music for inspiration and then dove in:
While my wrapping skills are still pretty pathetic, I had fun mixing and matching, and the result was definitely passable, and not one bag in the bunch!
When it was all over, I was dreading the clean-up because I'd made quite a mess, having to cut down the paper over and over and messing up the tape then balling it up and throwing it willy nilly. But it ended up not being bad at all, as I just put all the little things in the original bow sleeve and then slid everything back in the plastic box thingy with a strap and everything!
There's pleeeeeeeenty left for next year, and I'm sure the next couple after that. For under $25, I am set with a variety of holiday wrapping items for a long time, and they're neatly placed together for storage and retrieval. I think Mimi would be proud. :)