When your mom’s love language is gift-giving, you better believe Christmas morning is gonna be crazy town. This is my mom to a “T”. She can’t help herself…she gets a lot of joy out of seeing others open the gifts that she has thoughtfully chosen and beautifully wrapped.

My mom starts her holiday season with the out-of-town folks. She carefully picks out little “nit-nits” and treats. She hunts down just the right box from a local store’s recycling pile and then puts her mad Tetris skills to test. And although the gifts on the inside of the box are what matter the most, she also prides herself on a well-wrapped box. Apparently the folks at the post office appreciate it too because they’ve asked her to give lessons on how to mail packages. If she could work out a deal with them, she would probably find herself breaking even. As it stands now, she’s keeping the post office open with all the money she spends there!

If you’re on the receiving end of one of these boxes, you will quickly find that it takes several different tools just to open it. But the goodies within are worth the effort. She even includes a plastic bag inside for easy clean up of all the packaging. Now that’s thoughtful!

Once the out-of-towners are done, my mom works her way through the immediate family. She always asks for a list but you can also guarantee she’ll deviate from the list to include some random, yet helpful, trinket that you eventually find you can not live without.

And the wrapping…well it’s an art in itself. I don’t know anyone who can match up the patterns on wrapping paper better than my mom. And she is notorious for tying a bow that is impossible to untie. Each package is carefully thought out so there are no two presents wrapped in the same paper and the bow and tag beautifully coordinate. She even wraps all the tiny gifts in each stocking!

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As a kid, we were welcomed into her wrapping lair under very specific guidelines: she got to cut the paper and would be monitoring our tape use like a hawk. But it was an apprenticeship that has come in handy throughout my life. I can wrap any shape gift and tie bows like no other.

When I call home during the holiday season, my dad will often comment that my mom is tied up in “wrap mania.” Sequestered in her back office with her card table that is loaded down with all things gift wrap-related…wrapping paper, tissue paper, ribbon, and tags for days. All my years growing up, I remember my mom and grandma going out the day after Christmas at the crack of dawn to load up on paper and cards for the following year. You can never have too much wrapping paper!

It’s a lot of work that I am sure goes unnoticed by many. But for those of us who are detail oriented, the effort is recognized with many “oohs and ahhhs”…right before we tear into them! As she watches everyone savagely destroy all her hard work, she’ll proclaim, like clock work, “they’re too pretty to open!”

I get it, though. It’s so nice to look at a decorated Christmas tree with beautiful presents underneath. The anticipation of watching someone you love open that present and the look of surprise or joy on their face. It’s priceless. And that’s why, every year, I’m especially sure to wrap my mom’s presents in the prettiest paper and bows because if anyone will notice, it’ll be her.

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One thought on “Too Pretty to Open

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