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Monday, December 21, 2009

Didn’t You Get Me Saltine Crackers LAST Year, Mom?

It’s been an orgy of gift-wrapping at the house, and frankly, I’m exhausted.

Wrapping paper, scissors, Scotch tape, ribbon, kittie treats…

Liza Bean Bitey (of the Minneapolis Biteys) is particularly prone to interrupting the task-driven moment; and distracting lengths of string and the occasional offering of bits of tuna have been offered in the spirit of advancing human/kitty relations with all digits intact.

Obstacle overcome!

But just like last year – and every year, now that I think of it – I’ve come across a problem: boxes.

I live in a fairly small place, the second floor of a lovely duplex built in 1904. You may not be aware of this, but apparently people at the turn of the last century didn’t own anything, and so my little place has a total of two closets.

Normally, this suits me, as the tiny and inexplicably hairy nomad in my head is continually urging me to get rid of things, to lighten the load in case I have to hit the road in a hurry.

Because you never know when you'll find yourself on the lam.

So while I spend the bulk of the year de-cluttering, sometime around the second week of December I start to realize that all the little things I’ve bought require disguises.

Wrapping, say, a hammer in the shape of a hammer is only funny on TV.

That thing really needs a box.

And it begins: the box hunt.

I’ve ransacked the house and have so far emptied boxes of microwaveable popcorn, saltine crackers, and even a metal tin of those fabulous little Danish Butter Cookies.

Believe me when I tell you that all of those delicious little cookies have found a home.

That reminds me. Note to self: stop eating delicious little cookies.

And so the oddly-boxed pile under the Christmas tree grows, as does the anticipation of giving gifts to those I love.

Ladies and gentlemen, we are mere days away from Christmas.

And I am giddy.

29 comments:

KaLynn said...

I love the weird little boxes that have some of the most awesome stuff in it!! Creativity! I'm catchin' your spirit here!! I'm about ready to wrap my presents! I actually HAVE presents to wrap now!

Merry Christmas,Pearl! Hope it is wonderful!!

Barbara Blundell said...

Minneapolis and Minneapolitians sound great We could do with some skywalks today ! We have had a snow blizzard-most unusual !
Peelie wally is the Scottish descriptive way of saying pale,ill looking,off colour (or just plain--off ) ! As well as all mod.cons my brother's bungalow is a very Des Res,

powdergirl said...

Every year when I'm wrapping gifts I firmly decide that Next Year I Will Buy Only Things That Are Square or Already Come IN A Box.

And then I forget.

Thanks, I'd forgotten about that Saltine box, I'll try it: )

Under the Influence said...

Recycling at it's best!

Ms Sparrow said...

You neglected to mention the cat hair IN the Scotch tape!

Matty said...

I agree. I always wish they would give you a box when you buy something that doesn't come with it. Ever try to wrap a clothing item without a box?

The little kid in me is giddy too. I love Christmas.

Jayne Martin said...

I am so bad at wrapping. God bless the inventor of the gift bag. Although at your house, it sounds like fun, but then you make everything sound like fun.

Merry Christmas Pearl!

unfinishedrambler said...

I know exactly what you mean about boxes...

...as for cookies, I know about them too but mostly because The Wife is making them around this time of year...

...for other people...

...which I conveniently (well, for me anyway) forgetting.

secret agent woman said...

This is where those Christmas gift bags come in handy! Easier to store than boxes and re-usable to boot. I've got some I've used with my kids every Christmas for years.

Menopausal New Mom said...

Isn't that the truth about the lack of closets way back then. Our home was built in 1891 and like yours, almost no closet space. We had to add them when we renovated.

I too am always on the hunt for boxes around here although it never occurred to me to raid the pantry. Great advice Lol!

Have a great Holiday!

Secretia said...

Shoe boxes are plentiful in this house.

The Retired One said...

Better than the year my mom used a box from sanitary napkins to wrap a present for me....of course I was at the embarrassing age of 12 and DIED (like only a 12 year old can do) when I opened it up in front of friends and family.
What, I say WHAT was she thinking???

Jon said...

even though I've been practicing for years, I have a feeling that I'll never be able to wrap a gift properly... and ribbon and tinsel and stuff... forget it!

JennyMac said...

Gift wrapping fanaticism is rampant in the DNA from my Mom's side of the family. And I am the same. But the boxes...oh, I do like that idea.

Blissed-Out Grandma said...

I once had a sibling write to thank me for the gift I'd sent, only they clearly had never opened the box to find out what was really inside.

Amber Star said...

Every year before now...even when I was working, I would meticulously wrap every little present and put a bow on it...and iron some sheets for good measure. This year...not so much. I used the tissue paper that is in that little sleeve thing that makes it hard as heck to get what you have left back into it. Anyway, we got all the gifts wrapped and under the tree. I'm letting Costco or Sams do the baking this year, which is a step up from the year when I was trying like evreything to finish a semester's bunch of really hard work and study for tests. That year they got boxed cookies from a shelf in the grocery store, but I think it started a family tradition. My husband and daughter get all excited when Christmas in nigh and the "crack" cookies are back on the shelf. I can't figure out what the difference is between the red box and the blue box cookies, but apparently there is a big difference.

After reading one of the posts above I'm pretty sure I'll not be able to understand anyone in Scotland or Minnesota either. We have a friend who was born in Minnesota, but lives in Texas now and he is sort of odd, too. Not like Garrison Keillor...sort of OCD that gets out of hand from time to time and he misses the whole point of whatever he is doing. I used to have to work with him...he nearly drove me crazy.

mrwriteon said...

I'm with SAW in using gift bags. Being male, my opposable thumbs cease working when it comes to wrapping gifts.

Merry Christmas to you.

CatLadyLarew said...

Goody! Goody! So many packages, so little time. (And so few boxes the right size.)

Brian Miller said...

smiles. i hope you and yours have an amazing christmas!

mapstew said...

I love it when we forget to label gifts, and folk get the wrong present! My friend Jim got a beautiful pink cashmere sweater from us a few years back. And my MIL got a big ol' lumber shirt! Neither of them said anything! It wasn't until I asked Jim if he liked the shirt....

xxx

Douglas said...

Let me address the cat problem first because... well, because cats must be dealt with immediately. Large empty box, a copious sprinkling of catnip, and the problem is sol-ved.

Now, the wrapping problem... It was so mouch easier when we got paper shopping bags from the supermarkets. They are excellent for the oddly shaped item. My own fetish for wrapping is to use the largist box available for the smallest gift (with lots of newspaper stuffing, of course). It is, I admit, difficult to do the reverse. I have tried.

Finally, the people of those much more sane times of circa 1904 used something called "wardrobes" and "bureaus" to store clothing. This was limited only by your talent for finding floor space for these utilitarian pieces of furniture. Just imagine, a "closet" where you want it rather than where the builder thought it should be!

Oh My Goddess said...

Gift bags.
I guess it's unanimous.
Have a Merry!
xo
Elise

Fragrant Liar said...

I have a few shoe boxes around. I keep them (and all manner of other cardboard) throughout the year just for Christmas. If there's a sturdy box they're throwing out at work, I'm claiming it. You just never know!

I wonder if you can wrap anything in a cat box?

Warped Mind of Ron said...

I've got a house from the 1930's and agree that they stored little as I have two small closets. How did they survive?

Kavi said...

I have so very wanted to reduce bulk too. And i have been at it for quite some time now. I havent succeed in great leaps. But the small steps are on.

You live in a 1904 building ! Hmm ! thats neat !

Tempo said...

I'm wondering if your aversion to having lots of stuff about the house might be related to you being brought up in a trailer? (the whole travelling light thing)

Debbie said...

I am a very creative wrapper too! A woman has to do whatever she can this time of year!

The Jules said...

I hate wrapping prezzies.

So many of my family will have to be pleased (or at least silent) with the Marks and Spencers gift certificates.

My gift is not having to wrap the buggers.

Warty Mammal said...

Oh, yes. You are documenting my life. Emptying tissues out of boxes just so I can salvage the box. Making boxes out of scavenged bits of cardboard. The horror.