I’ve always enjoyed the Christmas season and suspect I always will, yet that doesn’t mean there aren’t some things about it that irritate me. Like the free gift wrapping service on offer in the department stores.
I’m hopeless at wrapping presents, as I gather are most men. I don’t know if it’s our lack of dexterity or patience or our inability to concentrate on more than one thing at once, but I can never get the paper neatly taped or the ribbon tied in a fancy bow.
To be honest, it all seems a waste of effort since the wrapping will be ripped open and discarded within seconds of handing over the gift, so why spend an inordinate amount of time getting it to look just so?
It’s not unlike creating beautifully constructed castles, space stations, cityscapes etc with your kids’ building bricks or Lego only for them to smash them to bits just as you finish it. Your enthusiasm wanes.
But Mrs P in particular sets great store by the love and toil that is seen to go into gift presentation, so I try my best. It’s just that my best isn’t up to much.
You would think then that I would welcome a free professional wrapping service when it is on offer, and so I would except that it only seems to be available at the cosmetics counter.
If I were to present Mrs P with a parcel that has paper with no ragged edges, flaps on each end that are symmetrically triangular, all tied with tasteful ribbon and no artlessly applied sellotape, she’d know immediately that I hadn’t wrapped it.
More importantly, she’d know what it contained and that would spoil the surprise.
So I politely refuse the offer of free wrapping and instead curse and swear as I attempt the task myself, only to find that the sheet of paper I’ve cut is half an inch too short.
It seems to me that there are two possible solutions. Either all retailers should offer free gift wrapping, which is unlikely, or the likes of Lancôme, Chanel and Dior should also offer an unprofessional gift wrapping service, perhaps giving employment to a few hapless men in the process.
Which reminds me that there was quite a bit of publicity about the Crap Wrap service at Firebox.com a few years ago and by all accounts it is still going strong. See the old newsclip below.