Well, not quite, although I did get nearly all of The Wife’s presents wrapped, along with a couple of things she needed for her office Christmas party on Tuesday.

I’ve never minded wrapping presents; it’s something my mom taught me to do when I was fairly young, and I’ve always wrapped my own gifts since.

I’ve had professional training, too. During breaks from school, I worked for a chain of Hallmark stores in Columbus. Over the summer, I was part of the warehouse crew, tagging merchandise, delivering to the stores and setting up displays when things needed to be changed. But at Christmas, I was usually assigned to one of the busy mall stores, to kind of do everything: stocking, staging stuff sent from the warehouse, taking inventories and placing orders, helping customers … and wrapping.

You get to be good at wrapping presents when a grumpy customer — and a grumpier cashier who wants to send grumpy customer on his way — is waiting for you to finish. It usually wasn’t hard stuff; Hallmark made gift boxes of every size, so you always had the right box for whatever you were wrapping.

We had two games, usually managed by the chain’s general manager, Scott. First was picking the correct sized box, without measuring, for some oddly shaped thing somebody wanted to buy. The other was race wrapping — starting simultaniously with similar-sized gifts and seeing who gets done first. Neatness counted, too — you could get disqualified if the package was too sloppy.

I got to be good at both. In fact, I was the only staffer at the Westland store to beat Scott — who always claimed that using anything more than three peices of tape to wrap a package was wasteful — the first Christmas I worked there.

So sitting upstairs and wrapping The Wife’s presents is relatively relaxing by comparison. Until this:


Wrapping for time? No problem. Wrapping around a giant cat who doesn’t want to move?

I can’t possibly work in these conditions.


  1. I don’t know why cats always know when you are wrapping gifts. Echo invaded the wrapping area, and Clyde (sister’s cat) did the one time I chanced it at her old place… I don’t get it. They aren’t there to play either. Just to LAY THERE and get in the way…. It’s like they are playing the anti-Santa or something…


  2. I literally have to lock all the cats and dogs in a room in order to wrap. I can sit on the floor all day playing with Alexis and won’t see a single one of the furballs, but the minute there is paper and sticky stuff and stabby stuff in my hands, they all come running. *sigh*


  3. Oh, how true. Quincy (the parents’ cat) likes to sit on my music while I’m trying to get my three-ring binder organized.

    From what I’ve been told, he’s also quite upset that there’s already presents under the tree. That’s his sitting place, thank you very much. (But I’ll let you know for sure tonight once I see him.)

    My suggestion? Put out an empty laundry basket. He’ll probably jump in there in about, oh, a minute or so. Temptation’s too much.

    Merry Christmas to you and Mrs. Crappy!! :)


  4. Here, Here to everyone’s comments. Coco Chanel (my cat) came and sat on any and every roll of paper I tried to unroll and then would play with the paper.

    What’s with cats?

    And brother, you have always wrapped presents beautifully. I’m sure this year is no exception.


  5. That totally happens all the time to me too. The secret I’ve learned is to “accidentally” let a sticky ball of tape get into their fur…not enough to pull or get too tangled to get out, but enough to drive them batty trying to get it off.


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