Retread: A holiday guide to the manly art of gift-wrapping

Editor’s note: One of the good things about blogging (maybe the ONLY good thing) is that once you’ve been doing it for awhile, you’ve built up such a large body of work that you can sometimes reblog something you’ve already written. When something you wrote a year ago is just as true today as it was way back when, why waste time with a rewrite when you could be doing something useful, like wrapping Christmas presents? People who have read the following post are free to ignore it, while new readers might gain some valuable how-to advice.

Bows are important! The package on the left shows good color contrast with the paper. And remember, size DOES matter, as indicated by the tiny bow on the large package on the right. The small bow makes the package look even bigger, which will have her wondering WTF it could be, even though you know it's really just a cheap piece of crap.
Bows are important! The package on the left shows good color contrast with the paper. And remember, size DOES matter, as indicated by the tiny bow on the large package on the right. The small bow makes the package look even bigger, which will have her wondering WTF it could be, even though you’ll know all along that it’s really just a cheap piece of crap.

As the Little Drummer Boy beats out a lively countdown toward Christmas Day, nothing makes a man’s testicles draw up quite like the prospect of having to wrap presents.

Let’s face it guys, it’s expensive to get the Amazon gnomes to gift wrap everything you’ve purchased before boxing it up and sending it to your doorstep. But if you don’t want to shell out that extra cash, it puts the onus directly on you.

One mistake a lot of guys make is failing to use enough paper. Always use more than you need, then use the fold, tuck and tape method to secure the excess.
One mistake a lot of guys make is failing to use enough paper. Always use more than you need, then use the fold, tuck and tape method to secure the excess.

Don’t let your heart pa-rum-pum-pum-pum right out of your chest from anxiety! Over the years, I’ve become very adept at wrapping the swag that I’ve purchased, and you can, too! Just review these easy gift-wrapping pointers:

  • Don’t try to be perfect. She’ll love that you made the attempt to wrap her presents, and if the wrapping shows that you encountered some difficulty along the way, she’ll love it even more.
  • Some people frown on using duct tape, but if it's on the bottom, no one should care, and besides, it's the superior product for covering accidental holes in the wrapping.
    Some people frown on using duct tape, but if it’s on the bottom, no one should care, and besides, it’s the superior product for covering accidental holes in the wrapping.

    Try to do all your gift-wrapping at once. If you start and then stop, there’s a fair likelihood that you’ll never go back.

  • Use plenty of paper. There’s no despair like the despair of cutting a piece of wrapping paper and then finding it too small to cover the box.
  • Scotch tape is your friend. Don’t buy that cheap crap that refuses to be cut by the teeth of the dispenser.
  • If you run out of Scotch tape, it is acceptable to use duct tape.
  • If the freaking paper tears after you’ve got the box wrapped, duct tape is actually your best choice for hiding the error.
  • The non-square, non-rectangular gift is your biggest challenge, and sometimes unconventional means are required to secure the wrapping.
Sometimes you will end up with more paper than can be artfully folded. Using a zip tie to bundle the excess quickly takes care of the problem.
Sometimes you will end up with more paper than can be artfully folded. Using a zip tie to bundle the excess quickly takes care of the problem and gives your gift that unique look that will be a conversation piece on Christmas morning.
  • Gift bags can make your life easier, but beware the pitfalls! Always stuff in enough of that colored toilet paper to hide the contents!
    Gift bags can make your life easier, but beware the pitfalls! Always stuff in enough of that colored toilet paper to hide the contents!

    Use different rolls of paper. If all your gifts are wrapped in paper with the same design, you will receive demerits.

  • Gift bags can make your life easier, but beware the pitfalls of bad bagging.
  • Picking the right bow is important. A large bow on a small package makes it appear bigger than it is, while a tiny bow on a large package makes the gift look even bigger!

Finally, I offer this word to the wise, which isn’t strictly about wrapping, but more about crafty labeling. Now you and your wife or girlfriend may very well have set a pre-holiday limit on gifts. Maybe you agreed to buy three presents apiece, or maybe you set a dollar amount. Well take my word for it, guys, agree to anything you want, but you better cheat!

How? Well, my preferred method is to purchase the agreed upon number of gifts, then add a few more as a safety margin, but label them as being from someone else so you can’t be blamed for exceeding the limit. Below is an actual gift to my wife, which I’ve cleverly labeled as being from our dead dog:

Despite any pre-holiday agreements, don't let your wife or girlfriend outspend you on Christmas Day, and if that means there has to be an extra gift or two for her from your dead dog or cat, then so be it.
Despite any pre-holiday agreements, don’t let your wife or girlfriend outspend you on Christmas Day, and if that means there has to be an extra gift or two for her from your dead dog or cat, then so be it.

Yes, wrapping up the gifts is a bad job for any man during the holiday season, but if you just follow my guidelines, you’ll receive lots of appreciative comments on Christmas morning!

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21 Comments

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  1. Good advice about the cheating 🙂 However, I think wrapping is best left to gnomes 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Reblogged this on Cordelia's Mom, Still and commented:
    I was just going to read this post and move on, but the use of zip ties definitely demands a reblog. As you wrap up all those gifts you’ve purchased on or since Black Friday, keep in mind that no matter how bad a job you might do, others will do worse!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. The zip ties got me. However, I’m not sure that using a dead dog as a gift-giver is such a good idea. Tears of joy are OK on Christmas morning, but do you really want those heart-wrenching sobs of grief?

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Thank goodness Mary or Amazon wrap my presents, but that zip ties is pretty interesting!

    Liked by 3 people

  5. I never knew bows were so important and can actually make or break the game of gift wrapping ! Thanks for the great tips.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Oh yes, and there can be big payoffs! For example, if I put a tiny bow on a box, it gives the illusion of the box being bigger than it really is, and it makes the recipient think, “I better go out and buy something great for him so we’ll be even!” Of course by the time she opens the present and discovers that she’s been deceived by the old odd-sized bow trick, it’s too late and you’ve received something great that you wouldn’t have had if not for the deception. So yes, there’s a lot to it!

      Liked by 2 people

  6. Jason Fredric Gilbert December 14, 2015 — 12:12 am

    this is sound advice especially the gift from the dead dog… I’m gonna start sending gifts from dead pets now to everyone!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Just so you know everyone, there’s a mighty big box with a mighty small bow in front of the tree right now.

    Liked by 1 person

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