Friday, December 21, 2007

Christmas chores may not be so bad after all

I hate to wrap. Not just Christmas presents, any present. I feel it is a waste of time, a lot of effort for nothing, not to mention a waste of cash.
BUT, it is what is expected of gift-givers, especially during the holiday season. So wrap I did, last night, after I felt I could really put it off no longer.

I retreated to my room, locked the door, and readied myself for the task ahead. I turned on the holiday music station, began listening to Delila choose songs for the woeful, the happy, and the Christmas music addicts (of which I actually am one, so I can't say much there). I sorted my accoutrement's ~ tape, scissors, gift tags, etc. I unpacked the festive paper covered in snowmen and Santa's, left from last year because I must have thought wrapping paper would no longer ever be manufactured so therefore bought like 1800 feet of the stuff. Ironic, I know. But, a sale is a sale, what can I say?

I wrapped the first gift.
Then the second.
I listened to the different stories of Christmas traditions being told by the callers to the radio station.
And then it happened.
I realized that I was actually having a good time. I was on the 7th, then the 8th gift and found myself no longer watching the clock, coming up with distractions or wishing I was doing something else.

I began thinking about the course of events in my life these last few months, the snowballs life has thrown my way, and the fact that I still haven't found employment, despite my vehement efforts; I realized that I should be grateful that I even have presents to wrap for my children, not whining about the required duty of wrapping. After all, there was a time I thought I wouldn't have anything for them. I reminded myself that there was a time, not too many weeks ago that I was planning the discussion I was going to have with my children. How I was going to be forced to break it to them that there would be no magical Santa gift, no presents under the tree on Christmas morning, and how that actually made my heart physically hurt. How quickly we forget.

I began to ponder how lucky I am that I have my children with me and they are not far away fighting a war of pain and suffering, or gone ~ lost forever, leaving me with nothing but the memories.
Still wrapping along, I listened to one story after another of people that do not have their loved ones with them this holiday season. One mother hasn't seen her son for three years and won't see him for three more years because he is stationed overseas and neither one can travel to the other. Six years without the chance to hug her son, to touch him, to cook for him, and yet she was sounding positive and grateful for what she did have. Of course, some of the callers wanted to hear a song that expressed their love toward a spouse or significant other, a connection that seems to bolster during this time of year.

Before I knew it, I was wrapping the last present, one for my youngest daughter. I smiled as I thought of the fun she would have playing with it, the laughter I would hear, the carefree happiness I would be privilege to observe.
Last piece of tape applied, I stood back to admire my job, one that took less than two hours. A chore that turned out to be a joyful experience and a learning experience as well.
I sat down and listened to one more personal testimony followed by one of my favorite songs of the season ~ Christmas Cannon ( Merry Christmas Night) by the Transiberian Orchestra.
Somewhat reluctantly, not wanting the time to end, I put away my wrapping tools, packed away the rest of the paper, strategically repositioned the gifts in various hiding places until the magical day. I turned off the music, turned around once more to make sure everything was hidden, caught the light and walked back out to join my children.

Christmas chores may not be so bad after all.


blooming desertpea said...

Sometimes we need a kick until we get started but they we realise that we do enjoy it. I love wrapping Christmas gifts as I try to imagine the face of that particular person unwrapping it - and a smile sets on my face. Merry Christmas

Magpie said...

The Zen of Wrapping. Sweet post.

Kellan said...

Man - what a truly lovely post!! I've done this too - dreaded wrapping the presents and you are so right about all the things we should be thankful for instead of whining over the chore - thanks for this wonderful reminder and beautiful post. See you. Kellan

Family Adventure said...

How sweet! I think it was the music that did it, don't you? I used to listen to Delila at night, when I was in Canada. On my way to the grocery store, or whenever I had to leave the house in the evenings. Loved it :)


Anonymous said...

It is very, very important to count our blessings. We can get petty and silly if we don't. But when we do, how lovely it is!

Emily R

Amy Y said...

You are more than welcome to come wrap mine. :) Just teasing... I don't mind too much ~ and this year should be easier because in an effort to be greener, we invested in re~usable boxes and bags last year at Target's 75% off after Christmas sale. So it should be a piece of cake!

By the way, I like the new digs... but sorry we aren't twins anymore. ;)

painted maypole said...

just lovely. i still haven't done my wrapping yet, and you reminded me I have to have one done for tomorrow, so thanks! ;)

Karen MEG said...

The one thing about wrapping is that it's pretty mindless and you can let your thoughts drift and really take the time to think.. which you obviously did, and sounds like you enjoyed the time to yourself. It's always nice when something starts as a chore, and ends up not being so bad after all!
A very merry Christmas to you and your family!

ewe are here said...

I know it's wasteful, but I've always loved wrapping presents and making them pretty for people. Plus I usually get to wrap by myself, so on goes the music just for me. :-)