I like to use as many different kinds of gift wrap as possible each Christmas—the more varied, the better. I love wrapping paper covered with candy canes, poinsettias, holly, snowmen and snowflakes, teddy bears, gingerbread men, Santa Claus in numerous poses, and of course Disney characters.
But when it comes to gift wrap, I do not like solid colors, plaids, or stripes (except on my candy canes). I find them boring, unimaginative, and not the least bit festive. I don’t like seeing any of them on bed sheets, either.
Which brings us to those multi-packs of Christmas gift wrap you can buy, usually three or four rolls to a package. They’re a great, economical way to get a variety of designs, except for one teensy little problem: It seems as if every multi-pack out there includes one roll of either solid-colored, striped, or plaid wrapping paper. If I buy these convenient packs, then I’m going to be stuck with unexciting solids, silly stripes, and plaid. Ordinarily I like plaid, but not on my gift wrap—or the bed sheets—unless there’s a sexy Scotsman underneath.
I can’t shake the feeling that each pack includes a solid, stripe or plaid because the gift wrap manufacturers can’t get rid of them any other way. But then why would they make them—unless there’s a very powerful lobby out there dedicated to Saving Our Solid, Striped, and Plaid Christmas Gift Wrap?
I won’t use them. In fact, unless the other rolls in the package have designs that totally blow me away, I’ll just not buy them at all and pay a little extra for individual rolls that allow me to choose exactly what I want, instead of having S, S, and P forced on me through some Spread the Monotony scheme.
In that spirit, I try not to use the same gift wrap design more than once for each person whose gift I wrap. I only wish I could get Mr. Lucky to do the same without having to beat him over the head with that old Claxton fruitcake I pull out of storage along with the ornaments and lights every year. Each Yuletide, he waits until five minutes before midnight on Christmas Eve to wrap my presents. I give him every single roll of wrapping paper in the house, a dozen or more different designs (save any S, S, or P), and I exhort him not to use the same design twice. His usual response is to roll his eyes, but he also knows I must be humored.
Yes, yes, I know that what’s inside the gift wrap is more important than the wrap itself. But I like the variety, the dearth of sameness, the wild explosion of many colors and patterns beneath the tree, a kaleidoscopic chaos with the promise of never knowing what’s next but it’s certain to be a feast for the senses.
In other words, it’s what I know.