Gift Wrapping

by syaffolee

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays–whatever you celebrate or not, I wish all of you who read this the best. If you decide to read on, I’ll be blabbering about gift wrapping because, well, why not.

Frankly, I hate gift wrapping. I can do it, but certainly not as efficiently as a clerk in a Japanese department store. Instead, I use gift bags whenever possible. No fuss, no muss. And people really only care about the gift anyway. As a bonus, you can save the environment and reuse the bag. Wrapping takes too much effort–the results of which will end up in the trash anyway. Anyone insisting that using wrapping paper is more virtuous than a gift bag is someone who clearly values arbitrary traditions over other people’s time or the enormity of their carbon footprint.

I was also reminded of the futility of gift wrapping after watching the SNL skit “Christmas Morning.” To be honest, that skit made me more angry and sad rather than amused. There’s just something about the holidays that make some people even more selfish than usual. And as for the people who try to make it awesome for everyone else? More likely than not, they are the least rewarded.

On a related note: decorations. I don’t do these either. When I got a flyer at the beginning of December from property management at my apartment complex about a holiday decorating contest, that flyer went right into the recycling bin. I am not spending any money on something that will only benefit other people’s sense of aesthetics. When people have asked me about decorating my home for Christmas, I simply reply, “I’m thinking about it.” Sometimes I’m conflict adverse and I don’t want to get into an argument with someone who will insist that I must put up a Christmas tree in my living room. And that if I don’t do so, I’m living a sad and depressing life.

I guess ultimately, I don’t really understand people’s obsession with the glittery veneer of the holidays and the urge to show off how awesome their holiday is–that despite the pandemic their life is still perfect and Instagrammable. And that includes the wrapped gifts, the photogenic dinner spreads, the smiling cherubic faces. It’s an extraordinary effort for a fantasy. Maybe I’m too practical, but I prefer dealing with reality where I’m sleeping as much as my cat, watching too many Youtube videos, and eating a pizza just because I can.