Successful planning is biting me in the ass again.
I have to admit my terrible flaw (that’s right. just one.) I’m a hyperplanner. I used to begin assignments the day they were announced, drawing up a timeline that allowed for two serious mishaps and a twice-edited paper by the day before the deadline. And I would stick to the schedule. I acknowledge how gross that is, but also offer that it’s a wicked good skill for freelancing and writing in graduate school.
I plan holiday presents in October, because that’s when I think of them. I buy holiday items eleven months in advance because that’s when they’re on sale. (Did you just suggest I get Hannukah candles a month late? Shame on you for talking to everyone who has ever met me. It just takes a little perspective shift for parsimonious to be 11 months early, dammit. And surprised every year when I open the December-decorations box and find new things with the tags still on them.)
(Also? Bite me. The world at large and the people who care about such nonsense are lucky I even decorate. Waste of my dwindling goodwill and patience, decorating. I still wrap presents by putting them in recycled tissue paper and cramming them in a sort-of-the-right-sized bag. Not a gift bag. Just any not-plastic bag. Cuz I’m that classy. And lazy. And cheap.)
Anyway, this year Peanut started his present list a week after his March birthday. I have never, ever bought him something in a store on request. I always tell him we can put it on his gift list, and I type it into my phone’s memo field. (Spouse just showed me how inefficient I am because when Peanut asked for something last week, Spouse took a picture on his phone so all the info, including price, is right there. Um, wow. That’s wicked efficient. I bow to you, Mr. Pants’-Seat-Flyer Who Has Awesome Ideas on Cutting Corners.)
So in November, when family started asking for Peanut’s list, I had it ready. And I offered to buy the items locally for people to save on shipping and to support local family-owned stores. Many relatives agreed. Way cool. All desired gifts are present and accounted for way before I get nervous that the deadline approaches.
Small problem, though.
I now have to wrap more than a few presents. Spouse and I gave Peanut a small gift for each night of Hannukah, plus a big present for Solstice and one for Christmas. There is no Santa gift to wrap, thankfully. (In our family Santa picks up presents to give to charity but doesn’t deliver because we’re lucky and can give instead of receive from the pretend old bearded guy who is just a story so don’t ask how he gets in the house). But there are, like, a dozen other presents to wrap. I’m used to one a night and then reusing the paper for the next day. I think he’s gonna notice if they’re all in the same pink tissue paper I’ve been using since my birthday two years ago. (Thanks, Mom, for being one of those Martha Stewart wrappers who includes a whole ream of tissue in the gloriously sparkled and themed gift bag. The rose and fuscia paper has served the pinkphilic child through seven major holidays thus far. And counting. [the secret is no tape. Just surround the gift rather than really wrap it.]
But this year’s stash will task my supply. So I’m considering newspaper (dammit, I read online) and magazine pages (dammit, I forgot to steal some from the dentist) or actually buying wrapping paper.
Or just hiding gifts in the house, scavenger-hunt style. Now *that* would go over big with the grandparents.
We are big rebaggers here. Love gift bags. But, like you, just ran out. Torn: buy new gift bags? Or wrap gifts in student essays that were never picked up? ;)
My folks used to do scavenger hunts for the “big” presents (which I now realize would have been a pain to wrap — ooh, they were brilliant). I vote for scavenger hunts!
Oh, and I applaud your planning awesomeness.
Every year I intend to send Christmas cards, and then don’t.
This entire post is a swirling maelstrom of inferiority complex material for me.
SCAVENGER HUNT!!!!! Peanut will think that’s the coolest thing ever. You are so awesome to our Mother Planet…I am humbled.
Okay, scavanger hunt it is. And so Dan feels as good about himself as he should, I’ll make it an authentic scavanger hunt–all Christmas carrion all the time.
I think the scavenger hunt is brilliant, especially because it avoids the whole cartoonish swarm-of-termites thing where the beautifully wrapped presents are instantly transformed to a pile of toys plus three piles of garbage.
If you still feel the need to wrap, I offer the following…unconventional ideas:
-overlapping Post-it Notes (OK, this idea is not so green, but I like the image of a paper-shaggy box)
-tinfoil (hides presents and protects them from the CIA wires!)
you are the exact opposite of me. miss planny mcplanner. i plan for nothing, do everything at the last minute. it’s how i’ve always been. what makes you tick, genius?
Oh my heavens, Falling, before I read this tonight, I wrapped a present in one of my husband’s shirts. Peanut loved it. I love the scarf idea and the tin foil? Brilliant. Wrap present then broil cheese bread.
J, your approach is much more sane and much more rewarding. You are a healthier, happier human than I am. I’m a first-born perfectionist driven competitive project-hound, and it does not serve our family particularly well. Gotta go not finish 17 things…
Um, you’re amazing. Did you know that?
The only nice parent thing about Santa Claus in my parents’ house was he never wrapped presents. After wrapping for 20 cousins and loads of aunts and uncles, my parents were done. Sigh. I miss planning.