I love the holidays.
That’s probably not such a unique statement. You probably love the holidays, too.
Maybe you love holidays for the traditions, maybe for the food. Maybe you love the gifts, or the reassuring rituals. Perhaps you have a religious or spiritual connection to the reason for the season. Maybe you like the extra time to relax or spend with your family.
Me? I love wrapping presents.
No, really. I love wrapping presents. In fact, I’ve often joked that wrapping presents in a department store or local gift shop is probably my dream job. Stand behind the counter, greet the customers, wrap their presents, send them on their way.
Because wrapping presents involves three things that I need for happiness:
It might not seem like such a big deal to those of you who simply slide your present into a gift bag and shove some tissue paper on top, but I actually find it fun to pick the right paper and matching ribbon or twine. To me the myriad choices of materials is a bounty of possibilities. A great selection of colors, patterns, and weights and textures is something I really enjoy rifling through and considering.
Wrapping presents is like doing so many other things; it’s easy to do poorly but a whole lot harder to do with finesse. Wrapping gifts well takes care and consideration. Details like getting the folds just right, lining up the patterns, using as little adhesive as possible, are just as important to an involved gift wrapper as they are to a skilled tailor, architect, or woodworker. Sure, you can slapdash a present together on your way out the door but why would you want to? Done with care, the whole process offers you a great opportunity to slow down, focus, and lose yourself in the meditative detail of a job done well.
This is probably my favorite part of the whole process. After spending the time to wrap a present correctly, you toss it on the finished pile or under the tree and you’re done. The box is finished and you never have to deal with it again. No clients suggest you make the logo bigger; no diners ask you to bake your famous recipe with less salt, no one wants to debate the choice of the words you used in your lyrics or paragraph. You’re finished.
Sure, there might be plenty more packages to prepare, but each of them is just a new opportunity to enjoy the three Cs of gift wrapping all over again.
Funny thing is these three attributes — Creativity, Craftsmanship, and Completion — don’t just apply to wrapping presents. They also offer a great way for you to get enjoyment from lots of the things you have to do. From cleaning out your closets to cooking dinner to working at a holiday foodbank to working out to mowing your lawn to writing thank you notes, the three Cs just make it better.
By looking for new and creative ways to do the same old thing, focusing on the craftsmanship of a job well done, and enjoying the closure that completing a project provides, you can easily turn the dredges of drudgery into drops of joy.
Happy Holidays – thanks for reminding me how much joy I used to get by doing it right! It all started with a retail job at a fancy department store, I loved wrapping those gifts just right. Right now – uh – tissue paper into the bag. Oh well. perhaps I need to go back to the three C’s.
Grandfather quote — “Take the time to do it right the first time or you will waste time on the second time.”
Funny Tina. My dad used to say, “It seems there’s never time to do it right but there’s always time to do it over.”