There are those among us, like Tim, who wrap up all their gifts on Christmas Eve. Others, like me, wrap gifts as soon as we bring them home. Instead of a whirlwind of paper, boxes and ribbons, I can spend a quiet quarter of an hour with my mind focused on the intended recipient of the gift, enjoying the texture and colors of the wrapping paper, curling the ribbons or choosing a bow, choosing a gift tag. I fold the paper and watch the gift disappear into mystery.
For many years now, like many of our friends, we have been recycling Christmas wrappings. The same bows go around again and again, ribbons are coiled and put away, and any paper not ripped to shreds is smoothed and folded. No one minds and the gifts are just as pretty. We also try to buy papers that don't have foil or metallic print, so that they can go in recycling when they become too battered to reuse.
I find that over the year that I have become lackadaisical. I used to devote hours to the wrapping, making each parcel a marvel of perfect folding and imaginative decoration. My son David turns each parcel into an anarchical whimsy. Tim makes up for lack of technical expertise with quirky creativity. Nowadays I just wrap the things up in a quite traditional way. I haven't the boundless energy to devote to everything as I once had. They still look delightfully enticing piled under the tree on Christmas morning.