Holiday time... I'm proud to say that I can wrap presents. Even though I'm a man.
Did I miss the memo that men weren't supposed to wrap presents? The women in my life (past, not present, dear...) took it upon themselves to keep me from wrapping gifts. If they saw me with the roll of wrapping paper, then the conversation would go something like this.
She: "What are you doing?"
Me: "I'm going to wrap the wedding gift for Jon and Jodi."
She: "Why don't you let me do it."
Me: "Because I think I can figure this out."
She: "I wasn't asking a question." (Takes scissors away from me.)
To be perfectly fair, I would do the same thing if I saw my wife with a hammer. Or a drill, a roll of duct tape or a spray paint can. I guess society has its guy things and gal things, and if girls want to 'call' present wrapping as theirs, well that's fine with me. Even so, I still like wrapping my own presents when I can sneak away long enough to do it without interruption. In fact, I have invented some present wrapping techniques that add adventure and a greater sense of accomplishment to the task, which I will share with you now...
The Paper Opti-miser
The goal of the Paper Opti-miser is to cut the exact size paper off the roll, with no waste, no exposed contents and no overly-large fold-over seams. You can hold the present up to the uncut roll and eyeball it, but there is absolutely NO measuring with rulers or tapes allowed. Tip - it helps if you buy the good paper - the kind that only requires 1 layer to hide the writing on the package.
The Shape Shifter
(Also called the "I don't need to put this in a box.") Some presents are not rectangles, and therefore present a wrapping challenge. I like to combine my aforementioned Paper Opti-miser skills with the challenge of wrapping odd shaped gifts. The key to Shape Shifting is to visualize the present as a combination of rectangles and cylinders, and then to wrap each part individually. Once your sections are wrapped, you can go back and apply "filler strips" of paper and tape. You get extra credit if you can do a pattern match (but you can't sacrifice virgin paper off the roll or you get points off for violating the Paper Opti-miser rule).
The Tape Opti-miser
Like the Paper Opti-miser, the Tape Opti-miser seeks to use the minimum amount of product without sacrificing gift wrapping integrity. By visualizing your tape strategy, you can make paper seams and folded ends come together in a way that a small piece of tape can actually secure four different paper edges. A fun added benefit of presents wrapped using the Tape Opti-miser is that when they are being unwrapped, the giftee only has to break one or two tape joints, and the present literally springs forth from its wrapping.
The Bomb Shelter
Things don't often go as planned. Although I always try to achieve Zen balance through the use of the Paper Opti-miser, Shape Shifter and Tape Opti-miser all on the same package, one or the other might fail. Not to worry, because some of my best (most creative) wrapping jobs have become what I call 'Bomb Shelter' jobs. I end up using so much tape and wrapping paper that the contents would probably survive a nuclear blast. Some benefits to the Bomb Shelter method of wrapping are that your gift seems more substantial when you are done, you don't have to worry about the weather when transporting your gift, and the opening of the present REALLY is a memorable event, even before it's finally opened!