7 Reasons Not to Leave Wrapping Your Presents Until Christmas Eve
Leaving your gift-wrapping until the last-minute is never a good idea. Here are seven reasons why.
1. Reminders. The last thing you want to be doing is sitting in the study wrapping – while rapping along to Wham! – when your loved one knocks on the door and laughs, ‘I hope you haven’t bought me that handbag!’ You look down to see a pair of thick, woolen Rudolph socks. Oh no! She (or he) wanted that handbag. You look at your watch. It’s 5pm. There is no way you can make it to John Lewis now. If only you’d started wrapping on Tuesday. She (or he) could have reminded you then and you could have rectified the situation. Now you’re are going to have to steal one of her (or his) handbags and wrap that up. With the socks inside. Then you’re going to have to get her (or him) really, quite drunk.
2. Paper. However much wrapping paper you buy, it is never enough. It doesn’t matter if you raid your local WHSmith and buy every single roll going, it will never be enough. It’s one of those stupid Christmas rules. Come 11pm on Christmas Eve you have two presents left and no paper. Which is why come Christmas Day many are presented with a gift wrapped in a House Of Fraser bag. Or some printer paper. Or the Daily Telegraph. Though in that particular case I suppose the present was a copy of The Daily Telegraph. Some people like sudukos. The solution is simple*, wrap your presents before Christmas Eve, then when you run out you can go and buy another roll. It works. Though given you wrapped up days in advance you’ll probably have bought six rolls too many. Still, that’s Christmas for you.
3. Sellotape. Because you have no idea where the Sellotape is kept, and you’ll have to ask your partner where it is. And they’ll know that you’ve left wrapping their present until the last minute. And you’ll know that they know. And they’ll know that you know that they know. And you’ll know that they know that you know that they know that you know that they…no, I’ve forgotten. It definitely involved guilt, stationery and repercussions though.
4. Celebration. Christmas Eve is a festival in and of itself. And, having celebrated copiously and extravagantly, the last thing you want to be doing is staggering home in the snow to wrap your presents as, by this point, you may well have imbibed more mulled wine and port than…well…anyone else. Ever. Essentially wrapping presents in this state is a tiresome chore which soon degenerates into screwing large sheets of paper round random objects, with only one eye open and your tongue poking out with concentration while you lie on your side on the dining room floor. It also leads to…
5. Breakages. And you don’t want to break things on Christmas Eve. You don’t want to break yourself because it’s busy at the hospital and having to drive you there is annoying to your friends and family. And you certainly don’t want to break the expensive and fragile blue glass vase that constitutes your then-girlfriend’s main present at 11:30pm on Christmas Eve because it’s too late to replace it. So you’re left with a choice: You either wrap up the remains anyway and express shock and surprise that it’s broken when she opens it the following day, or you explain to her that you broke it while you were wrapping it because you blacked out for a moment while looking at a mince pie and fell off the chair. I chose the former option, naturally.
6. Garages. Despite what people may believe, a garage is not a limitless Santa’s grotto. The flowers are usually gone by lunchtime on Christmas Eve, the Chocolate Oranges by 4pm and the CDs of Cliff Richard’s Greatest Hits by 6pm. So what are you going to do when at 9pm you begin to wrap up your lover’s presents only to realise that he/she has bought you double the number? You can’t get a box of fire-lighters. They still have some left from last year. A free car-wash seems futile given that the car will get dirty again driving back. A new can of petrol is a fire hazard under the tree. A pint of skimmed milk lacks the festive spirit. You’re going to be screwed. So don’t do it. Don’t wrap on Christmas Eve.
7. Americans. For some reason best known to themselves, many Americans open their presents (which they insist upon calling gifts) on Christmas Eve. But what if you have an American coming over? Because if you haven’t wrapped your presents by Christmas Eve, muddleheaded ex-colonial types will want to open them before you’ve done so. And you know what will happen if they do that? They’ll just be removing stuff from boxes. All of the boxes. Because they won’t know which boxes are for them because they won’t have labels on because you won’t have done the labels because, let’s face it, if you haven’t done your wrapping by Christmas Eve you’re hardly likely to have made gift labels, are you? So your house will just be full of Americans removing all of your boxed-possessions and taking them. It would be like being burgled, except you’d have to give the burglars your mulled wine and make small talk with them while they burgled you, spelled things badly and insisted that science isn’t a real thing. And if that image hasn’t motivated you to wrap your presents right now, nothing will.
*Not the solution to the sudoku. Those bloody things are impenetrable.