Please Send Wrapped: Why Gift Wrapping Shouldn’t Be Optional
Online shopping has changed our lives. No longer do we have to shuffle to stores to go grocery shopping, grab toilet paper, or new clothes. Every thing we need (almost everything anyways) can be delivered right to our doors. As moms, this amazing technology is a gift in and of itself each and every Christmas. There is no more trying to shop with several children or trying to figure out how you’re going to shop for their gifts without them being there. You can send a list to friends and family who want to send gifts to your kids, making it easier than ever to get gifts for everyone. But, like with all things, online Christmas shopping comes with a price: unwrapped gifts.
Please Do the Gift Wrapping
We love our families. And we love that our families love us enough to share in the holiday season of giving by sending us (and our children) gifts even if we can’t be with them over the holidays. But with each new box that arrives on our doorstep comes another task to add onto our never-ending to-do list before Merry St. Nick comes down the chimney: wrapping all the gifts.
Years ago (hold onto your hats Gen X-ers, because this is a doozy), before online shopping was a “thing” every box that came to a doorstep had pre-wrapped presents inside. There was no direct shipping so every gift had to be bought in the store, wrapped at home, and loving shoved into a plastic peanut filled box before standing for an hour or two at the post office to send it to friends and family around the country. Nowadays, though, people can simply input your address and have the gift sent directly to your home. Super convenient right? Yes! But also- no.
Because now, when those direct shipped packages come to our doors they are oftentimes unwrapped. And that’s understandable because most companies either don’t offer gift wrapping or offer gift wrapping at an absurd price per item. And most family members or friends are thinking that that recipient can just wrap the gift themselves, right? Or just leave the cardboard box sitting under the tree until Christmas and everyone can play of a game of “Who Gets What,” which often goes down something like this:
Husband: I think this one is for Jimmy.
Wife: No, this must be for Jimmy because he loves Paw Patrol.
Husband: But so does Suzy.
Wife: Why don’t you just text Aunt Janis and find out, Paul.
Both parents: Kids stop fighting, they aren’t anyone’s toys yet!
Moms across the country are being buried alive by wrapping paper. Not only are we wrapping gifts that we got for our own family (and probably ourselves) but now we are also wrapping the presents that are from other people. Individual gifts don’t take long to wrap, but when you have three kids and you are getting boxes of unwrapped gifts for everyone in your family from two sets of grandparents, Aunt Janis, Cousin Todd, Uncle Joe, and every other person in the family, all those gifts add up. The wrapping becomes impossible and overwhelming. Trying to decipher which present is for which person is maddening. Trying to hide the unwrapped gifts before your kids can see them is difficult, especially since your hidden closet is now overflowing with stuff yet to be wrapped. Here’s usually how the chaos breaks down for us:
- UPS/FedEx/USPS truck arrives at our front door. We calculate in our head what we ordered, but come up blank.
- Open box unknowingly because we don’t know what is inside or who it is from.
- Realize it’s presents and push our kids off the kitchen table chairs so they don’t see what’s inside.
- Have a quick heart to heart with kids about why mommy shouldn’t push, and why they don’t need to see what is inside of every box.
- Hide in the laundry room while you figure out who the presents are from and who is supposed to get what.
- Decide it’s best to wait until the kids go to bed to do this because they are pounding on the laundry room door because OMG THEY CAN’T EVEN GIVE YOU FIVE SECONDS OF PRIVACY.
- Put kids to bed, get
glassbottle of wine, grab rolls of wrapping paper, tape, and scissors. Begin to decipher hidden code of unmarked gifts.
- Wrap presents (read: lose scissors 892 times, get tape stuck together 12 times, miscalculate amount of paper needed 4 times, curse…a lot).
- Write “wrapping paper” on your Target list.
- Put presents under the tree.
- Do all the steps for each box from family and friends.
For those of us that have this problem, we begrudgingly admit that it is a good problem to have. It means we are so loved by friends and family that they are willing to spend time picking out a gift and sending it to us even when we can be there face-to-face. But moms all over the country are cursing Amazon Prime (but also loving it because, Prime) because every smiley-faced box on our doorstep is another hour-or more- of wrapping to do. That is why we ask of you- no, BEG of you- please send your gifts wrapped. Fork over the couple extra bucks, get those suckers wrapped by the Amazon, Target, and Wal-Mart elves, and call it a day. We will love you all that much more for it, because the best gift you can get any mom this Christmas is less stress.
Photo Credits: Lauren Lomsdale
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Lauren is a full-time mom of three girls, who also happens to run her own in-home preschool. She loves to write, run, yoga-it-out, and keep fit. She’s kind of crunchy in her homeschooling, cloth diapering, and natural products sort of way, but she also loves Starbucks and trashy tv. For more about her internal judgments of herself and hilarious quips about motherhood, follow her on IG and Twitter @thescoopmama, fb.com/thescoopmama, as well as her website theSCOOPmama.