A few years ago I set up an official wrapping station in a corner of our breakfast room as a practical solution to a seasonal issue. The station includes a wire waste basket that holds rolls of paper, a basket with scissors, tape, tags, and ribbon, and another basket full of bags and tissue paper. The idea being, when it’s time to wrap a gift, everything is ready and waiting for you, beautifully organized.
A well-stocked, beautifully organized wrapping station has not always been standard practice in our home, which brings me to the point of today’s post.
The point of this post today is not to inspire you to wrap gifts in a certain way, but to encourage you to wrap gifts according to your season of life.
In a world full of inspiration and beautiful images, it can be tempting to shift our values toward a single ideal, thinking we are missing the mark if our wrapping is less than picture-perfect. As a person who loves beauty and finds joy in special details, I will testify that there are seasons where it makes sense for me to fully express this through wrapping, and years where it absolutely does not. The reality of your season of life, the constraints on your time and energy, and the scope of your responsibilities will determine how you choose to do a lot of things, including wrapping gifts.
There are years where random bags and whatever tissue paper you can get your hand on is the right choice. I remember the Christmas I had two children in less than two years, both still in diapers, one barely walking. Bags and tissue for everyone!
There are years when saying yes to your littles’ request for ridiculous character-themed paper is the right choice. I remember the year my kids loved Sesame Street, and the wrapping paper covered with Oscar and Big Bird was a source of joy for them. I promise you will look back on those photos with nostalgic delight.
There are years when choosing one paper and making everything uniform and simple is the right choice. When I started Hurley House, there was no margin for fuss. I bought one paper, one ribbon, and created a sense of beauty under the tree with one unified motif. The order felt calming without any extra work.
And there are years when taking your time, crafting beautifully adorned packages is the right choice. This is where I am now. Having two children in college, two teenagers at home, and margin in my work life affords me time I have never had before, and I enjoy spending some of it making packages pretty.
No two seasons of life are the same, and if there is anything I have learned as I look back on holidays past it is to kindly embrace your current season and confidently make decisions accordingly. No need to apologize for your choices, particularly in the arena of gift wrapping! Likewise, no need to feel burdened to do more than feels enjoyable for you. Maybe detailed wrapping is the last place you would spend extra time if you had it to spare. Hooray! Own your choice and carry on!
As for me, with a variety of seasons in my repertoire, I am enjoying the opportunity to take time with details, but knowing this might shift in coming years. Seasonal wrapping allows us to enjoy the season while honoring our limits.
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