Quick & Dirty: Make gift-giving easier with color-coded wrapping paper

The rule in our house has always been, "Those who don't believe in Santa don't receive gifts for Christmas." So it stands that at 30 & 33, my brother and I have never uttered words that might indicate Mr. Claus might possibly be imaginary, and certainly not in front of our mother. Magic, bringing gifts for parents to wrap (those overworked elves, you know), possibly non-corporeal, maybe even formerly-a-person but currently just an idea. But not real? NEVER.

Sometime when I was in middle school and my brother was in high school, my mom had a kind of genius idea. Instead of taking the time to write tags on gifts for us from Santa, she grabbed (what I'm assuming is like 12 rolls) some wrapping paper that clearly related to each of our interests. In our case, it was the Tazmanian Devil & Winnie the Pooh. We each got a couple gifts from our parents and some years even each other, but all Santa gifts to a person were in their own wrapping paper with no tags. I would be remiss if I didn't point out: I never saw a single roll of these special wrapping papers in our house, even though I was the main gift wrapper for nigh on a decade, I helped move the Christmas supplies when we moved house and was usually the one digging out ornaments for the tree. So, perhaps Santa does indeed wrap his own gifts and I'm giving my mother too much credit.

I'm pretty sure I had graduated college (so, ah, easily 15 years later) the year we looked under the tree to find two piles of presents wrapped in somewhat less childish but no less matching papers, with one CD each of Tasmanian Devil & Winnie the Pooh propped careful atop them to mark our piles. In one of those rare moments of unspoken communication, we each carefully set aside those two precious gifts to save for last. Later Mom tearfully informed us that indeed, those would be the last two in those papers, as Santa informed her he'd finally run out of the stash of them. It kinda felt like the end of our childhoods!

As it happens, since this is my first year staying home for Christmas instead of visiting family, this is my first year not using my mom's extensive gift wrap stash for gifts and I actually had to purchase my own. I doubt I'll ever go so far as to buy a dozen rolls of one particular paper for each of us, but the idea of using one paper per person for Christmas morning definitely is an idea I intend to keep in mind when I get the chance to use it.


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