Project 52, Week 49 — Running Late!

Well, here it is late Monday afternoon (at least here on the West Coast) and I just now remembered I hadn’t written a blog entry for today! Like so many, as the holiday season ramps up to Christmas, I’m getting busier and busier and some daily tasks are falling by the wayside. I really don’t have much Christmas shopping to do, as I don’t have a lot of people to buy for, but am mostly getting ready for company to visit over the holidays, planning and shopping for that, rather than gifts.

The other day I updated my cover photo on Facebook by making a photo collage of pictures from Christmases when I was younger than 5, and I was marveling at how nice my mother always made Christmas for us, and how she made it look effortless. That is, until it came to wrapping presents. Here is one of the pictures from an early Christmas:


I always thought it was wonderful the way she displayed our toys around the tree without wrapping so we could just quickly enjoy playing, until I discovered a few years later that the reason they were unwrapped is because she despised wrapping gifts! Though she was an excellent typist and her penmanship and shorthand were superb, she really didn’t enjoy doing any sort of craft work with her hands. Sewing frustrated her, and she wouldn’t have dreamed of knitting or crocheting. She did allow me try to teach her to crochet once when I was working on a crochet instructor certification, but only a few lessons into it, she could no longer stand it. “Do we have to do this anymore?” she whined, and gave up.

So the year I was 9 years old I happened to be awake on Christmas Eve and from my bed I could hear her in the living room trying to wrap presents, muttering and complaining as she wrestled with the paper and stuck ribbons here and there to hide any defects. The next morning I told her I would wrap presents (except for mine, of course) for her, that I liked doing it, so that became my permanent job from that point forward. Back in the day I enjoyed curling ribbons, making springy, coiling ribbon arrangements and tried to get more creative each year. However, after reaching adulthood, and with the availability of so many creative ribbon arrangements ready to just purchase and stick on, not to mention the ease of gift bags with tissue paper, I succumbed to taking the easy way out myself.

But I still enjoy wrapping gifts, and I’ve never wrapped presents without a smile, remembering my mother expressing her frustrations as she did her best. It was one of her endearing qualities.

Christmas will be over so soon! Take time to savor the process as we lead up to that special day!

9 thoughts on “Project 52, Week 49 — Running Late!

  1. This is a wonderful blog that brings back so many ‘black and white photograph’ Christmases to mind! Trees were more ‘Charlie Brown’ then, but the tinsel made them magical! Thanks for the memories… and Have a Merry!

    • I hadn’t thought about it, but you’re right, the trees did seem a bit more “scrawny” back then! My sister was talking about the “tinsel” the other day; it actually was “tin” foil crumpled around some string, not the garland used these days. Great memories, yes!

  2. I really enjoyed this! I didn’t know that about Mama not liking to wrap presents until you told me just a few days ago! I always thought it was magical that we’d come into the living room, and all the presents would be there, as if Santa had arranged them all just so, for all of us!

    • On enlarging the picture I do see a few of them were wrapped, but without ribbons; I suppose there was really no point when the presents weren’t put under the tree until we were in bed and were just going to tear into them in the morning. Also, I can see some of them would have been hard to wrap; not everything came in boxes the way it does these days. I bet Daddy had to put that tricycle together late on Christmas Eve; can’t imagine Mama doing that! ;D

      • I remember (maybe that year?) having to sit on the sofa in the living room (which was back up against the staircase) that night while Daddy was working on something in the dining room. Maybe he was assembling your tricycle! Also: looking closely at the photo: does it look to you like Mama had a mix of the old-style tinsel and some of the newer fluffy kind on the tree?

  3. Maybe, re tricycle! I’m thinking, too, that that was the Christmas of 1957; I turned 4 the next week. And yes, it does look like both kinds of tinsel are on the tree, though the newer kind looks much more scrawny than garland looked later on! I don’t remember our using the old-style tinsel after we moved back from Florida, although I need to look at a picture from the old Brotherton Road house to be sure.

    • I’ve got some old Christmas photos I took at Brotherton (the first Brotherton house). I need to dig those out and look at them. 🙂

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