• "Oh, if I could only put things into words as I see them! Mr. Carpenter says, 'Strive, strive -- keep on. Words are your medium -- make them your slaves -- until they will say for you what you want them to say.' That is true, and I do try, but it seems to me there is something beyond words -- any words -- all words -- something that always escapes you when you try to grasp it -- yet leaves something in your hand which you wouldn't have had if you hadn't reached for it. ... I have written myself out for tonight, and am going to bed."
    - Lucy Maud Montgomery, Emily Climbs

    This is my place to "write myself out" -- sharing both my day-by-day thoughts and my artistic output. Thank you for visiting! - Carmen Pauls Orthner
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That’s a wrap…

Filed under Christmas • Written by Carmen @ December 19, 2010

No, no, I’m not caught up — I’m just finished with another entry for the journal, this time in response to the Dec. 10 prompt, about wrapping paper, and I’m feeling relieved that I can post it, after dealing with some weird technical glitch that was sending me to another site when I tried to access my blog. It seemed appropriate to write this entry tonight, after we’ve been working today on getting some of our gifts wrapped in order to mail them tomorrow to my brother and his family in British Columbia — perhaps I will shuffle the pages in the journal around to put this entry alongside today’s “daily notes”. Anyhow, here are my thoughts on wrapping paper:

Every year at the start of the Christmas season, I have visions of what my wrapped gifts will look like.

Sometimes I dream of beautifully packages, resplendent with real fabric ribbon and done up in gorgeous reds, or gold and silver (an ideal planted in my head by an article that appeared in the Dec. 1982 issue of Canadian Living – our copy was very dog-eared thanks to my many re-readings), and lovely gift tags handmade with my stash of craft supplies, like the ones featured in all the scrapbooking magazines and blogs.

Sometimes I imagine wonderfully quirky packages, reminiscent of some of the gifts we made when I was a child, which were wrapped with old architectural blueprints from my dad’s office, or with paper decorated by carving Christmasy shapes into cut potatoes, and then coating them in paint for stamping. The gifts would then be adorned with tags crafted by my brother and me out of images cut from old Christmas cards.

But every year, either practicality or a lack of time prevails, and we come back to the same box of wrapping paper, with rolls decorated with Santa Claus or snowman designs, and the pre-made tags, paper ribbon and clear “gift wrap” tape.

Bryan wraps (his logical mind and careful nature being perfect for the task), and I write book inscriptions, match gifts that should be wrapped together, do the “decorating” with ribbon (using my mom’s scissor trick to curl the ends) and other doodads, and write the tags. I enjoy giving little hints with my tag messages, and let the gift recipient know that while the paper and ribbon may be generic, the gift is given with intention and love.

1 Comment »

  1. Hi Carmen :-)

    I just wanted to drop by from the JYC forum and let you know how much I am enjoying your entries. For one reason and many others I am going down the path of a month in review style for my album this year – we are in the middle of a massive house renovation, but, I still drop in at the forum and your writing is such a pleasure to read.
    I hope you and your husband have a wonderful ‘first’ Christmas with your precious daughter.

    Comment by Amy — December 20, 2010 @ 2:38 am

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