| Dec 27, 2007


Christmas Edition - December 20, 2007

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Christmas Edition - December 20, 2007 It’s a Wrap! by Inie Platinius

I love to wrap presents. I love everything about it – the tape, the tags, the spools of shiny ribbon, and especially the paper: stacks of soft tissue in bold holiday colours, rolls of metallic gold and silver, even the hokey piles of not-quite-newsprint printed in cheap ink with snowmen, poinsettias and reindeer. When I was a teen I used to study the December ladies’ magazine articles (How to Wrap That Magazine as a Poodle; Disguise that LP as a Christmas Pizza!) the way other girls studied How to Maximize Your Mascara. I can’t help it. I just love the glitz.

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Over the years I have realized the toll that my fetish is taking on the environment. Whole segments of the Ross Ice Shelf have no doubt calved off into the Antarctic Ocean thanks to my selfish refusal to stop wrapping. Not that I haven’t tried. One year I spent a miserable pre-holiday season stuffing presents into recycled gift bags. Never again. I can say, however, that thanks to my depression-era father - son of a Manchester workman - I save every square inch (centimeter is just too small) of the wrapping on anything I ever open.

Last year, I made a vow to pass up all the after Christmas sales on shiny, shiny paper and make do with the box of accumulated bits that I’d been hoarding for the apocalypse. This would have been just fine were it not for the tradition of gift-giving to my beloved nieces and nephews that I established many years ago. On the week before Christmas, they each receive one very inexpensive present each day until December 24. This works on many levels. It allows me to take chances with their gifts (because there’s always another present to come) and it gives me an excuse to think about them all year long as I scour the sale tables wherever I happen to be. It also gives me a reason to wrap 35 presents (now that I’ve included the grandkids in the mix). However, “inexpensive” presents does not necessarily translate into small presents. Some of these suckers took a lot of paper, and that depleted my little hoard of used stuff pretty darned quick. Fortunately, I have another fetish – Maps.

I have boxes of maps. Maps of New Jersey from 1966; Maps of major cities in western Europe from my honeymoon (not long after 1966); National Geographic maps of the migration of reptiles in central Asia. You need a map? I got it.

Well, maybe not anymore. Nephew Sam’s book is wrapped in southern Florida circa 1975. He’s a nature lover, so I included the Everglades (it was still on the map in 1975). Taylor is the city lover, so he got a hunk of New York. Alyssa, the art history buff, gets Venice (see honeymoon maps) and Lara the adventurer gets the whole of western Canada. I had so much fun choosing their maps that I may be cured forever of my selfish need to kill trees for pretty papers. Of course, I’m going to need to replace a map or two…

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