QuestionThirty – Q30

Xmas Eve: Consumer Origami

dog LH christmas eve 3

Merry Christmas Eve!

Why do we wrap Christmas gifts? Should pets get presents?

Paul thinks so.

Me, a yawning dog, and the reason my students used to call me "Miss Chewbaca"--forearm hair

Me, a yawning dog, and the reason my students used to call me “Miss Chewbaca”–forearm hair

The gift-guilt has subsided since last night, and I’m feeling the merriness of Christmas consumerism, or cat-sumerism, in our case. Early this evening, Paul spent an hour plus measuring paper, folding corners, and curling shiny ribbons so that our gifts for the girls, Nico and Cricket, were wrapped to purr-fection. (Getting a crazy cat lady and her gentleman vibe yet?).

We returned from his family’s Romanian Christmas Eve shindig, celebrated in suburban Virginia, the right-wing doppelganger of suburban Maryland, all sparkly and satisfied from Sarmale–like the grape leaf wrapped Greek dolmades except these are rice and ground pork wrapped in cabbage and delish–holiday spirit and tolerating over-tired toddler triplets for three hours.

Paul couldn’t wait for our kitties to unwrap their gifts. He tucked treats inside the wrapping paper hoping they’d tear in to find the new toys, a birdy on a fishing line and a 60-pack of colorful mice. I sat waiting for the paper shredding to begin with the camera rolling, changing my ‘90210’ themed Flip Cam’s double-A batteries every 40 seconds.

To Paul’s disappointment, Stinkatron and Poofy Face managed to scoot the treats out from under the paper using a single nail. After almost an hour and some girlfriend-ly encouragement, Paul sighed and ripped into his christmas-consumer-origami.Turns out, while Cricket will merrily chew holes through my graduate school applications, she draws the line at clawing her way into wrapped Christmas presents–at least, the ones meant for her.

They spent hours ignoring their new neon mice to frolic inside an empty Ugg box. The tissue paper they use to stuff new shoes=a tasty midnight snack! Mmmm. So glad we spend that extra ten bucks a week on Fancy Feast, you feline mother fuckers.

Unfortunately, Stinko and Poofy didn’t fall for Paul’s attempts to reenact the “How To Wrap A Cat For Christmas” video. Fail. Sigh*.

Cricket waits for her presents, not yawning like some rude Romanian dogs.

Cricket waits for her presents, not yawning like some rude Romanian dogs.

By the way, does anyone else think it’s weird that we live in such an immediate gratification oriented culture, and yet we take the time to go to the grocery store for special themed paper from the $2.99 bin (at the last minute, as always, when there are only puppies frolicking around snowmen or jazzy neon evergreens left), and then use our special paper folding skills, honed since childhood and akin to origami, before presenting our gifts?

I get it: present-ation is everything. (Get it? It’s a pun). But why don’t we take more time to make original gifts as beautiful as our wrap-jobs?

Yeah, yeah, I know. Who has time to craft except for midwestern housewives?

Admittedly, I have little patience for wrapping presents and very little spacial sense, so my gifts look like they’re either wearing a muumuu or busting out of those high school jeans saved for ‘skinny days’.

Less wrapping, more making stuff! I say.

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Lauren Sczudlo

am a 30-year-old nap enthusiast, former high school English teacher, world traveling vineyard laborer, and picture book librarian, pursuing her life-long dream of being a ‘real’ writer.

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