There are SO many presents in this house that need to be wrapped. It’s ridiculous. The dining room table, which is no small hunk of wood, is completely obscured by a mound of shopping bags, each containing one or more Christmas gifts that must be wrapped, packed, and loaded into the car. And I don’t really like wrapping gifts. I know that some people say that it’s soothing or exciting, but for me it seems like such an exercise in waste. It’s taking enormous quantities of bleached paper, died with toxic chemicals, and then wrapping them around gifts that are likely already in boxes, just so they can be ripped open days later and have all of the paper thrown into the recycling bin.

What’s worse, it really appeals to the meticulous nature of people, with all of the creasing and measuring and smooth cuts. And I do not have that nature as a part of my personality. In each cut of the paper, midway through, I just start ramming the scissors through as fast as I can, invariably leaving a sheet of wrapping paper that is half smooth elegance, and half ugly mess that looks like I chewed through it. Usually about 1/3 of my gifts have tape just wrapped around a crumpled wad of paper, mummy-style, over and over. My ham-handed attempts at creasing really just kind of mush extra paper into clumps that can be easily taped-over. It’s no good.

And if I do ribbon, which I sometimes do, my cat eats the ribbon the second my back is turned and then vomits lengths of it up on whatever spare surface he can find. Because he’s an asshole, and he really loves Christmas.

That’s not to say I don’t participate. Despite all of my misgivings about wrapping, I have also seen the alternative. My brother is also not a big fan of wrapping, and usually waits until we’re all opening gifts under the tree to run up to his room, extract a gift and a plastic grocery bag, and then stick the gift in the sack and hold it behind his back to give when he gets downstairs. It’s adorable, but because I’m a girl, I’m not allowed to do that. Except this year, I convinced Chris that for OUR Christmas, we’d be able to do the same thing. I also said it’d be okay to wrap gifts in t-shirts that are waiting to hit the washing machine. Classy girl. But for our family Christmases, we’ll be wrapping Mount Gift all afternoon and through the night.

I don’t even remember how many gifts there are. I learned a habit from my mother which involves stockpiling gifts from sales and clearance racks all year long in a closet somewhere, then unearthing them the week of Christmas. Then forgetting where I hid some of them, and finding the lost gifts in July of the next year.

We leave for Colorado when it’s still dark tomorrow morning. I am SO excited, but it doesn’t give me a whole lot of wiggle room on when these gifts finally get wrapped. It’s today or not at all.

So with all of the commotion and hustle and bustle of Christmas, you’ll have to forgive me for getting slightly off track with the daily posts. I do have things to write about, just no time to write about them. Yesterday I catered a lunch for fourteen people, which is no big deal except for that they wanted lo mein, which is an a la minute preparation. So I stir-fried lo mein with various proteins 14 times in a single kitchen in a 20 minute time frame. And then I spent the afternoon cleaning garlic sauce off of the ceiling. It’s nice to make some extra money around the holidays, but I have yet to figure out how much I actually made, if I’m counting dollar-per-unit-of-frazzled.

I have to write about Quantico for my brother, and I’ve already even made the meal in question, but the writing about it is going to have to wait for another day. It may be that I have time in Colorado, or it may have to wait until we return home. I promise, it’s coming.

Today, I have to wrap and pack and mentally prepare my dog for the world’s longest car ride in a Honda Civic with two cranky adults and five thousand individually wrapped gifts and probably a cooler of sammiches so I don’t have to stop and eat fast food on the way. I haven’t had a fast food hamburger/sausage biscuit/chicken sammich in about two years, and I’m not about to start now. It took some doing to break the fast food habit, and now I’m completely grossed out by the idea of it. And 7-11 fare? Arguably worse, except that they have bags of Sun Chips and granola bars and stuff that I will cheerfully maw down should the cause arise.

Our housesitters get to deal with all the cat vomit. I rewarded them by hand-making a box of chocolates including fondants and caramels and other wildly labor-intensive treats. When will I realize that chocolate-making is actually far more work than it ends up being worth? WHEN??

Merry Christmas, Happy Hannukah, Joyous Kwanzaa, Diwali, belated-Ramadan, and any other religious or non-religious themed holiday that I might have missed.

Peace out.

8 thoughts on “Guantanamooooo”

  1. I am meticulous and enjoy wrapping gifts. And you're in luck, because I'm your husband. So clear off a spot on the table (workspace) and get to writing about food, because you no longer need to worry about the wrapping!

    (and I'll watch out for Mao vomiting ribbon chunks. What a dick!..)

  2. I'm a big fan of buying little things and then putting them in paper lunch bags. Also, if I order anything online, then sorry, but that's how you're going to get it. Straight from Amazon to my door to yours.

    Shawn says this is cheating, so I had to take out my sister-in-law's gift and wrap it at the last minute.

  3. Merry Christmas, and thanks for writing this blog! It's really fun to read even though I'm a fat Texan (who sometimes shops at Walmart)! But I know you're not a mean person, not really. So, I hope you enjoy your time in Colorado and eventually find your way back there.

  4. i love local texan. she is secure in who she is and has a sense of humor. see kristie? there's one!

    i just read down. the dfayton ohio entry is great. they're all great. you're great.

    happy holidays honey. enjoy…

  5. Aww, thanks, both of you! I often come here for a laugh and also to see the lovely food pics. Texans (San Antonians in particular) ARE overweight, do shop at Walmart too much, eat way too much fast food, and just in general have very little knowledge of the world beyond the Texas borders. I'm not including the fine military folks in that generalization–and yes, I am generalizing, but I've been here 24 years and I bet I've met 6843 people that have NEVER left SA, let alone Texas. It boggles the mind. I think you need to keep on with your message regarding obesity and "doing the right thing" concerning our food sourcing. It stings, like I said, I'm fat (but I don't want to be!) and I know where every damn thing is in Wallyworld, but the more I read on here and elsewhere, the more I am realizing how right you are! You've inspired me–I would love to be able to afford culinary school…..but can't, so I've set my sights on the one at St. Philip's College–not to work as a chef, but for my own kitchen!

    So…….thanks again for all the laughs (I love your sense of humor–it's very similar to mine, and there are so many people who don't "get" me). And keep on being awesome!!

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