Fancy Pants Wrapping Paper

A day or two before Christmas, Ed came out from wrapping presents in the guest room. He said that he’d like to try some higher quality wrapping paper—not immediately, just eventually.

“But I gave you the “Premium” wrap,” I told him. “That’s the nicest paper Target carries.”

“I think,” he said, “I would like to try something nicer than what is carried Target. Do you know where I could get some?”

“Well, sure,” I stammered. “At a stationery store. But you won’t be able to get it for 75% off. And it’s more expensive to begin with.”

“I think that would be okay,” he said, and then he went back in the guest room to finish his wrapping.

On New Year’s Eve, I had some errands to run. I told Ed I was going to be near a stationery store, and asked if he wanted me to pick up some high quality wrapping paper. He said, “Yes, please.”

I first went to Target for the dental floss and whole wheat flour and whatever was on my list. While I was there, I decided to pop into the Christmas area. I had clearly missed the reduction of wrapping paper from 50% off to 75% off, as there was not a scrap anywhere.

I couldn’t help browsing the Wondershop detritus. Some of it was merely half price and some of it 90% off. It’s hard to maintain social distancing in the Christmas clearance though—the hardcore scavengers were willing to come closer than I wanted.

I shook my head to clear it, relocated my shopping cart, checked out, and then headed over to the stationery store. I’d taken a card making class there in February, just before the pandemic began. It was the most stressful afternoon of crafting I have ever faced. I was a little scared to return.

The store’s Winter Holiday section had only been reduced 50%, so there was more to choose from than at Target. Unfortunately, the only half priced paper left came in unwrapped sheets you had to ask a salesperson to retrieve for you from wooden files built into the wall. I wasn’t sure if I could get it home uncreased and unsmudged. Keeping it that way for a year seemed entirely unreasonable.

I browsed the rolls of multi-seasonal paper. I selected a roll of solid turquoise, a roll of variegated stripes in shades of blue and green, and a blue floral on a gold background.

Last night, I wrapped Ed’s birthday presents in the solid turquoise and in the striped paper. In terms of wrapping, neither was a revelation. The striped paper was in separate sheets, and so stubbornly curved that it was hard to get it around the box. The solid was easier to handle, but failed to conceal the Scotch tape. I knew there was a reason my mother always bought prints. Neither she nor I are the type to buy double sided tape.

Ed noticed the heft of the paper as he opened his gifts, and he commented on how attractive it was.

I suppose I am glad he liked it.

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