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Friday, December 19, 2008

Seasonally Challenged-

I love Christmas. More than birthdays I count my life in Christmases. This will be my 55th Christmas.

It is a season, however, that brings out a personal weakness. Actually, each season brings out a personal weakness, but this is the Christmas season and I am addressing my particularly Christmas weakness.

I am gift wrapping retarded. I apologize to anyone who is offended by the term "retarded" being used in the manner it was used in my youth. It meant restricted, challenged, fundamentally weak in some way. I don't know, it got changed over time. Anyway, I am seasonally challenged.

Looking at it objectively it is not a practiced skill for me. Once or twice each year I try to encapsulate some object in paper, ribbon, string, tags and whatever else is seasonally appropriate. My overall lack of practice remains obvious from year to year.

It does not help that for most of my life the purchase of gifts and the wrapping of gifts was generally the responsibility of other family members. For the most part they would assume this duty to prevent the dubious result of my efforts from denigrating the underside of a Christmas tree or whatever other designated place of presents was being used.

There was a time in my life when I used newspaper comics as wrapping paper. Hey, they were colorful. They were available. I thought they were cool.

I learned that they were not cool. In the general run of my education, I again learned that my tastes were aberrant and generally cheap. You would think that some of this would sink in over time.

So, I have finished wrapping a pile of gifts for my wife. They are the only ones I will wrap this year. I guess she trusts herself to forgive my weakness.

Maybe I could find a summer program to help me. A nice camp somewhere. Days spent by the lake, under the pines, wrapping and re-wrapping practice gifts until the folds are neat. I can master tape, ribbon and label.

Perhaps not.

I will probably serve better as the poster boy for gift bags.

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