Wednesday, December 21, 2011


I am leaving tomorrow night to go to Dubai to be with my roommate from college Amy and her family. They moved this summer from Oklahoma so it'll be a different Christmas for all of us. Spending Christmas differently isn't bad. It's just different. There's enough of the same to remind me that it's Christmas but not enough to make up for the fact that I'm not with my family. It's weird, and I flip-flop with being okay with it and being sad about it. 

I don't have a tree, I'm not making cookies, and I haven't seen the "He does exist! They do exist!" M&M commercial. So I threw my weight into presents. I won't say what I bought for everyone but I will share my wrapping adventure from this evening.

First, I went to a bookstore to buy wrapping paper. Second, while they do have rolls of wrapping paper like I'm used to, they also have sheets. I bought these shiny silver sheets that happen to look a lot like foil in this picture. Ridgeways, I promise I didn't wrap your gifts with foil. Third, my gifts are weirdly shaped so I needed boxes. And I was lucky enough to find some shoeboxes lying about the house!

At this point, I should tell you that before we rented this apartment we met the woman who was living here. As she was showing us around, we were nodding politely and generally agreeing with everything she said, including "I have this room full of shoeboxes that I can leave for you guys if you want." Now, I believe it was Abby who said, "Yeah, sure, we could always use shoeboxes" but we were both responsible for not saying, "Thanks, but no thanks!" She left them behind when she moved out. Just now, I did a quick approximation, and there are over 70 shoeboxes in our laundy/utility room. SEVENTY. 

So I decided to start putting them to use today. Amy's box was't the right size so I cut it down and taped it back together. These are the extra pieces:

I happened upon two lids that fit into each other perfectly so I used those for Mrs. Ridgeway's present. Mr. Ridgeway's was more difficult. I pulled out a whole bunch of lids to try to find two that would fit my present and fit together.

By the way, this woman had great taste in shoes. Interestingly enough, she did leave us an actual pair of shoes. They're boots that I wear at least once a week. Anyway, I found two lids that were pretty close to fitting. 

I taped them together, which wasn't very pretty, and wrapped them. The outsides are beautiful and the presents are beautiful, it's just the boxes that aren't exactly lookers. All stacked together they give me warm, fuzzy Christmas feelings.

I have one more thing to buy tomorrow and some more ribbon. The bookstore didn't sell ribbon by the roll but rather by the meter, and I miscalculated how many meters I would need for those pretty ribbon curls, which Niko helped curl. 

By doing a little shoebox magic I have 1) Made the gifts prettier than just wrapping the awkwardly shaped things, 2) Made smaller containers that will fit better in my suitcase, and 3) Began chipping away at the shoebox mountain. Guess which one I'm most proud of.


  1. Lovely wrapping. The gifts represent the people for whom they are intended, and the gift wrap reflects the giver. Good job!

  2. I'm proud at you for chipping away at the shoebox mountain!! My secret plan is to use them to construct a fort in the living room. Or to build Niko some walls. Or to tape together to form a new baseboard for your bed.

  3. I'm actually proud of you, not proud at you. I can't speak English anymore...