Late Friday afternoon Scout and I had an early Christmas because he was leaving the next morning to spend the holidays with his parents. His Friday marked the end to an exhausting week of overtime, and I had spent the entire day power shopping, so we were both tired, to say the least.
I walked into his house, with gift bags a-blazing, and found him hunched over a present, scotch tape in hand. He said he was just finishing up wrapping TinyTuna's present. I looked at my pile of presents I had assembled in about 45 seconds, then looked at him and whispered "Gift Bags. Greatest Inventions EVER." He looked at me and shook his head. "My mother taught me to wrap presents."
Well! My mother taught me to wrap presents too, but if I had wrapped all his gifts in the prescribed Tuna manner with tape and paper and a KNIFE (scissors are a huge foul...don't ask), I wouldn't have been over until the next day. Plus, gift bags are cheaper and reusable, that is, if you're smart enough not to slap a sticker with a name on it.
But I understood where he was coming from. There is something about a hand-wrapped present with colorful bows and curlicue ribbons. It's like a hand-written letter. It says you took the time to care. A hand-wrapped present is tradition. On the other hand, a gift bag not only saves time, it also saves the planet by eliminating mountains of paper that wind up in a landfill. A gift bag is environmentally friendly.
So I really didn't know what to think. Should I be Tevye or Al Gore? In the end, I told him to shut up and open his present. Which he did. And then I took back the gift bags to use again. And yes, I tore off the paper from his lovely hand-wrapped present. But in the name of recycling, I crumpled the paper up into a couple of little balls to use as cat toys for a day or two. Waste not, want not.
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