Wednesday, January 12, 2005

It's a wrap.

Ok, so it's coming a little later than promised, but the much anticipated gift wrapping post is here.

When I was younger, I joined the local 4-H. Over the years I did a variety of projects from showing goats to baking cookies and geology to cake decorating. But my best area, by far, was gift wrapping. Though I lacked a lot in creativity, I made up for it in execution.

For those not familiar with the 4-H structure, there are different levels in each area. For gift wrapping, the different levels denote different shapes of packages that must be wrapped. Div 1 is a normal box, Div 2 was a box and separate lid and so on. Then each division is judged and multiple projects can receive a blue ribbon. From the blue ribbons they select a champion and reserve champion, and then an overall gift wrapping grand champion and reserve grand champion are selected. I was lucky enough to win a couple of grand champions and a few reserve grands. My first year we had to wrap the gift in front of the judges, and I wrapped a package in a map and used stick pins to mark certain places. It was all my mom's idea, and for it, I won the reserve grand ribbon. It was a proud day for an 8 year old.

In the later years, I was required to wrap a cylinder shaped package. I ended up wrapping a coffee can with shiny paper, coiled a spring and attached it to the top, used a styrofoam ball and made a clown head. All of which resulted in a fabulous jack in the box. I spent a great deal of time on that one, and would have been satisfied with another reserve grand champion ribbon. But I was robbed. That year, the grand champion went to to some chick who likely spent 5 minutes on her project. She "wrapped" a picnic basket by taking a wire basket and putting a piece of cloth in the bottom and pushing the corners of the cloth through the corners of the basket. Yeah, really hard work there. Apparently the judges thought that a picnic basket was creative. I thought it more likely that her mom was one of the judges. But whatever, no permanent scars.

I do, however, get stuck wrapping most presents in our house. This past Christmas I had to wrap all of my dad's presents to people, and some of my mom's. And I lost what little creativity I had when I was younger. So usually the quality of said presents is quite lacking. And thus, even though Kelly P. has stated that my next present to her must be wrapped, she may wait with baited breath. Because this wrapping machine has her limits.