Welcome to The Epic! I am launching this blog as a manifesto for and a guide to living well. The title and motto of the blog are taken from the Epicureans, at least some of whom believed in the notion that not one minute of the future was guaranteed to them and that as a result they had the duty to live life to its fullest every moment.

I believe in discovering fun and pleasurable things wherever I find myself each day and I am told I have a knack for unearthing them. My hope is that by sharing in my pleasures and some of my ways of finding them you will begin to collect all the riches that lie in the moments of your life. They are there. Take them! All our lives should be.....Epic.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Wrap Star

My holiday gifts do not look like this. Trust me. I am an awful package wrapper. It seems that no matter what I do, the critical points end up mushed and scrunched and generally untidy.

Some years ago, I was in the middle of a particularly crazy Christmas season due to family medical issues. My wife was due home from a lengthy hospital stay right before December 25 and I thought it would be nice for a lot of pretty presents to be under the tree when she arrived. I took all my gifts to a gift shop and I hired one of the ladies to wrap them for me. They were gorgeous. Almost too pretty to open at all.

Another year, I had a wonderful assistant who, in a prior life, had worked in a department store service center. A true wrap star. Sensing that I was a lost cause in the creative arts department, she actually asked me if I had packages that I would like wrapped. They were even prettier than the ones I got from the gift shop.

Those were my only experiences with really well wrapped gifts. I gave up on them because I discovered an odd thing. Although I got the usual joy from giving gifts to people I love, I did not get as much joy as when I wrapped them myself. No matter how visually inadequate the end result may have been. I found that it was the investment of myself in the act of giving that made all the difference. That investment was my feeble effort at wrapping the packages.

Gifts do not make the holiday. But if you do give gifts, put on a little holiday music, pour a nice neat cognac, and do the best you can with the decoration. You will feel all the closer to the recipients because you will be giving them a bit of yourself, of your affection. The sort of giving that we are supposed to be about. During the holiday season. And throughout the year.


EsseQuamVideri said...

Great sentiment! Merry Christmas!


CashmereLibrarian said...

My husband is the wrapping talent in my family.
When I was little, my mom would invariably "forget" a present in her closet until the last moment and then she'd go up, dig around, and give it to me in a paper bag. I didn't mind, was always happy to have another present!

David V said...

I must humbly admit that I am an outstanding gift wrapper. I can point to my part time, high school job in a small shipping department. Everything was boxed, wrapped in kraft paper and tied with twine.

The Daily Connoisseur said...

I am terrible at wrapping gifts too but do my best - I completely agree with you- putting time and effort in wrapping the gift (whether you do it yourself or have an expert do it) makes the gift so much more special. It's all about presentation!

Helen said...

What lovely thoughts on giving gifts. My girls taught me how to wrap beautifully. They practiced and learned all the tips and tricks, then passed them on. One really needs to dedicate time for wrapping and in doing so, it enables much thought on the person who is to receive. Lovely post!

Petunia said...

Wishing you and your family a very Merry Christmas and a happy and healthy New Year's!!!