The Gift of Distraction

Ah, early January. It is that time of the year again. Time to focus on…

If you thought I was going to say it’s time to focus on your New Year’s resolutions, you are sadly mistaken. Everybody knows that resolutions fall by the wayside faster than that gigantic ball in Times Square.

Nope. It is time to prepare for an important upcoming holiday.

That’s right: Christmas.

Now I don’t want anybody to panic, but there are only about 352 shopping days until Christmas.

I know, I know. It’s right around the corner.

Fear not, though. Black Friday deals are almost upon us. I think they start on Valentine’s Day this year. Try not to get too caught up with the fact that Valentine’s Day is actually on a Saturday.

Not to brag, but I’m just about ready. I’ve even got my outdoor Christmas display set up ahead of schedule this year.

IMG_1112 IMG_1119

Yet, there is one part of the Christmas holiday with which I struggle every year.

Gift wrapping.

Just thinking about it makes me want to grumble. Too often, the gifts I’ve wrapped end up looking a bit ragged. You’d think that I ran the wrapping paper through a shredder first, or cut it with a dull chainsaw.

For all you gift wrapping challenged folks like me, please allow me to offer a solution.


Lately, I’ve turned to battery-powered mini-LED lights to draw the eye away from the wrinkled paper and excessive scotch tape. The brighter the better.

Here’s a classic version:

Gift - Lighted

This past Christmas, (that took place months ago, right?), I even added a little poetry to the mix.

Keep in mind that my idea of poetry consists of epic works like this:

Roses are red,

Violets are purple.

I drank so much soda I started to burple.

Hey… it gets rave literary reviews, and guffaws, from six and eight-year-olds.

But I digress. Here’s a picture of this year’s gift to my brother-in-law, before the built-in switch was flipped.

Gift - Before

And here it is after the switch was flipped.

Gift - After

I suppose it kind of ruined the surprise, but I’m hoping the four-pack of Ommegang Gnomegang beer was a  good choice.

So, just remember: if you can’t wrap, distract. Or befuddle, amuse, divert, and bewilder.

If that doesn’t work, you can always replace the wrapping paper with duct tape. Silver and red are quite festive!

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  1. There is a tradition among my siblings that at lady one gift each year has to be wrapped in duct tape. It definitely adds to the suspense.

  2. Now, that’s a great tradition! Might have to steal that one for the future.


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