This isn't all that appropriate for this blog, but I suppose it's still "visual." For any of you who happen to live in other parts of the world, here in America on this day every year we celebrate what's called "Christmas." Around 2000 years ago, a man named "Santa Claus" was born. He's also gone by the name "Chris Cringle," hence the holiday, "Christmas."
To celebrate Christmas in America, we start about two months earlier. We spend those months listening to the same twenty or twenty-five songs over and over and over again on all our radio stations and in stores and in elevators and everywhere that music is played.
There's also a sort of pre-Christmas holiday called Black Friday. Since we Americans love to shop, we celebrate Black Friday by waiting on lines starting around 5AM and aggressively waddling our morbidly obese selves into stores like Walmart, starting riots, and beating people to death in a competition to see who can buy the most stuff. The people who leave the store having maimed the most other shoppers and forced the most sought-after products out of their bloodied hands are said to be "Christmas Winners."
For the next month after that, we spend the entire time mocking the poverty and strife of people in other parts of the world by whining and begging and harassing our loved-ones about all the many, many gadgets and toys and baubles and products we don't have and need to have, most of them useless and disgustingly overpriced. American children learn this skill very early and are quite good at it.
Then on Christmas, Santa Claus--or perhaps it's the ghost of Santa--on a single night mind you, visits all of the approximately two billion homes of people who "believe" in him, enters their houses, and leaves gifts behind. The next morning Americans celebrate a festival of greed and consumption where they ravenously tear open every present in sight, creating millions of tons of garbage in the process that our country has no idea what to do with, and grumble to themselves about how the gifts were not precisely what they wanted, despite the fact that millions of people starve to death on this planet every year. It's a wonderful, wonderful time.
So I have gifts for my loved ones!
I actually think that I enjoy wrapping the presents more than I like choosing them. I used to sometimes make gifts for people, create paintings for them and other hand-made things. But who has the time for that anymore? Buying the gifts takes thought, to be sure, if you don't want to get the person something they'll hate. But the gift is something someone else made, probably in China somewhere, although my gifts were a little bit more local this year. So wrapping them is how I get creative. It's a lot of fun. In years past, I've not had any sort of concept. I just tried to have the most beautifully-wrapped gifts under the tree. This year, I had a theme.
Ugliest Presents Ever.
I'll have to tell you, wrapping a present badly is not as easy as it sounds. Wrapping paper, ribbon, bows, everything is pretty much designed so that you can easily wrap a gift and have it look relatively good. We all know the techniques for folding paper around a box properly, like we know how to make a bed with hospital corners. Trying to do it wrong just seems to defy all common sense.
Anyway, I wanted to show my horrible wrappings this year. I think they came out perfectly awful and I was totally cracking myself up with this. I love them. I think they're hilarious. I probably should have looked around for some tackier, more obnoxious wrapping paper, but this one was pretty cheesy.
Next year I'm thinking maybe I should have an Ugly Present Wrapping Contest. With two winners, so each winner gets the ugly present of the other winner as a prize. Of course, I'd probably get only one contestant and then the whole thing would be a bust.
Happy Holidays, everyone!