It is very important to know how to give gifts properly. Someone told me to look at the biblical account (Matthew's gospel to be precise) to find out how the very first Christmas went; when the Wise Men went to see the baby Jesus; "they presented unto Him gifts; gold, frankincense, and myrrh."
These are simple words, but if we analyze them carefully, we discover an important, yet often overlooked, theological fact. There is no mention of wrapping paper.
If there had been wrapping paper, Matthew would have said so:
"And lo, the gifts were inside 600 square cubits of paper. And the paper was festooned with pictures of Frosty the Snowman. And Joseph was going to throweth it away, but Mary saideth unto him, she saideth, 'Holdeth it! That is nice paper! Saveth it for next year!' And Joseph did rolleth his eyeballs. And the baby Jesus was more interested in the paper than the frankincense."
But these words do not appear in the Bible, which means that the very first Christmas gifts were NOT wrapped. This is because the people giving those gifts had two important characteristics:
- They were wise.
- They were men.
My wife, like many women, actually likes wrapping things. If she gives you a gift that requires batteries, she wraps the batteries separately, which to me is very close to being a symptom of mental illness. If it were possible, my wife would wrap each individual volt.
My point is that gift-wrapping is one of those skills like having babies that come more naturally to women than to men. That is why today I am presenting:
- Whenever possible, buy gifts that are already wrapped. If, when the recipient opens the gift, neither one of you recognizes it, you can claim that it's myrrh.
- The editors of a well-known women's magazine recently ran an item on how to make your own wrapping paper by printing a design on it with an apple sliced in half horizontally and dipped in a mixture of food colouring and liquid starch. They must be smoking crack!
- If you're giving a hard-to-wrap gift, skip the wrapping paper! Just put it inside a bag and stick one of those little adhesive bows on it. This creates a festive visual effect that is sure to delight the lucky recipient on Christmas morning:
- YOUR WIFE: "Why is there a Hefty green bin-bag under the tree?"
YOU: "It's a gift! See? It has a bow!"
YOUR WIFE (peering into the green bin-bag): "It's a leaf blower".
YOU: "Yeah! It's Petrol Engined and Five horsepower!"
YOUR WIFE: "I want a divorce!"
YOU: "I also got you some myrrh."
In conclusion, remember that the important thing is not what you give or how you wrap it. The important thing, during this very special time of year, is that you save the receipt.
Don't forget to laugh during this Christmas season.