This is the time of year we think back to the very first Christmas, when the Three Wise Men went to see the baby Jesus and according to the Book of Matthew, “presented unto Him gifts; gold, frankincense, and myrrh”.
These are simple words, but if we analyse them carefully, we discover an important 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 sayeth unto him, she sayeth,
“Holdeth it! That is nice paper! Saveth it for next year! “And Joseph did rolleth his eyes. And verily, the baby Jesus was much more interested in the paper than, for example, 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:
1. They were wise.
2. They were men.
Men are not big gift wrappers. Men do not understand the point of putting paper on a gift just so somebody else can tear it off.
John might attempt to wrap gifts, but because of some defect in his motor skills, he can never completely wrap them. He can take a gift the size of a deck of cards and put it in the exact centre of a piece of wrapping paper the size of an Olympic Stadium, but when he is finished fluffing folding and taping, you can still see the end of the gift peeping out. If he had been an ancient Egyptian in the field of mummies, the lower half of the pharaoh’s body would be covered only, in true Plue Peter sytle, by sticky back plastic!
On the other hand, if you give a woman a 12-inch square of wrapping paper, she can wrap a cruise ship in it. Many women actually like wrapping things. If they give you a gift that requires batteries, they wrap the batteries separately, which to some people is very close to being a symptom of mental illness.
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 gift-wrapping tips for men:
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.
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.
For example your wife says: Why is there a bulging bin bag under the tree?
You reply: It’s a gift! See? It has a bow!
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.
Wishing You a Christmas of trouble free wrapping!