In my capacity as Authorial Mom, I thought I would offer these 29 steps to easier, more beautiful presents. Just follow this easy program to achieve the same kind of Christmas Satisfaction that the Authorial Mom basks in practically year-round.
1. Buy awesome gifts that your child(ren) will love, like the aircraft carrier complete with die-cast planes and helicopters, real aircraft sounds, and a control tower.
2. Hide it in the garage and pray your child(ren) won't notice it.
3. Assemble your wrapping supplies: Festive paper, sharp scissors, and clear tape.
4. Realize someone used your best scissors to mutilate crayons. Decide to forge ahead anyway.
5. Heft aircraft carrier out of garage. Realize that it's 2 1/2 feet long and 9 inches tall at the tower. Not exactly regularly shaped. And because you bought it for a song at a thrift store, it did not come with in-store wrapping, or even a box. Its only covering is a garbage bag.
6. Begin frantically tearing through your insane stash of boxes accumulated over a lifetime of hording for something big enough to fit an aircraft carrier.
7. Repeat process with festive holiday bags. Again, come up short - literally.
8. Decide to make your own box, just like your father-in-law does.
9. Mutilate six boxes trying to find enough matching parts to encase an aircraft carrier.
10. Give up trying to match box sizes after giving yourself the mother of all paper cuts. Go get a glass of wine and a band-aid. Several band-aids.
11. Newly fortified, return to the battle scene. Begin taping box parts around aircraft carrier.
12. Realize control tower isn't removable. Remove it anyway (using the tips of your ruined scissors) and tape it to the side.
13. Run out of tape.
14. Get another glass of wine while tearing the house apart for more tape. Settle on packing tape. It's still clear, after all.
15. Return to the battle scene. Experience a pang of liberal guilt for giving innocent child a war toy for Christmas. Finish wine and get over it quickly.
16. Begin wrapping festive paper around jerry-rigged box-like covering.
17. Run out of festive paper, leaving a three inch gap between edges.
18. More wine as you debate how to cover the gap.
19. Settle on using different festive paper. Reason that Santa has to improvise, too.
20. Another paper cut.
21. The secret to beautifully wrapped presents is the crisp creases on the edges. Realize that there are no edges on your aircraft carrier you can crease the paper on without poking the tower out through the side.
22. Poke the tower out through the side.
23. Begin rooting around for Christmas ribbon to wrap over the hole the tower made.
24. Find acceptable ribbon. Begin wrapping around carrier.
25. Run out of ribbon.
26. Realize that all children like bows. Dump out whole bag of bows and apply liberally.
27. Stand back and, glass of wine in hand, admire your dedicated handiwork.
28. Overcome by holiday spirits, go lay down until Christmas is over.
There! Wasn't that easy? And the true reward for all your hard work will come Christmas morning, when your child(ren) will rush down, see the highly festive package under the tree, demolish the whole thing in under three seconds, and spend the rest of the day building sheds for trains he already has out of the mutilated box parts and bows, leaving the aircraft carrier to collect dust in the corner. Finally arrive at:
29. Next year, all the presents will be in garbage bags. With a bow.