I hate wrapping packages! Any packages, but especially Christmas packages! I am one of those unfortunate people who does not find pleasure in making each gift a work of art to be admired by all. In the past I’ve just covered the gifts in Christmas wrap, even forgoing bows. But, this year I stumbled on a formula that will forever make wrapping gifts more tolerable. I doubt I’ll ever love it, but I will hate it a little less.
I had Friday night to myself because my husband was working. So, I was free to do whatever I needed to get the dreaded gift wrapping task done. First, I set the TV to the Hallmark station, which is showing non-stop sappy Christmas movies. The movies provided a much needed pleasurable distraction from the task at hand. Because their plots were so simple and predictable, I was able to watch them while I worked — no complicated plots, no need to pay close attention! Then I started a batch of cracker candy, the only baked product I make at Christmas. It’s easy and it gives me the chance to indulge in bits of chocolate as I work. I like making cracker candy!
While the cracker candy was baking I pulled out a bag of Christmas gift bags that had accumulated over the years from charities and gifts I’d gotten. That bag had been hanging around in my attic for years, but was rarely touched. I, of course, had known about the wonder of gift bags for years, but had never let myself get into exclusively using gift bags because of the cost of the bags. This year I decided to use up some of those bags.
What fun I had matching bags to the people receiving the gifts! Cat bags for cat lovers. Dog bags for dog lovers. Before I knew it all but three of the gifts were nestled in their bags and the job was almost done! The three remaining gifts didn’t fit into bags, so I wrapped them. No sweat! Using bags cut the gift wrapping time by more than half! What a revelation!
The lessons of my gift wrapping evening?
- Providing a source of pleasure like having movies or music playing can provide a delightful distraction from a boring, onerous task.
- Working back and forth between a task I don’t like (wrapping presents) and a task I do like (making cracker candy) makes the task I don’t like less annoying.
- A less expensive method (wrapping) is not necessarily less expensive when it takes more time and is less fun.
By the end of the evening most of my presents were wrapped, I’d made several batches of cracker candy for gifts for friends and family, and I’d had a fun, festive evening complete with chocolate.
What can you do to make dreaded holiday tasks more pleasurable and therefore more doable?