3 small things that really help in the run up to Christmas

Relaxed snowboarder in orange goggles, blue trousers and fab multicoloured anorak
Very relaxed snowboarder (Photo: Dana Tentis)

There are three things that really help in the run up to Christmas and, to be fair, work pretty well during the rest of the year too. (You’ve already decluttered, of course, haven’t you?) No time for fine words at this stage of the game, so let’s cut to the chase.

1. The heavy duty sellotape dispenser

Sellotape (aka sticky tape) pretends to be helpful and friendly but in the twinkling of an eye can turn any peaceful present-wrapping session into a hand-to-hand wrestling bout.

I tried all the usual self-defence methods:

  • marking the end of the tape with a piece of paper or card
  • cutting short lengths and having them hanging ready on the edge of the table
  • sticking the tape firmly to the parcel and then unrolling firmly and fairly.

These worked all right, I suppose, although I was still being ambushed by a roll of sellotape rather too often and ending up with wonkily wrapped presents and fingers tied up in those knotted sticky tape pretzels.

After years of fighting back and losing, I’d had enough. I bought a heavy duty sellotape dispenser and suddenly all the exhaustion had gone. The dispenser doesn’t move about on the table and has the end of the roll just there, ready for you to use. It has its own fierce cutter. It does the job.

In the main, present and parcel wrapping goes smoothly for me now. There’s still the odd growl from the sellotape but generally it’s all pretty relaxed.

Relaxed tabby cat under the Christmas tree between two wrapped parcels. Help in the run up to Christmas
Relaxed tabby cat under the Christmas tree between two wrapped parcels. Everything organised! (Photo: Jenna Hamra)

2. The box that is big enough for rolls of wrapping paper

This is a more recent find and it’s still going through its paces. I’m convinced, though, and this is why:

  • I know where all the wrapping paper is – Christmas, birthday and those other pieces you can use for anything.
  • I know where it isn’t and that’s in a bag which keeps falling over or rolling about in the corner.
  • There’s room for bits of ribbon and rosettes.

Easy and straightforward, it’s the right box for the job.

3. Buying far more stamps than I need by early December

This is just fabulous and, if you’ve got the money, very easy to pull off. Christmas stamps are available in early November and can be used all year round if you really do buy far too many.

To be able to write the card, bung it in the envelope and slap on the stamp is great. With practice it can become an all-in-one movement. Granted it’s not cardio-vascular exercise, but looking at the pile of cards ready to go makes the heart beat that little bit faster. So organised! So efficient! Sling the whole pile into the post box, listen to the sshhhrrr noise as the envelopes settle into their place and move on.

Skiier in purple anorak with green ski poles speeds down the hill in low sunlight
Christmas cards make a sshhhrrr noise as the envelopes settle into their place in the post box (Photo: Terje Sollie)

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