We spent a lot of time at Perkins drinking coffee, in our earlier days – Tim and I. But one evening he invited me over to his apartment to wrap Christmas gifts. I suppose this was a creative way to “kill two birds with one stone,” as practical as I know he is now.
I must have been speaking to Tim of my new oil painting endeavor – oil painting Christmas gifts. Even though I had not painted oils since my high school art class, “…I invested in the equipment to make Christmas gifts!” My excuse for this expensive investment was gift economics. (If you can believe that!)
In reality, I know now, “I’d rather paint than study…”
So we wrapped gifts together on Tim’s dining room table, at his apartment. With artful perfection, this young single man proceeded to wrap. I probably watch, more than partcipated. I did not want to interfere with his strategy. “My, he’s a professional,” I thought.
Many years later, I can now say this is true: he is a pro at wrapping gifts. Precision. Excellence. Now I lovingly call him, “9.9.” And he has to agree. He can’t help himself. I admire this characteristic in Tim. I remind myself not to be intiminated, but to enjoy this perfectionism. What a great asset in our dual efforts as a married couple!
So we wrapped the Christmas presents that year together, only later realizing that it was during this ‘task time’ I was falling in love with this man!
Tim’s gifts were perfectly wrapped. My oil painting (the only present I can remember wrapping that night) was wrapped WET! Wet oil! The painting was for my Grandpa Dahl!
I only remember Grandpa Dahl on Christmas Day, with a pile of gifts on his lap, resting his albow on top. My gift to him was on the bottom, I think. It wouldn’t matter. Top or bottom, the shirt box containing the painting would collapse wherever it was in the pile! (Typical college student…)
“Ewe! That could be disasterous,” I said to myself! I finally found a way to suggest a different placement of his gifts. The oil painting survived, by the way.
So many, many years later, Tim and I are still wrapping gifts together. And you should see the strategy in place! Quite impressively set up! And not because of me. I am the assistant.
First, Tim gathers all the gifts and begins calculating: how much Christmas paper does he have for adult gifts. And how much paper for the kids.
Then, he arranges a place to cut paper, per box. And finally, he arranges the place for me to tape. It is there I settle in for a night in the elves’ shop.
We ‘elves’ are not allowed to begin wrapping until the ‘youth’ are in bed, fast asleep. ‘Youth’ being the age anywhere between toddler to adult! For any aged person could walk into this unveiling of the wardrobe box! (See ‘The Wardrobe’ blog, 12/2016)
So the wrapping customarily begins late in the evening. And it doesn’t end until done. Late. The wrapped packages are then placed back in the empty Christmas Tree Wardrobe Box, where they will wait until Christmas Eve.
The wardrobe box is secured in its natural habitat, unbeknownst to the boys as they ‘travel’ around it the next day, and many more days after. Until Christmas Eve. When the gifts come out, along with a half eaten Christmas cookie on a Santa plate, with a cup of drunk milk.
“What fun it was playing Mrs. Claus with this Santa!”
But, we were exhausted at the same time. We discovered a retro Christmas CD somewhere along the way that became a necessity during the wrapping process. Evie narrates most of the song. Her narration was not discovered until many Christmases of listening pleasure had already gone by. But when I finally heard the words, I was in absolute wonder, that she had not been speaking of the Ludvigson family!
Now I know we are not the only mom and dad feeling what Evie shares. By this point in the month of December – preparing for Christmas – we are tired. The Christmas tree has been ‘danced around’ a few times, by little feet. And all the beautiful decorations have become a bit disheveled.
As the narration goes, the lonely shepherd, who has been lost under some ‘stuff,’ is crying out to be placed back where he belongs – beside the baby Jesus, in the nativity set – beside the piling up of presents.
What a wake up call for me, the first time hearing Evie’s words. Probably the noise level in our home had always been so high that the narration was not heard. Unheard, until one of these late night wrapping routines. Previously, all that was heard was the music. But now I heard the shepherd’s cry, “…move me closer.”
Now, Tim and I make it our cry too. And we play Evie’s Christmas CD while we wrap!
Life is Lovelier With Lace …
Evie speaks of ‘settling in her favorite chair,’ after her Christmas ‘chores’ have been done for one more day. This is truly me. The LudvigsonLace Lady has a ‘special chair’ where she sits with her Lace Counselor. This is where she crochets. She doesn’t need a workshop. She just needs her chair.
So when Evie hears the shepherd crying out to move him closer to the baby Jesus, this is my cry in my ‘favorite chair.’ Crocheting as I move closer to the Baby Jesus. My Savour. Messiah. Wonderful Councelor. I love my chair. I love my Counselor.
May you ‘bring the Savior closer’ this Christmas season.
~ Debbie Ludvigson
The Ludvigson Lace Lady
LUDVIGSON LACE ♡ Aftcra
LUDVIGSON LACE ♡ Aftcra