Slow unwrappers/ an endangered species

I must confess, I am a slow unwrapper. I don’t know where the tradition came from, but I strongly suspect my less-than-affluent mother. You see, most people that I have encountered while opening presents, rip into the paper like lunatics to get to the pedestined gift in the shortest time possible. Somehow, my parents instilled a tradition of suspense and patience when opening gifts.

It is a tradition that comes at the sacrifice of many gifters patience and time. Whereas most will tear the paper to shreds to find their prize in seconds, I have been taught to carefully undo each bit of tape with all intention of not tearing the paper at all. Many gift givers have been frustrated at the prospect of waiting up to two minutes for me to find their generosity. I often hear, “What the hell are you doing? Just tear it open!”

But there is more than just the lesson of patience behind this tradition. The reason I suspect that this tradition comes from my less than affluent mother, is that there is very big great depression feel to the reasoning behind it. You see, the untorn paper does not get thrown out. It gets folded up and stored neatly for use in future present giving. Of course I was probably ten years old until I began to realize, that many of my presents were wrapped in paper that were at least ten years old themselves. Naturally, with each Christmass, the present being wrapped gets smaller until after many years the best you can do is wrap a little ring. Nevertheless, after time, the history and memories become a wonderful part of the Christmass tradition.

And here is why the tradition is endangered. I have increasingly noticed, that good Christmass wrapping paper is non-existent. In fact, Christmass wrapping paper is of such bad construction, that I can barely even wrap the present without tearing the paper. The mere idea of paper that lasts many years is gone. Stores only sell cheap ass paper for gready hordes that have to tear their presents open and get to the loot ASAP. The slow openers are nearing extinction.

I bought a roll of paper a couple of years ago that was just fine until I cut it, and then it stank. It was some kind of acrylic and it must have been the petrochemicals or something. It smelled so bad when I cut it that it was like releasing the skunks. I took it back to the store (Michaels) and said I didn’t care if I got my money back or not, but I wanted them to know that their paper was odious. The clerk cut the paper and sniffed and :eek: then called some other people over for a demonstration and they all :eek:. They gave me my money back. I don’t know if they notified the corporate office or anything.

I, too, am a slow unwrapper. Not because I was ever made to do it, it just feels right. In fact, here where I work, many people give out gifts (just small things) to everyone else, and the ones I get sit on my desk until the last day before we are off for Christmas, at which time I unwrap them, and email a thank you note. No one here understands how I can be so patient, but it is in my nature to savour gifts. I think it comes from being poor and finding only a few gifts under the tree each year – helps me savour the moment.

As for good gift wrap, it can still be found. The company for whom I work sells excellent quality gift wrap, but since we are a wholesaler, it might be more than you would want to buy at one time, unless like me, you prefer to have every gift under the tree in the same paper :slight_smile:

I come from a family of slow openers as well. Our Christmas morning unwrapping consists of about 2 hours of gift unwrapping, break for breakfast, and two more hours. We like to savour Christmas morning, we like to watch others open the gifts we and others have given them. We all want to see everything that everyone got and ohhhh and ahhhh.

My fiance’s family just piles all the gifts in front of the respective recipients and everyone goes at it. I hate it. I want to watch!

We are such slow unwrappers that the unwrapping usually lasts a few days. All paper is saved.

When wrapping a new present, one looks through the old paper to find a piece that matches the gift thematically- whether is subject matter of the print or the provenance of the paper.

Same goes for ribbons (unless the kitten gets to them).

I don’t think I’ve met many adults who are fast unwrappers. Nearly everyone I know wants a little suspense. Kids, on the other hand, get into a feeding frenzy.

And I bought some very nice paper at CVS last week. It’s thick and shiny.

This year I’ve been wrapping with recycled brown paper. I can add stamps and stuff too it and it looks so nice and personal.

Another slow unwrapper reporting in. It’s something of a personal challenge to me to get the paper off intact. Especially if it’s that cheap newsprint quality stuff that likes to tear if you even look at it.

I suspect it has something to to with a very focused form of OCD. My desk looks like Katrina came through and organized for me, but when I’m working on a task, every little detail must be perfect.

Back before I had a mortgage and could afford to fly, I’d save my old sectional charts. (They get updated every six months.) Then I’d use them for giftwrap.

I don’t rip into things (or not always) but I’m not that slow either.

My Dad has a tradition of making presents deliberately hard to open, and my friend’s fiance and his sister do the same. (My friend told me she wrapped her future SIL’s present in about three layers of duct tape and paper and finished it up nicely).

One year my Dad found a place that put the presents in coffee cans and sealed them. The only way in was with a can opener…

Most of what gets reused in our house are the bags. Paper, not so much because as you say its very fragile unless you want to spend serious money on the wrap (or find an awesome deal after Christmas).

I’m a slow unwrapper, but paper thrower awayer. I recycle gift bags though. Boy howdy.

You people are freaks! :wink:

When we have christmas with my parents, we have breakfast first. Then we ooh and aah over how nice the tree looks with all of the pretty presents under it for about a half hour. Then the kids hand a gift to the recipeint. The recipient opens the present and oohs and aahs. The recipent then displays the pair of underwear or whatever to the rest of the room. Everyone else oohs and aahs over it. This is repeated until the presents are gone and/or everyone falls asleep. Slow unwrappers like my Mom drive everyone insane. It’s excruciating for kids because they want to open their own presents. When the poor kid finally gets to open one of their presents, they immediately have to put it down and give out more presents. It’s even worse as adults in my family, because since we don’t need anything or have a lot of money, all of our gifts are practical so there’s nothing suspenseful about it.

When we go to my wife’s parents, as soon as everyone is there we distribute all of the presents and everyone rips them open at once. This is much better IMHO, as I don’t have to pretend to give a shit about that pair of socks Mom got you and you don’t have to pretend to give a shit about the socket wrench Dad got me. You can unwrap your presents as slowly as you want to - when you’re done, the rest of us will be eating dinner!

Just kidding - we will wait for you - if you’re not too slow!

Hallmark makes nice wrapping paper, even if it is a little pricey. I think they are also the ones that print a grid on the back of the paper, which really helps as far as lining everything up and cutting straight.

I was always a slow unwrapper, even as a kid. And it wasn’t something I was taught, my sister was a tornado when it came to unwrapping presents. There’s vidoe of me as a kid, where even my parents are trying to get me to go faster.

I always liked the anticipation - the slower I unwrap, the longer I get to enjoy opening presents!

Also, I love wrapping presents & making bows and all that, so I hate to ruin other people’s work when I open stuff.

Vot ees thees, eh, wrapping, uff which joo spika?

Slow unwrappers in my families and circles of friends are viewed - rightfully - as jerks. No one is saving the damn paper, and no one is forcing people to rush like a kid, but quit milking it like a ninny and open your damned gift; other people have gifts to open, and we’d like to get to them before New Years’.

You’d all be prodded and/or ridiculed into speeding it up, because it would be viewed as selfish. Each person always takes a turn opening a present or two at a time, so by engaging in some bizarre fingernail tape scraping routine, you’re being a pain.