I’m a master wrapper. I have no professional credentials, but as a kid, I was in charge of wrapping a good portion of the family Christmas gifts—even the ones meant for me. But you don’t need 25 years of practice to wrap like a pro—here are my (very obsessive) secrets:
1. Select the right paper. It should be stiff enough to crease, but not too bulky. The thin stuff rips too easily, but the ultra-thick paper practically requires packing tape to tame.
2. Unroll a portion of the paper and simulate wrapping the gift so you know how much to use, and cut accordingly. Allow for a little extra so you have enough to fold the edges under (more on that later).
3. Place the package upside down in the middle of the paper. Bring each of the long sides up so the edges meet in the center of the package. Make sure to fold the edges here—raw paper edges are a sign of an amateur wrapping job.
4. Sharply crease each flap (again, no raw edges!), then fold in at the ends to make two triangles. The top triangle should fold down first so the second triangle points toward the bottom of the box. Fold the tip of the point to make a straight edge and place the tape across it horizontally.
5. Adorn with a ribbon, not a sticky pre-tied bow (slacker move), and arrange it to cover the tape on the sides and the seam along the bottom. Yeah, I know, it’s totally anal. But that’s how you achieve master-wrapper status—at least in my family.
Saber a Champagne bottle | Pretend you’re drinking at a holiday party when you’re knocked up (but not ready to spill the beans) | Open those f#%*ing clamshell packages | Assemble a proper cheese plate for your holiday party | Wrap a gift using just two pieces of tape | Fake liking a gift | Make the most of working on Christmas and New Year’s | Go out on Christmas and New Year’s Day | Be a Scrooge | Stock the ultimate holiday bar on the cheap | Host a guerilla New Year’s Eve party | Handle flight cancellations like a pro | Convince your Internet-savvy kid there is a Santa Claus | Ask for a gift receipt | Kick ass at a white-elephant exchange | Catch a cab on New Year’s Eve | Not look hungover in front of the fam | Handle gift-giving when you’re dating someone you’re not sure you like | Proudly belt it at the DIY Messiah | Create awesome party playlists