(Originally posted December 23, 2005)
Do toy company executives hate parents? Would it really kill them to package their toys in square boxes? These were the thoughts I was mulling as I wrapped gifts for two hours last night. I love buying my kids gifts, and I love watching them open them. Wrapping – not so much.
I detest the boxes that have three square sides, but the fourth is – not. It’s especially frustrating when you know darn well the toy inside isn’t oddly shaped. Maybe the toy companies have a deal with the wrapping paper companies. Kickbacks on all the times you have to re-wrap because your measurements didn’t come out right?
One of the gifts I got Noah is a remote control flying saucer. The box is square on three sides, and slanted on the fourth. I got Josiah the same thing, only a different brand (so they look slightly different and there won’t be any, “No, that one’s mine!” fights). Same toy, same shape, and yet this one was packaged in a beautiful, perfectly square box. My husband walked into the room (He had been downstairs blissfully playing a computer game while I wrestled with scotch tape and ribbon.) and found me clutching this box with tears of joy running down my face. When he asked, “What on earth is wrong?”, I simply sobbed, “It’s square, it’s square!”
Then we have the hunting game for Jonathan that plugs into the VCR. It has three nicely square sides. The fourth is completely open. I suppose this is to give a better view of the toy inside, and therefore my assumption that it’s packaged that way to give moms fits is a little paranoid. I managed to get the thing wrapped, but when I picked it up to move it, I put my finger right through the paper on that fourth side. My Christmas cheer flew out the window as I muttered, “Son of a nutcracker!” a la Buddy in Elf.
I had just finished wrapping the last misshapen hulk of a present and belted out a rousing Hallelujah Chorus, when the phone rang. It was my friend calling to tell me about her day. Seems her car had caught fire on the side of the road and completely melted the engine and dashboard. (She had her three sons with her, but they all made it out safely.) She told me her story of the 911 operator who insisted on an exact street address in order to send the fire department, to which she replied, “I’m on the side of the road, in the middle nowhere, just tell them to drive down Graham Road until they see the flaming Suburban!”; and the oh-so-helpful gentleman who stopped and told her she should really get back in the car and turn the hazards on to prevent an accident (I’m not kidding); and the man driving the medical supply truck full of oxygen who parked right next to her vehicle to see if he could help, to which she said, “Well, you could move that van full of flammable material away from my burning car!” As I laughed with her until my sides hurt, I realized there are (many) worse things than wrapping asymmetrical boxes. We praised God that it had happened a few miles from home, and not the next day when they would have been driving over a mountain pass to Grandma’s house with no cell phone reception and a vehicle full of Christmas gifts. God is good.
Now if only my friend will call and remind me of this next year when I’m tackling the mountain of unwrapped gifts.