I have this annoying friend who doesn't only love to wrap gifts, but is also really good at it (and I'm so going to get it for saying that *waving to said friend*). I'm not good at wrapping gifts ... at ... all. A book, a CD, a DVD, fine, I can do that and it will look kind of okay, but hand me something round or a bottle or whatnot, and I'll break down crying. I'm the Mistress of the Lumpy Parcel.
To make things even more difficult, I have - as you will remember - cats. Esme usually stays out of it, Greebo may or may not show mild interest, but my supervisor has to supervise. Nothing goes without Ponder's help. Only he is not as helpful as he thinks he is.
One thing he likes to do is to jump into the wrapping paper once I have rolled it out to cut it. I always expect him to go "yahooooooo" when jumping and tearing a big hole into the Santa crowd or destroying a star. Another thing is gift ribbon of course. I mean, seriously, what cat can resist some nice gift ribbon? Be careful, though. Don't let your cat chew on it and eat it. If it's the papery kind, its edges can be pretty sharp. Also it can get stuck on their way through the intestines (do I know how to write a Christmas post or what?) which is NOT good. So don't leave your cat alone with something like ribbon (or string or wire or even scrunchies).
Ponder doesn't chew it, he hunts it, catches it and runs off with it if he gets the chance. I guess he likes me to be humiliated by his speed on the following chase through the flat. I pretty much gave up on ribbon. There's some in my closet that has been there for probably fifteen years now. That's ok, not even ribbon can save a lumpy parcel.
I did find a solution for the paper, though. I had a big book with beautiful photos of Ngorongoro wildlife whose cover was all messed up and couldn't be saved. The photos were just fine. Much too nice to be thrown away. So for a few years now my Christmas gifts have been coming wrapped in pictures of monkeys, wild cats, birds of all kinds, antelopes and more. If the pages are too small for a gift, I tape two of them together. Usually I would feel terrible about doing that to a book and it hurt my librarian's heart to tear it apart, but it had to be done. And the best part is that the pages are heavy, glossy paper, so there's not much that Ponder can do to them. I win (which happens incredibly rarely). I wish I could show you some pictures of Ponder and me wrapping, but why should I show you blurry pictures of a cat going crazy with excitement and a human trying to keep him from going crazy? Instead I'll show you a picture of some of my wrapped gifts from a former year (can you tell most of them are DVDs and books? ;-)).
P.S. You've got wrapping tips for me? Don't be shy, share them!