Wrapping Paper: Innocent Tradition or Sinister Conspiracy?

I fear I have but few words to say this time around. Perhaps this is for the best although I wouldn’t trust it. Longwindedness seems to stalk me and what I expect to be a scant few sentences turns into several paragraphs. By way of evidence, I present this introduction. Now to the heart of the matter.

I find that it is very true that the cheaper the product the lesser the quality. This extends even to such fragile things as wrapping paper. Here is a product that must simply be opaque and easily torn. This two-fold design is easily achieved with the application of heavy inks to thin paper, or so I assume, I am not myself a wrapping paper producer or aficionado.

With all that said, I now offer proof that the wrapping paper producers seek to teach us to buy the more expensive product. Would you assume, as I do, that it is cheaper to manufacture an easily ripped paper? Assuming you assume as I do can we not further assume that the more cheaply manufactured paper would be sold more cheaply? And if we assume this we may safely assume that a wrapping paper less prone to tearing would be more expensive (and more nonsensical) to make and therefore cost the consumer more.

Keeping these assumptions in mind I ask that you journey with me to the past. Our destination; my oldest daughter’s fifth birthday party. I wrapped her presents in paper from a dollar store. She opened the presents from other guests with ease, however when she got to mine she was unable to tear the paper. I offered to get it started for her and I had to get the scissors out to do that. The stuff just wouldn’t rip. It was like a fruit snacks package that has been improperly machined and arrives in your house without the standard factory installed easy tear notch in the top corner. It made me angry, although I was careful not to foul my daughter’s party with demonstrations of rage.

Years have passed now and the rage has faded but the lesson has not. That lesson is that money is the root of all evil. I suspect that wrapping paper manufacturers produce the easy to tear paper as well as the kind that could be used to make safety deposit boxes in the same factories. They sell the latter at a cheaper price, enforcing the adage about getting what you pay for. They take some loss, but the practice drives us to buy the more expensive paper so that the gifts we give and receive may be enjoyed.

I’m sure we’ve all seen holiday displays at banks and stores with stacks of “presents” under beautiful trees. We assume they are empty boxes festively wrapped to invoke feelings of contentment and the cheer of the season. I submit to you that in actuality these are not “presents”, rather they are presents. Note the lack of quotations enclosing the final word in the previous sentence. They are forsaken gifts, unopened because someone gave all they had for the perfect token of love and spent their last few cents on a bit of paper to remain in compliance with tradition. After many hours of tugging and scratching, after fingernails have given way to open beds of bloody quick and tears of pain and anguish have been shed, these unopenables were tossed away causing, along with a decision to never buy the cheap stuff again, a need to purchase a new gift. The gift manufacturer then certainly spreads the cheer by offering to the paper maker a small kick back.

Once again I’ve rambled on much longer than expected. I bid you adieu and a don’t.

Adieu…Purchase gifts and paper in separate trips. Use different methods of payment if possible. This should confound their efforts to track the necessity of a kickback.

A don’t…request a gift receipt. My hope is that this will further confound and, fingers crossed, fustigate them as well.

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Author: macbick

I am a writer who takes joy in presenting ideas that I find funny or strange. In addition to blogging I write children's books that, I hope, will bring families together for a few minutes while inspiring laughter, questions, conversations and introducing a few new words. Visit my Facebook page @williamennisauthor for more on my philosophy and to preview my book. Only one is out so far. Many more to come soon.

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