I am a gift wrap hoarder.

Hello, my name is Tanner, and I am a gift wrap hoarder.

There. I said it. They say the first step to recovery is admitting that you have a problem. Well, here I am…laying it all out there. I have a gift wrap hoarding problem.

I love gift bags. I adore bows. I crave neatly folded and smoothed-out squares of leftover tissue paper. I yearn for scraps of wrapping paper. I dream of spools of ribbon, yards of tape, decorative tags, spare gift boxes. I always have thank you cards at the ready. I have an entire set of drawers in my craft room stuffed with anything you could possibly need to envelop that perfectly selected gift for someone special.

The above photos depict my raided stash of gift wrapping goodies as they are right now, after all of my Christmas gifts have been painstakingly wrapped and placed under the tree. In this collection’s heyday (after our wedding last summer) you couldn’t even shut the drawers for all of the ribbons, tissue and gift bags that were crammed in there!

I think my gift wrap hoarding all started for me as a small child. Both my mother and my grandmother were notorious for salvaging used gift bags and leftover tissue paper at family gatherings. The custom has been passed down for generations and perfected by me. I can strategically open a present while preserving the integrity of its vessel…then into the gift wrap drawer it goes!

Needless to say…I spend very, very little at Christmastime and birthdays on gift wrap. However, the problem lies in me not wanting to give up certain bags because I know that once they are given away to their recipient, they will end up in the garbage or recycling bin. I’ve caught myself gleefully rummaging through the refuse of Christmas and birthday wrappings, plucking out the salvageable treasures, and triumphing in another gift bag or box saved from an unfortunate fate.

People close to me know that I have this problem. For instance, my friend and former director, Kendra, aided and abetted my addiction by donating two very large bags full of tissue paper and gift bags, which still sit behind my desk at work, in case they are needed. (Just kidding about the “aiding and abetting” part; it was a very thoughtful and kind gesture that she gave me all of these materials, and I love it).

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With Christmas in 3 days, I cannot begin to tell you how excited I am for everyone to receive their gifts. If there’s anything I love more than gift wrap, it’s picking out the perfect gifts for my loved ones. They are typically things that I make, and only occasionally something I purchase. I try to stray away from mass-produced items as gifts, and so I usually pick a craft or two each year and personalize those crafts for each individual recipient. Next year, however, I have already made up my mind to go the more practical route for gifts, and only give useful items; everyone has gadgets and gizmos aplenty (like that Little Mermaid reference?), so I want to try to give practical things instead of whosits and whatsits galore (there I go again).

Wow, it feels good to finally get this off my chest. I’m sorry for not being sorry about how excited I am for the days AFTER Christmas, when I can re-stock on gift wrap and start my collection over for the new year. 😉