Friday, November 21, 2008

Have Yourself an Ugly Little Christmas!?!

Last night, my daughter and I attended our local Christmas tree lighting ceremony in the State College "Town Square." Hot chocolate was drunk, carols were sung, and snowflakes actually fell. Lovely. I am now getting in the mood for the holidays. I enjoy shopping, baking, visiting friends and family and giving and receiving presents.

Each year at this time, I go in a search for beautiful Christmas wrapping paper. Each year I am more and more disappointed.

I love paper. All kinds of paper. Yes, even stacks of white toilet paper appeal to me. But why is it that I can no longer find attractive Christmas wrapping paper? This year I have seen paper with prancing reindeer, orange and yellow ornaments, blue Christmas trees, etc. . . all on the same roll of paper. Blech.

I remember as a child my grandmother had the most lovely paper. She worked at a downtown department store and received a discount on everything in the store, so she managed to amass quite a collection. My favorite had a black background with trees and birds. It looked like a crewel-work shawl. Stunning! I always asked her to wrap my presents in that paper. She did. I no longer remember what was in those packages, but the packages themselves were works of art.

Today, my search for paper left me cold. The store I was in today had a large display of black and white papers in several different prints. Yes, there were the usual ornament and deer prints, but jeez, it wasn't very festive. I would expect a gift wrapped in this paper to be presented by Herman Munster (with his festive green hands) and contain razor blades or a chicken heart. There were so many other non-festive papers. Now, everything does not have to be red and green. I am quite fond of gold and white, or even blue. But primary blue and yellow? Purple and white? Chunky and downright ugly designs. Why?

How are designers for wrapping paper selected? How does this ugliness come about? I know there are plenty of talented artists out there. Do they feel that wrapping paper design is beneath them?

Somebody. Anybody. Design something attractive for next year.

In a future post, I will discuss Christmas card design.


paula said...

you sound like you were such a wonderfully artistic strange child.
i love thinking about you asking for that black background paper for all your presents.

Judy Hartman said...

I agree with you - I can never seem to find the kind of wrapping paper I want! Yes, maybe we are remembering lovely patterns from days gone by.... right now styles seem to reflect the 60's & 70's, which are definitely not the sweet prints I'm looking for!

Royce said...

I was lucky enough to come across some 50's wrapping paper and hold it for those special folks who will appreaciate it. I know what you are saying about paper. I started wrapping some of my present in fabric a few years ago. That way it's reusable and also more what I like.