Sixty-four. That’s how many gifts my husband and I wrapped this year for Christmas. It may seem like a lot, but it’s about average for us. You see, we both have pretty big families—my husband’s immediate family is 31—and when you add in my family and our friends and co-workers, the numbers add up quick.
It could be considered a bad thing, but to us, it’s a blessing. It means we have 64 people in our lives to be thankful for. That’s not to say there aren’t hardships. The money needed for gifts is one thing (we have a separate account just for Christmas). Then there are the weeks before the big day during which our tiny apartment looks like Santa’s workshop was ransacked with wrapping paper and gifts everywhere. And, of course, there is the frenetic rush for those last minute gifts when time seems to be running out.
But the biggest obstacle is the wrapping itself. When you have a pile of 64 presents, it’s hard to start—at least for me. I like wrapping gifts—but I like for them to be perfect—and prefer if I can tie them with ribbon and put pretty bows on them. Sometimes, however, it isn’t possible. Sometimes, I have to learn to let go of my ideal for the perfect gift. And sometimes, even, I have to let my husband wrap a few gifts with his hands that are better suited for crumpling paper than delicately folding and taping it.
I think it’s a good reminder for life, especially during the week leading up to Christmas Day. Things aren’t going to be perfect. We have to let go of certain things to move forward. We can ask for help if we need it. And most of all, it’s not the wrapping or even the gift that matters. Like St. Paul said in the First Letter to the Corinthians, the greatest thing is the love.