Monday, December 5, 2011

It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas...



I know, you were probably expecting a photograph of my Christmas tree, or some other seasonal decor.  In fact, those beat-up looking boxes are seasonal decor for me - this year.  While some expats stuff their suitcases with presents and fly home to dispense them in person, we will not be heading home, but rather - as many expats in Asia do - heading somewhere warm and tropical for Christmas, saving the long visit home for the summer.  This means that all our Christmas presents must be mailed, and - in order to get them there on time without sacrificing the boys' higher education - early.  This pile (which is still short two boxes) will be taken to the post office today and - after all the customs forms are completed (another aspect of expat life I was unprepared for) - will begin the process of traveling halfway across the world to the people we love.

Our dining room table has spent the weekend awash in packing tape, gift wrap, Christmas cards, and bojagi (Korean wrapping cloths) which - thanks to Youtube - I was able to learn to wrap properly with only a few frustrated tantrums.

The 'Lotus Wrap'
Naturally, the cloths and their beautiful ties will emerge wrinkled and crushed by the tons of bubblewrap and crumpled newspaper that had to be crammed in around all the items (why, oh why, do the Koreans insist on making so much gorgeous, breakable stuff?) to ensure that they arrive in one piece, but I guess it really is the thought that counts.  And, just because it's my blog and I can do what I want I am so pleased at the way these turned out, I will post pictures of my first attempts at tying bojagi.  (Besides, if you get one of these, you might like to know what it looked like before it spent a week or two squashed in a box.)

The 'Orchid' wrap.
While it's been something of a challenge to get so many gifts bought, wrapped, and packed for shipping so early in the year, you can only imagine how thrilled I am at the thought that the majority of my Christmas shopping is done on December 5th.  Every year, I make an enormous effort to get my shopping finished early enough so that I can sit back and enjoy the ambiance of the season.  It stands to reason that - the one year that I do manage to do it - I'm living in a country where the Christmas ambiance is, well, minimal, to say the least.  And on top of that, I'm trying to get everything packed for our trip to Thailand, which, since it involves a bathing suit, is more traumatic complicated than normal packing.  Needless to say, my fantasies of lounging around basking in the soft glow of the tree and listening to carols will - once again - probably not be realized.

Unless I leave the tree up until February.  Now, there's an idea....

8 comments:

Wilma said...

Yet another advantage of opting out of all that. Our tree is up and we enjoy the lights every evening. I am sitting here on the computer listening to Christmas music. If I wish to do both at the same time I can take the computer out to the living room and sit on my bed. Pretty cool, eh? *grin* Seriously though, your wrappings are very pretty. That's quite a stack of stuff you have to send. Do you have to write what is in the box and ruin the surprise for the recipient or can you just write "gift" on it?

MsCaroline said...

Wilma - we have to write what's in the box, but I try to make it as general as possible so as not to spoil the surprise!

Trish @ Mum's Gone To ... said...

Serious respect to you, Ms Caroline, for the fabulous wrapping and the fact that, despite living many miles away from the recipients, you chose to send actual presents rather than gift vouchers.

Flora Fauna Dinner said...

That wrapping is so beautiful!

MsCaroline said...

@Trish: Yes, a sensible woman would have done that, wouldn't she? I have been doing quite a bit of impulse buying since arriving here - Korean ceramics are so beautiful! However, I assure you that, after paying the postage for all those boxes, I'll be much more restrained in future. As far as the wraps go - it is not nearly as difficult as it looks! If you can tie a knot, you can tie a Korean wrapping cloth!

MsCaroline said...

Flora - thanks, but it's all to do with the beauty of the fabric. It's really just a few knots!

elizabethm said...

I love those wrappings. I am the world's worst wrapper (well excepting elder daughter who has somehow surpassed me) but I love fabric and I think perhaps I could do that. Looks wonderful.

MsCaroline said...

Oh, Elizabeth, you could do it! It is the easiest thing in the world - literally just tying a couple of knots for the basic one. It's really got to do with the beauty of the fabric more than anything. I bet some really large damask napkins would function well as substitutes, if you couldn't find the real thing!