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The year I ruined Christmas

I’ve been promising (or perhaps threatening) to tell the story about the year I ruined Christmas. Yes, this is the stand mixer tale I’ve been alluding to in my previous posts (here and here). Don’t worry, it has a happy and hilarious ending, but the lead up to it was, well a bit uncomfortable to say the least. It has made for a running joke though and this year was the return of the stand mixer to celebrate. Let’s just dive into the story and things will make more sense.

It was the year I had my brilliant idea to wrap the gifts I was giving as something completely different. Yes, my first year of stealth wrapping. That was the year I came up with some basic rules to help avoid awkward moments come the big day. Unfortunately I wrapped my presents and set them up weeks in advance, which made for a high tension few weeks.

It was a work of wrapping art. I had created an entire stand mixer out of cardboard. It took forever, but it was worth it. The person the gift was for really wanted a stand mixer and to be fair I got them one! However, I thought it would be funny to wrap the stand mixer as something else and wrap a different gift as the stand mixer. The “stand mixer” present was actually a couple of kitchen tools, basically the entire gift was contained in what looked like the stand mixer beaters. Warning, bad photos ahead…

Here’s was my template, my cheap stand mixer, not too bad considering I only spent a few hours on this!

As with before I had some awful photos of the finished wrapping job. I wasn’t really focusing on getting pictures when I did it, so I never bothered to make sure I made a good record of how I did this. Here’s a semi-good photo of the final wrap job for the fake stand mixer, you’ll notice the individually wrapped “beaters” which are the actual gifts.

Not a good photo I admit, but the result was pretty awesome.

Next came the actual stand mixer, to hide it I wanted to do something other than my now very traditional “doll house” wrap job. I wrapped it as a rocking horse. Yeah, seriously and let me tell you it was not easy! I had to use a LOT of cardboard.

As I say, you want to use the cardboard to create a frame, so it doesn’t look a lot like a rocking horse, but it did when I wrapped it.

So the body is the kitchenaid and some other boxes I got stuff in became the rest of the rocking horse. More bad photos, but in a happy accident, I ran out of wrapping paper so I ended up using engineering paper to finish the wrap job. I died from laughing afterwards because I thought for sure it would be obvious that this was not a rocking horse.

The photos make it look bad, but it was pretty obviously a rocking horse, or at least that’s what people kept asking me. Now given the weight discrepancies of the gifts, I asked everyone not to handle them and believe it or not, everyone listened! Now that the story is set let’s talk about the initial reactions I got.

This Christmas I had wrapped a dozen gifts or so like this, but these gave the best reaction. At first I thought I had failed, the first reactions I had were polite I have no idea what those things are responses. I had a few sad looks, but mostly I think people felt bad for me since this was one of the first Christmases that I celebrated with this group. I really think they all genuinely thought that I couldn’t wrap a gift to save my life.

The person who was getting the fake stand mixer and fake rocking horse had a very… distinct reaction. I was told right away that I ruined Christmas. I think I got a “why would I wrap things so obviously?” I definitely had people angry with me for a few weeks for not being more thoughtful. Oddly enough no one thought to ask why I took the stand mixer out of the box and wrapped it the way I did.

See I thought for sure people would realize what I had done. I’ve lived on my own for a long time at that point, I do my laundry, cook, clean, and I can definitely wrap a gift. Apparently no one else realized this was the case because no one caught on and I can’t lie there was a few days there where I thought, ” oh shit, I really screwed up.” Luckily I wasn’t as helpless as people had thought and everything got better really quick the day we opened gifts.

First up was the fake stand mixer, I brought it over to the person so they wouldn’t notice how light it was and made a big scene of how heavy it was. She was giving me a hard time about how they couldn’t tell what it was at all and how I wrapped it “so well.” In short, she was angry, VERY angry. That is until she realized it wasn’t a stand mixer and it was super light. Everyone burst into laughter once the gift was unwrapped and it was revealed it wasn’t actually a stand mixer.

She was a little sad because it wasn’t an actual stand mixer, but at this point everyone caught on that the gifts weren’t as obvious as they thought so once the stand mixer was open it made for a memorable Christmas and everyone ended up happy. It’s something we still talk about even years after the fact and why every year I try to get others involved in the action. This year to commemorate the incident, I wrapped one of the gifts I got as a stand mixer.

Return of the stand mixer!

While I can’t travel for the holidays or have people coming over because of COVID, it’s still going to be a memorable Christmas and with the vaccine coming, I’m hopeful that next year we’ll be able to have a more normal holiday season.


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