Wednesday, December 16, 2009

I will never be a bag lady.

And by that I mean I will never be one of those people who gives a bunch of presents in gift bags. One thing about living in a different country is that you discover your customs are foreign in ways you never expected. For example: in my house, when you give a gift that's soft, like clothing, you wrap it in a box. Usually, the store will give you said box for free. Maybe this is why they call America the land of plenty -- all you gotta do is say, "Can I get a box with that?" and there you go, FREE BOX for your wrapping pleasure. I quickly realized that gift boxes aren't really a "thing" here, but I thought no problemo, I'll just buy gift boxes somewhere. Because at home you can buy them at any pharmacy, stationery store, or department store. Well, let me just say I've been to a LOT of shops in Dublin this week, and there are no gift boxes to be had. I mean, Easons had these really small fancy things that looked like pre-wrapped boxes, but not clothing gift boxes. Just gift bags. Everywhere.

Mark insisted that his family wraps soft items as-is, and that it was "the way it's done," but I actually did not believe him. But then I talked to a friend about it and she corroborated his testimony. Not only that, but she didn't get what I even meant, that's how foreign the concept of gift boxes for clothing was. She also said that half the fun of Christmas was feeling the presents and trying to guess what they were. After a brief pause, I said, "Yeah...we tried to guess by shaking the boxes."

The idea of wrapping an irregularly shaped object is horrifying to me. Everything must be in a box!!! Is that weird? Even if it is, I still think it's better than handing someone a gift bag


  1. You're preaching to the choir on this one! My mom and I, we love our boxes. We open gifts and we'll even say, 'that's a nice box' then we keep it to be reused. Well, I have no box stash here because no one gives gifts in boxes. I also went to Easons looking for gift boxes to buy and no such luck. It sucks for sure.

  2. The only shirt boxes I have here came to me from the states.

    I feel you.

  3. That's interesting! We're so used to wrapping things in paper that I conintued that habit overseas without ever wondering if I was doing it wrong! But now that you mention it; the Christmas films always show boxes under the tree not the Irish misshapen things. Oops. Maybe you can order boxes online somewhere?

  4. checkout the comic saga of the phnomenon... i like the 15th in particular through