Inklingers, I'm a compulsive gifts-under-the-tree organizer.
What does that even mean, you ask? For as long as I can remember (I think it started in my pre-teens), every holiday season, I have to constantly organize the presents under the Christmas tree. I'll do it every time a new present is added underneath the tree, and sometimes just for the hell of it. And, I'm not talking just move one present over to the side to make room for another, I'm talking, take all of the presents out and start completely over from scratch. What's so wrong about that, really?
There is a method to my madness, and completely legitimate reasoning behind what I do, summed up in a 3 step thinking process I go through:
- Size Matters. Big presents in the back, smaller presents in the front. Simple enough.
- Overkill Sucks. I can't stand having multiple presents with the same wrapping paper grouped together under the tree. If we only had one print of wrapping paper, I would be fine. But, we have 5 this year, and it makes my eye twitch to see 3 green santa riding a sleigh presents together over to the right, and 2 white cups of cocoa presents touching in front. Call me a wrapping paper racist, but yes, I segregate my presents under the tree. I think it's more pleasing to the eye to have an even variety of wrapping papers pleasantly distributed and arranged under the tree.
- Christmas is a Treasure Hunt. How much fun is it if all of your presents are grouped together under the tree? In my mind, not much fun. So, while keeping in mind the gift's size and wrapping paper, I also have a look at who the present is intended for, and try my best to evenly disperse under the tree by person, as well. This one I'm not as hung up on as the other two, but I have been known to rearrange all of the presents just because 3 of my son's presents were together.
So, last night, I pulled all of the presents out from the tree and began trimming dead, drooping branches off the bottom. Z walks into the living room, and I hear, 'OMG woman, are you rearranging the presents again?' That's when I sat up and said, 'It's really not that weird, is it?' to which I was answered by Z and my daughter, 'Uh, yeah, it kinda is.'
Seriously, people, is my compulsive present organizing that weird? I can remember my mom walking into the living room when I was a teenager just saying, 'Oh, there's Morgan rearranging the presents under the tree again,' smiling and walking out of the room. OMG, does that mean my parents were Enablers to my sick habit? And hubby, too? He's always just made brief comments, like my parents, smiled and went about his business. Could this compulsion have been dealt with years ago, but my loved ones just never wanted to stage an intervention?
An outside perspective this year, Z, and the innocence and honesty of a child have brought this addiction to light. Even as I sit here and type out this Christmas Confession, I'm rationalizing in my head that it's not that bad. The universe sees fit to call my bluff on that by sending my daughter over to me, a present in hand that she picked up from under the tree, to ask me if I know what it is. 'No, honey, I have no idea what it is,' and with that, she smiles, says, 'Good. It's awesome, you're going to love it,' and heads back to the tree to set it down. I find myself glaring at her, wondering if she's going to put the white cup of hot cocoa wrapped present back in it's proper place, to the right, on top of the red puppies and kittens wrapping paper. She does, and I find myself breathing a sigh of relief. Oh, dear goodness, I do have a problem....