The Unsung Hero Of The Holidays: Tissue Paper

Do you remember when the shirt box was a big part of gift-giving? It was used for actual tops – velour anyone? – and bottoms too. If an item fit in a 14″ x 9″ -ish cardboard container it was going in. It would be lovingly placed in its packaging, cocooned in tissue paper, artfully folded to conceal the present within.

Drum roll please, Little Drummer Boy

Then along came the gift bag and tissue paper was never the same again. Gifts are now dropped into a decorated bag in various forms: draped in gift wrap or tissue paper, with cheerful spikes of tissue paper poking out of the top of the bag. Like cheese and chocolate, most people feel they can never use enough of the paper-thin, malleable sheets. When the peaks rising out of a gift bag don’t look just right we just keep adding tissue paper until they do.

It comes in all different colors, but the original white harkens back to the shirt boxes of yesterday and does the job no matter the color of the gift bag. When you can’t see color, white is a friend, saving you from frustration and sending pictures of tissue paper to friends to ask if it goes with the also photographed bag. That said, I think we are all suckers for a coordinated bag/tissue paper ensemble and the color options are infinite. Some gift bags even come with matching paper or should I say some tissue paper comes with its own bag as this post’s purpose is to exalt the silent star of any occasion.

Now the hard part. When possible we save the tissue paper to use again, leaving it in its bag for a future celebration. But at the underbelly of a special day is the tissue paper gathered up and thrown away without a thought. After all, you can buy it at the dollar store, right? I, myself, do what I can and recycle the wrinkled and sometimes torn remains of an opened gift. I find it a little sad to see the discarded tissue paper balled up in the trash can or recycle bin, balls of color tossed away while the gift it so beautifully adorned is displayed or put into use.

We all know where we’d be without toilet paper or at least we would if we all had a ridiculous mind like mine and as evidenced by this post, “ridiculous” is meant in its most absurd way. But a world without tissue paper would be a whole lot less festive. And nobody wants that. Except for the shirt box, of course.



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Knowing Her, That’s The Gift She Wants

I love giving and unequivocally believe that it trumps (poor innocent word now forever gives pause before use) receiving. And to take it one step further, finding presents for my friends takes the fruitcake. And then in the midst of coffee at the diner and tissue and wrapping paper, bows and gift bags, you yourself unwrap the perfect gift from them to you. And, of course, it’s not about the price of the item but the value in the pure, beautiful fact that they really, really know you. And that is the gift that truly keeps on giving.

I hope to spend the rest of my life knowing them in the same way. And to be lucky and blessed to continue to receive the same. That’s when it feels like Christmas everyday.


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Sparks In The Bedrrom

Getting up before the sun came up, I brushed out my hair from its bedtime ponytail. In the darkness, as I put the brush back on the dresser, static electricity lit up the bristles.

I am going to avoid cliches about things heating up in the bedroom. After all, I’ve been avoiding just that for years.



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How Old Is That In Friend Years?

One of the (few) great things about getting older is that, if you’re lucky, you also see the large amount of years your friendships have endured. When it comes to my closest friends, who I all met in my 20s and 30s, it seems as if there was never a time they weren’t in my life. They knew me when my mom was alive and when I was fully sighted. They sustained me in my darkest hours, literally and figuratively, and maybe more importantly, continue to be sources of strength and laughter as I face each day with very little vision and live without one of my closest friends who happened to be the woman who gave birth to me.

It is the days after the tragedy when the flowers have died and the cards stop arriving and food is no longer dropped off until your fridge and freezer are packed. It’s the weeks after the life-changing event when you hear yourself laugh again, usually because one of these steadfast women has said something funny. It’s the months after when the rest of the world doesn’t see the hole in your heart or the sheer grit it still takes you everyday to do the simplest things but these ladies do. It’s the years later when you continue to need to be driven to doctors’ visits or the higher priority hair appointment or need to Christmas shop for your husband.

They say you really find out who your friends are when the going gets tough and I have found this to be so true. And as we approach the end of another calendar year and upcoming birthdays, I don’t quite mind the passage of time when it reflects the life shared by myself and these incredible women. I have watched their children grow up into amazing adults and seen them bury their parents. I have witnessed the grace they have shown during unimaginable trials. I have been a spectator to their great successes including marathons and master’s degrees.

Time is marching on, so much faster than I had ever imagined it could. But each passing day with my friends is a day of love, partnership, commitment, sharing, trust, loyalty, laughter and history. If I combine all the years, it would show a number equal to several lifetimes. Is getting up there in age a pleasure? No way, what hurts today? But seeing the years of sisterhood accumulate is one of the greatest joys of my life.


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