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December 22, 2012 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Fa LA LA LA LA: thought, time, and paste

Final crush time.

Only time for wrapping it up quickly.

That wasn’t the way it was when there was more time than money.

Limited budget meant searching early for affordable items.

From Oct to Dec 1, time was savored and spent creating each a little treasure box to sit under a tree.

Vintage Santa, hare, and children

Using elf skills to craft an intricate package design suited for each person.

Bits of collected lace, sparkles, and glitter. Small velvet bows.

Collected Christmas cards, stickers, and specially chosen papers.

Delicate cuts with tiny scissors.

The result an elegant personalized package so beautiful that it was a shame to finally open.

Bluebirds of Happiness

Bluebirds of Happiness

Always shipped the first week of December –

So each recipient could shake with glee (often hearing little bells inside).

Allowing plenty of time for ooo’s and aaaah’s.

Time for telling friends impressed with the curiosities, “Oh, that was made special – just for me.”

Some boxes were designed with separate lids and bottoms: tied shut by velvet ribbons.

Planned so the boxes could hold special treasures later.

Some designs were carefully cut off each year, stored, and carefully re-pasted on new paper and packages the next year.

It was a game.

Who would get the “Cat under the Tree” this year?

What color would Rudolf’s nose be this time around?

Merry Catmess

Merry Catmess

Then came fast paced jobs: more money, less time.

And it was more important to enjoy a frantic joy and frenzy of ripping and tearing.

And the older ones wanted to show off the “thoughtful”(expensive) gifts at school – boxes tossed behind.

And some passed on.

Now as houses are emptied, forgotten items, found.

Carefully packed away.


Guardian Angels Watching

Guardian Angels Watching

Time is like a rubber band: it stretches and contracts and wraps in endless flexible circles.

Eventually, there will again be more time than money.

And I will sit with tiny scissors – and bits of papers, sparkling jewels, lace, and tiny velvet ribbons.

Crafting thoughtful boxes too pretty to open – made just for each one.

Something that would last longer than the shirt that will be outgrown, toy broken, or trinket destined garage sales.

All those soon forgotten.

Fly away little butterfly. Spread your wings and fly away.

Fly away little butterfly. Spread your wings and fly away.

But the memory of all those elegant packages: A thought that may linger?

It’s the thought that counts.

Priceless. Timeless.

May you find joy, warmth, and a peaceful heart.

May you find joy, warmth, and a peaceful heart.

Wrapping up merry, mirth, and moment.

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge



  1. Eagle-Eyed Editor / Dec 22 2012 1:27 am

    Beautiful photos! Love the butterfly one.


  2. Robin / Dec 22 2012 2:18 pm

    These are all so beautiful. I wish I had that kind of talent with scissors and paste. (I seem to have the world’s klutziest hands when it comes to all things crafty.) I love the bluebirds.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Dec 22 2012 3:06 pm

      Oh, doing holidays and Christmas decoration was a career for a bit (which is why there was so little money – great fun, great discounts..and you got to be in parades). But it’s not hard: cut the front off a card, glue lace around the edge (stickers are now available at hobby stores/art supplies) and done – that’s how I started when a kid. Hope much joy decorates your holiday!


  3. katecrimmins / Dec 22 2012 2:20 pm

    Ahhh, yes. Now that I again have the time, I don’t have the ambition or the interest. Slam those gifts in a decorative bag, shove in some matching (hopefully but not necessary) tissue paper and declare yourself done! Then have a nice mocha latte in front of the gas fireplace!


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Dec 22 2012 3:02 pm

      Gift bags have changed the present pile landscape! (Some many there’s one to fit anyone)…and there’s the colored tissue, coordinated bows/stickers/glittery shreds – a real time saver for a pretty presentation. (Move over and set up the latte machine – we’re all coming to your fireplace) Thanks for warming up the comments


  4. maddie22201 / Dec 22 2012 3:38 pm

    Thank you for sharing. I hope to instill some of your merry, mirth, and moment into my children so one day we can create a world of more time than money. They will be the ones with the powers that be…


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Dec 23 2012 1:15 am

      It’s hard on parents these days to keep a balance with kids. But they watch and listen more than anyone thinks. Cuddle up someplace nice and read them a Christmas story for me! (and maybe sing with the stars) MAy warmth and joy find your hearth ( and burn brightly there!)


  5. Ally Bean / Dec 22 2012 5:58 pm

    When I was in college one Christmas vacation I worked full time in gift wrapping in a dept store. I loved it. Nothing as personal or elaborate as your photos above, but there was still a bit of room for creativity. And customers were always grateful for the service. Thanks for reminding me of that experience.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Dec 23 2012 1:13 am

      You got to be a wrapping elf! Cool. It must have been fun and it made people smile – what more could you ask around Christmas? Enjoy the merry!


  6. RAB / Dec 22 2012 8:00 pm

    Boxes and thoughts both beautiful. Thank you for this lovely moment!


  7. jmmcdowell / Dec 22 2012 9:07 pm

    There wasn’t much money for my earliest Christmases, but I never felt like I did without. And I think gifts today would be more memorable if there weren’t so many of them and so many that are designed to “impress” the neighbors and friends. Now, I would be happier with a carefully crafted gift meant for me alone. Of course, when the great nieces and great nephews come along, I’ll be hard-pressed not to shower them with fun toys…. 😉 But there will also be books and other items to stimulate their minds and hands.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Dec 23 2012 1:05 am

      Books always managed to find their way under our tree. Sometimes they were autographed by authors. (My grandmother was a university librarian who also gave us each a roll of lifesaver candy. We rarely got candy – it wasn’t “healthy”).
      Christmas is for kids – just a hint, the little ones really like big plain cardboard boxes – they know what to do with them! Thanks for sharing a thought. Jingle on!


  8. shoreacres / Dec 24 2012 1:24 am

    Ah! I always got one of those Lifesaver “books”. It opened up and there were – maybe six? seven? – rolls on each side. Remember butter rum?

    My mom was a gift wrapper in a department store for several years. She loved it – and the camaraderie. And this very minute, on my refrigerator, I have two white plastic bunches of holly leaves, bells, etc. that decorated packages given back and forth at least since 1955 or 1956. Every year I take them out and clip them up with magnets. I’d not more just put one of those on a package and give it away than I’d use a gift bag!


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Dec 24 2012 3:41 pm

      LIfesaver books! Santa brought those – I would trade the peppermint ones for the butter rum ones.
      Bet your mom knew what “drugstore wrap” was – brown paper wrapping technique used before paper/plastic bags were available.
      There’s nothing like the “vintage” wrapping items – they just don’t make them like that any more.
      Happy holly!


  9. Kourtney Heintz / Dec 24 2012 2:31 pm

    Aw that’s the real spirit of Christmas. I remember going to G. Fox and Co as a kid and buying my mom a nice gift then going to gift wrapping and selecting a beautiful paper and bow. It was a splurge but each year I only could afford one gift for her and I wanted it to be the most beautiful gift inside and out. 🙂


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Dec 24 2012 3:46 pm

      I know the feeling – it’s amazing how long it can take to pick out jut the right paper when you are a kid. (parents who rush aren’t thinking!) HAppy holly to ya’



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