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24th Dec 2016

The official guide to last-minute Christmas present panic man-wrapping

It’s 11.47pm on Christmas Eve - you know what time it is.

Mike Wright

It’s 11.47pm on Christmas Eve. You’ve managed to nail pretty much all of your Christmas shopping and prep over the last 12 hours. Like a boss.

What did all those needlessly concerned people know, telling you on the 23rd that you really should have started your Xmas shopping a bit earlier? Nothing, that’s what.

You’ve even found time to head out with your mates and treat yourself to a few (eight) well-earned pints. Now you’ve staggered back home. Your hand-eye co-ordination is on point and conditions are perfect for that very last leg of the Christmas prep 12-hour panic-athon – present wrapping.

However the BP garage was fresh out of wrapping paper when you rocked up on the way home from the pub. So time for step one: Scan house for something to wrap the presents in. Don’t worry, you don’t actually need any of that corporate over-priced shiny stuff. The house is strewn with perfectly good wrapping paper substitutes.

Top of the list – kitchen foil. Now you think about it, it’s actually better than traditional wrapping paper as you don’t even need sellotape. And it’s even shiny. Like tinsel. Mate, you are smashing it at this Christmas business. You just shifted the whole present-wrapping paradigm and saved money. Genius.

Then you discover you’re out of foil. People have been using it on sandwiches and such. What a waste. But you haven’t got time right now to get bogged down in the who-used-all-the-foil inquest. You need a substitute substitute and sharpish.

Maybe a newspaper. Remember those? Yeah, didn’t people used to eat chips out of them or something? Wait, wait… bollocks. You haven’t seen one of those in the pad since 1998.

Plan C then. Bog roll. Needs must and you can just spin it as festive tissue wrap if you get any chippy questions in the morning. Shouldn’t be a problem though. People will be far too focused on the incredible present haul you managed to cobble together in a two-hour rampage though Primark, Tesco Extra and B&M Stores.

Right, now you have your paper (festive tissue), tick. Sellotape, tick. Scissors, tick (but those are not necessary as the festive tissue has perforated dividing lines meaning you can tear it to length. Just another one of the ways it’s far superior to ‘traditional’ wrapping paper).

Before you get started remember the first rule of wrapping club: The ratio is generally one part wrapping to three parts sellotape. You want your gift recipient to spend at least 5-7 mins trying to get into it. Otherwise you’ve failed.

The only other rule is just make sure the whole present is covered. Simple. And after a 12-minute frenzy of sellotape biting and tongue-out-of-the-side-of-your-mouth concentration you’re done. All that’s left is to place them under the tree and stand back to marvel at your work.

Christmas game level: Pro.