The day has been in the works for weeks, and all the important moments planned. The gifts acquired, the balloons inflated, the cake stands at the ready — with candles already placed. Every detail has been imagined, arranged and executed.
This is how they do birthdays in the movies.
And the reason birthdays in the movies are so perfect is that they have many people — an entire crew, in fact — hired to make the birthday scene look, well, perfect. And when it’s your sole job to make a birthday party look and function perfectly, one presumes you do that sole job very well. But when it’s your job to, say, do several other jobs and be responsible for many, many details of many, many other things, sometimes — and I’m not saying it’s a bad thing —but sometimes, all the little birthday details happen less perfectly, and more as-you-go-along.
This is how they do birthdays in my house.
Never miss a local story.
And by they, I mean me. Between work and shuttling kids from one activity to the next and cleaning and cooking and the general craziness of every day life, adding a birthday celebration to any average Tuesday can get a little crazy. And by a little crazy, I mean stuff can get put off until the last possible moment.
Case in point: The time we ate dinner and finished with the cake and went to open the presents and I realized I hadn’t yet wrapped a single one. Dashing to the bedroom, I began the mad frenzy of stuffing items into my cache repeatedly-used gifts bags (who cares if they say “Merry Christmas”?). It was on the final, small gift when I received wrapping inspiration. Out of bags and trapped in the bedroom under the guise of I’m-not-actually-wrapping-gifts-last-minute, I couldn’t reach my usual wrapping stash at the back of the house. What to do about the last, small gift? Improvisation led to brilliance: An empty toilet paper tube.
I stuffed the gift inside the tube, folded in the ends and voila! Small gift-wrapping genius. Convinced I’d once created the most clever gift-wrap box of all-time, imagine my surprise when I went to the craft store recently and saw pre-decorated toilet paper tube “gift boxes” on sale.
Are you kidding me? Someone had packaged my brilliant idea and making hundreds of dollars off it. Well, judging by the price, more like tens of dollars — but the point is, why buy a kit? Just do it yourself.
What you need:
• toilet paper tube
• some stickers
• some ribbon or twine
Start by decorating the tube however you like — or just go with the plain-brown rustic look. To close the ends, simply push one end of the tube about a thumb tip length down and in, toward the tube’s center. Repeat for the other side of the tube. The ends can be opened and closed by squeezing the sides of the tube. Add a gift and ribbon and you’ve achieved wrapping perfection.