DECK THE HALLS (With Ready-Made)

 by Anne Skalitza

“I was born to wrap.”

“Born to rap? Like, Kanye West? No way!” our younger son exclaimed.

“No, no. Wrapping gifts, not rap as in music,” my husband replied, putting the finishing touches on a red and white festively wrapped box.  Not only was it beribboned with velvet and lace, but it jauntily sported two tiny bells that jingled when you picked up the package.

I stood nearby, watching, like a cat eyeing a mouse. How'd he do that so easily? I thought about the time years ago, when my older child needed an angel costume by the next day. Halo included. He ended up looking like a tipsy Casper the Friendly Ghost. At least he was the hit of the Christmas pageant.

Through the years I’ve learned to surround myself with a few friends who are as creatively challenged in the homemade department as I. But I also have a stable of friends who can make a mean Dobosh Torte in the time it takes for me to find my eyeglasses to read the recipe. And of course, there's my husband who pinch-hits when needed. His favorite television channel is a twenty-four hour food fiesta and he's on a first name basis with all of the show hosts.

"Bobby says this barbeque sauce is great!" he calls from the kitchen as he rattles pots and pans.

Later, from the family room, he yells out to anyone within a five-and-a-half mile radius, "Oh, wait 'til you hear what Rachel has to say about marinating!"

Well, I'd rather use the kitchen just for eating. In fact, I'll gladly accept gift certificates to the nearest "we cook it, you devour it" place rather than a Fifty Ingredients Or Less cookbook.

One day recently, I wandered into a craft store and stood stock-still. Milling about were men, women, and children, all armed with filled baskets and dangerous to the likes of me. Mustering up confidence, I meekly stepped into an aisle. People sidled past, talking about different size glue guns and levelers and sculpting clay. I raced out the front door before a full-blown panic-attack set in. My brief foray into the world of creative projects was over.

Thankfully there are many people who can sew and bake and make beautiful centerpieces. I was born to admire. And I’m thankful that I live in the twenty-first century, in a world of ready-made anything. If my entourage of creative stand-bys are too busy creating to lend me a hand, I can purchase and deliver. Right on time, no questions asked. My husband may be born to wrap, but for me, with Christmas right around the corner, ready-made rocks!

--Anne Skalitza can usually be found dazed and wandering behind her husband in the local craft store on any given Saturday in December. For more about Anne and her writings, please visit www.anneskal.wordpress.com

Photo credit: inhabitat.com


  1. Very cute post! There are days when I have creative surges in the kitchen, but I refuse to cook when entertaining guests. It is much better to buy it and heat it.

    Happy Holidays!

  2. As one whose family staged an intervention and confiscated her pinking shears, I'm with you on the ready made, whether it be clothes, crafts, or cooking!

  3. I have my moments but on the whole my husband, too, is a food channel regular and likes to rattle our pots and pans. I am first in line to sample and that is a-o.k. with me.

  4. I have two words for you: gift bags. I can take a gift bag, add colored tissue paper along with a sparkly ribbon decoration and voila!A veritable masterpiece. :) That's my story and I'm sticking to it.


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