Oh, you thought our Thanksgiving op-eds were bad? Gird your stockings for the least wonderful time of the year, when the merry gentlepeople of MEL attempt to outdo one another with the most heinous holiday takes we can unwrap. We can already feel the angry tweets nipping at our noses.
The thing with Christmas is that even if you love it — and I’m willing to declare myself in general support of the holiday — there are so many elements to hate. In fact, it’s hard to pick any single one! The consumerist frenzy, the treacly music, Santa being some kind of immortal surveillance cop with a sweatshop at the top of the world, that all sucks considerable ass. To zero in on a much smaller issue, I despise wrapping paper, and more so the monsters who demand that retail employees wrap their gifts. And to be even more specific: Ribbons are a blight on humanity.
Ribbons can absolutely go fuck themselves. Yeah, I said it. Worthless frippery. Burn them all.
Who was the first person to wrap a gift and then go, “Hmm, it’s missing something — wait, I’ll put some extra garbage on it!” Because I just wanna talk. The logical endpoint of the gift ribbon, as we all know, is the giant red Christmas bow you see on cars in seasonal commercials, and there are few bleaker signs of our cultural depravity. It is not enough, apparently, to surprise your family with a new luxury sedan, nor to hand someone a box adorned only with a layer of candy cane-striped paper; we also need an ornamental strand of fabric that looks like it’s tying everything together, a kind of structural support. But it’s not. It’s a fucking lie! That ribbon is a lousy, freeloading snake.
And guess what? You’ve only set yourself up for misery. Congratulations on the self-torture.
On the recipient side, nobody wants a ribbon anyway. Whatever visceral pleasure there is in tearing the wrapping paper to shreds is forestalled as you try to loosen the stupid knot, and then, when that fails, attempt to slide the ribbon off. At this point, you’ll realize it’s too tightly fitted to remove that way, give up, release a deep sigh and go grab the scissors. What folly and waste. All for something that’s basically a fancy version of shipping twine. We must renounce this custom in the strongest terms. Declare war on Hallmark and craft stores. I’m already pissed I have to use an entire roll of Scotch tape each December. We shouldn’t keep adding tons of ribbon waste to our landfills. I will not yield any further, damn it.
If you ask a committed ribbon person why it’s necessary, they won’t even have a cogent answer. It’ll be some nonsense about an ill-defined holiday aesthetic, or making the gift extra-festive, or longstanding tradition. What it really is: showing off. It’s the snobby perfectionist’s touch, the superfluous detail that nobody else has the time or patience for. Stop flexing. The rest of us can barely get all our shopping done. We’re doing our best! To terrorize us with primly curled ribbons is just cruel. Have a heart, it’s Christmas, and rolling gifts up in the funny pages is good enough.
Let’s make 2020 a year without ribbons and never go back. Alternatively, I’m going to choke myself out with the next one I see. Civilization cannot improve while we continue to normalize this ostentatious display of manual finesse. I’m tired. Let me have my present without the effort of picking apart your little finger trap. I promise that Krampus won’t come and get you for cutting this one corner on the overall Christmas effort. Snip the shiny trim. Be free.