LISA: It’s holiday time at howdini.com. I’m Lisa Birnbach. Now, of course we could just tie a ribbon on a box; but isn’t it more fun to do that? Bruce Littlefield is here. His new book is Merry Christmas, America! And he’s going to help us be more original when it comes to wrapping.
BRUCE: A little creativity goes a long way when you’re wrapping. The great thing, as you said, I did a pretty good job at wrapping this and this would be a happy package.
LISA: It is a happy package because this is unusual.
BRUCE: It is unusual — it’s fur ribbon. I got it at the craft store for about $2. The idea of putting something on top of a package that reminds you of the person that you’re giving it to is something really great. So this, for example, is for my sister’s new baby. I have got, as you demonstrated, a fabulous topper — I’ll put that on and they’ll love me.
LISA: So the idea is to coordinate gift-wrapping with something particular... That reminds you of someone.
BRUCE: That’s for my Dad. He’s a fisherman. He’s a fisherman. He likes to go fishing. So when I saw that at a yard sale I bought that with the idea that at some point I would give that to him on top of a package.
LISA: Which suggests to me, Bruce, is that you’re not just thinking about Christmas at Christmas time, you’re thinking about it all year long — as you go from sale to sale.
BRUCE: I’m thinking about that person all year long. So you know, my dad has a birthday. My dad has great times that I just want to send him a gift. So those kinds of things, those kinds of moments, are the time you want to send something extra special. And when you do, you’ve got it. Just tie it onto something and it makes the present better.
LISA: Who likes the “sauce” in your family?
BRUCE:Well, my family doesn’t like the “sauce,” but I have a good friend who does; and she’s going to love me when this is on the top of her package. And the thing that I really feel is that when my friend Michelle gets this, she’s going to get a good laugh and she’s also going to have a good drink. And she’s going to say, “My friend Bruce is really thoughtful — he knows I love rum.” “Really thoughtful and thinking about me.” “He knows I like a nice bottle of rum for breakfast under the tree.”
LISA: Exactly, with your Fruit Loops.
BRUCE: These could go to anyone, but it’s for the bath: to soften your bath. It just really makes the package super special. Now look at these — you’ll love these. These I saw... my friend collects earrings... and I saw these and I said, “These are for Bev.” And so for this Christmas, these will be on the top of her package.
LISA: Where did you find Bev’s earrings?
BRUCE: I found these at a yard sale in Baltimore. These...don’t tell Bev...but they cost me, like, 50 cents. And they look like they were, like, 75 cents. You’re exactly right. In fact, I got yours and mine for next Christmas.
LISA: What about this yardstick?
BRUCE: This is for my grandfather, and he used one of these when I was growing up; and so it has a special memory in my mind. So I’m going to wrap his present this year... I saw this and I’m going to wrap his present... Look. He’s going to like that. He’s going to like it and he’s going to know that I have a memory of him that is something special.
LISA: Great project to do with your kids.
BRUCE: We’ve taken an ordinary box and we’ve turned it into something extraordinary, something special.
LISA: That’s quite pretty.
BRUCE: It’s really nice, right.
LISA: That is pretty. Bruce Littlefield, thank you so much for being with us. Happy holidays.
BRUCE: You too. Thank you.
LISA: For howdini.com, I’m Lisa Birnbach.