Author’s Note: This article contains helpful tips for wrapping ONLY. For gift ideas, please see our previous guide for dads titled “WW2 Nonfiction and 12 Other Inappropriate Gifts For Tweens.”

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Are you a middle-aged divorcé who’s spent one too many silent nights stuck inside his condo near the highway? Have days seemed less merry and bright since your spouse left to be with Zeth, the tantric yoga instructor with piercing blue eyes and a collection of beaded anklets? Then this holiday wrapping guide is just for you.

The world of gift wrapping can seem like a scary place. After all, you’ve spent the last eighteen years simply taking credit for your wife’s meticulous work. (Sure, the label may have said FROM SUSAN & GREG, but we all know who was doing the heavy lifting.) Who cares if a present is wrapped anyway, right? Wrong. That’s exactly the kind of reckless thinking that drove your spouse into the arms of a man whose overall energy can best be described as what would happen if a hemp belt became a person.

This is about so much more than showing your loved ones you care; it’s also a great way to show them you’re fine. Like, totally fine. In fact, couldn’t be better. Besides, you’ve already streamed every episode of NCIS and have at least an hour before you pass out from a Coors Light buzz, so let’s clear those crumpled takeout menus off the dining table and get to work.


Before beginning, make sure you have these essential items on hand:

  • Wrapping Paper. Wrapping paper comes in an endless variety of prints, colors, and interesting patterns. While it’s true those bits of newspaper currently lining your box of old high school football trophies in the coat closet may have a similar feel and consistency, they are not an adequate substitute. Remember, you are preparing a present, not a ransom note.
  • Scissors. A nice, sturdy pair of scissors is needed to—oh, what’s that? You’re just going to use the pocket knife every dad inexplicably keeps on their person at all times? That works too.
  • Tape. Preferably not of the duct variety.
  • Gift Tag. You can typically find these in sticker form at any local drugstore. For most, putting the recipient’s name on is the easiest part of this process. However, we understand that, as a dad, remembering how to correctly spell the names of your loved ones (especially children) is an insurmountable task. Is it Katherine with a K or Catherine with a C? We certainly don’t know, and we’re confident you don’t know either. Save time and trouble by checking their Facebook profile to get the spelling right the first time.

Wrapping Your Gift

Now that you have your materials let’s start wrapping. If you find that sitting in silence causes you to sink into an ever-expanding mental void as you picture your once-faithful Susan sipping kombucha smoothies with her new lover, consider turning on a holiday playlist for a festive kick. Your bells will be jingling and ring-ting-tingling in no time.

Step 1: Place your gift facedown on the wrapping paper and cut along a single side. Ensure you wind up with a piece wide enough to cover both sides of the gift.

Step 2: Pull the wrapping paper up and over one end of the gift. Did you hear Susan’s boyfriend lives in an RV park exclusively for people driving carpeted vans? Not important. Forget we mentioned it.

Step 3: Take the other end of the paper and—I mean, it’s just kind of weird, right? How is that even a sustainable business model? Carpeted vans only. Who’s enforcing that?

Step 4: …Wait, are you crying? Sorry, we were just trying to make conversation. You know, maybe if you were willing to show this kind of emotional vulnerability to Susan you could’ve avoided this whole… All right, now you’re really crying. Our bad.

Let’s just scrap this idea. You can get a girl scout to wrap your gifts at the mall for twenty bucks. You did great. Feel free to cut off the Christmas tunes and reward yourself with some Steely Dan. Come back next week to “Do It Again” when we tackle holiday decorating.