Today is the start of the mid-winter month in Scandinavia, when gnomes and trolls run wild and no work is allowed. In Australia, we have schoolchildren running wild and there’s plenty of work still to be done in workplaces around the country but it gets harder and harder to fit it around the end of year festivities.
As with so many Christmas tasks, you might prefer to wrap all your presents in one big session, in which case you should schedule it appropriately into your (jam-packed) calendar now and, since this a good task for the whole household, you may need to find a mutually convenient time across everyone’s schedules. (This won’t be easy but my sister Wendy solved the problem a few years back by not allowing anyone to have breakfast until they’d wrapped a present first.)
Alternatively, if you like to wrap slowly, start now and do a few each night in front of the television (or in front of the fairy lights and Christmas carols).
My colleague Murray surprised me with a Christmas present at the HR morning tea today: a kitchen timer shaped like a cupcake. It was to thank me for the cooking lessons (and I so appreciated his appreciation that I felt like giving him a Christmas present too) and he said that if he’d realised how much people like you when you put a torte on the table, he’d have gone straight to the cakes as a young man and would have left the curried sausages to his middle years.
 A few years back, my son Jeremy spent an entire winter holiday on the couch in a zebra onesie, drinking hot chocolate and watching wildlife documentaries. When I suggested that he get some fresh air, he sighed and asked me how long it was going to take for me to realise that we were now living in a virtual world.
 To the festive morning tea in the HR department this morning, Murray brought
- some documents that he needed signed by the HR director,
which, I feel, does not quite demonstrate the proper Christmas spirit.
 Maybe a kitchen timer shaped like a cupcake?