1. Drive a relative insane.
Locate a family member who is still visiting in your home despite the fact that they should have left two weeks ago. Follow them around the house, constantly wadding and un-wadding several crinkly sheets of paper. Do this non-stop until they finally turn on you and scream expletives and tell you where you can shove things. Act completely innocent. (Sample response: “I’m sorry, is this bothering you? It’s an exercise my doctor is making me do for my arthritis. You DO want me to retain the use of my hands, don’t you?”) Wait until they go to bed, then stand outside their door and crinkle some more, making creepy groaning noises and jiggling the door handle. They should be gone by morning.
2. Scare small children in the neighborhood.
Find some old clothes, stuff them with the debris from gifts that nobody wanted in the first place, and assemble a life-like body. Drag the corpse to the curb, sprinkle it liberally with red food coloring, and place a Santa hat where the head should be. Put a sign nearby that says “This is what happens to dumb-asses that come down my chimney when I’ve been hitting the vodka.” Then go back in the house, fix yourself a nice snack tray, and sit at the picture window in the front of the house and wait for representatives of the Neighborhood Association to show up with petitions.
3. Make the biggest ball of Christmas paper known to mankind.
Start with a tiny wad of paper, then keep adding to it until you have something huge and clearly unnatural sitting in the middle of the kitchen floor. Clear furniture out of the way so that you have a good launching path, wait for an unsuspecting family member to come wandering into the kitchen in search of leftover turkey, then hurl the Ball of Death with all your strength. You get bonus points if the family member is knocked airborne and/or suffers a head trauma that jacks with their short-term memory. If accused of malfeasance, point at the dog.
4. Pretend to have a nervous breakdown.
Wait until the rest of your family is fully invested in some other activity, like watching TV or counting the dust bunnies under the china cabinet, and then run into the room, lugging one of the 24 sacks crammed with wrapping paper that everyone has after the holidays. Yell something inane, like “Do you understand how many trees DIED for this?” or “Don’t cry for me, Argentina!”, then flop on the floor and start weeping dramatically. If your family is unimpressed with your flailing, break wind, because this always leads to lively commentary.
5. Make a new outfit.
Find the ugliest discarded wrapping paper (hint: this will probably be the paper used by the weird relative who has too many cats and regularly receives citations from the city), and fashion something decadent out of it, like a tube top and a g-string. Once attired, run sluttily into the den, where your over-exuberantly-Christian aunt is watching “Bowling For Jesus” and proclaim “This outfit makes my ovaries tingle!”. Be sure to have a camera handy.
6. Create a brand new holiday.
Lug some of the paper into your home office (translation: the wee bit of space where your significant other has allowed you to place your computer), run the paper through your cross-cut shredder, and place the results into a ceremonial basket that you have fashioned out of a leftover Chinese takeout container. Now run through the house with maniacal glee, tossing the confetti hither and yon whilst bellowing “The Earth Mother Goddess has given me redemption on this holiest of random celebrations. Praise be!” Then set up a donation booth outside the bathroom, because everybody has to go there at some point. Refuse to give tax receipts, because the IRS is corrupt.
7. Pretend that you’re an ancient Egyptian.
Wait until one of your more irritating family members has retired for the evening, innocently nestling in their bed for a night of slumber. Sneak into their room, and proceed to cover their body with wrapping paper and copious amounts of decoupage glue. (Be sure to leave them air holes, because those 9-1-1 people can be SO critical about minor details.) For extra style points, leave a small sign at the foot of the bed that reads “Here lies Cleopatra’s wine servant. The stupid tramp fermented the wrong thing and she had to go.”
8. Create early-morning confusion.
Pile all of the discarded wrapping paper into the communal shower. Pretend that you have no idea how this could have happened. For style points, act like you are Bette Davis discovering that she might be a lesbian after all. This makes no sense, but it’s fun.
9. Try to get your money back for the wrapping paper.
March into Target, dragging behind you a sack of the wadded paper. Explain to the gum-chewing attendant at the returns counter that you are not satisfied with the performance of the wrapping paper. Angels were supposed to sing upon opening, and this did not happen. At the very least, you want store credit. When the attendant questions the status of the paper, which has been clearly abused by greedy hands expecting a Malibu Barbie, make a hand gesture that is dismissive of anything the attendant might care to say. Ask for a manager. (Cautionary note: If said manager is ugly and hasn’t been laid in months, if not years, you might have a struggle. Prepare accordingly.)
10. Use the discarded wrapping paper to take notes for a blog post detailing the relative insanity of spending quality time wrapping presents that will be ripped to shreds in mere seconds by gift-recipients that really don’t care how much time you spent making things look pretty, and will probably hate the present anyway.
Which is exactly what I did. Cheers.