I don't know if gift bags are a Minnesota thing or a new millenium thing or if they were always around and my family was just out of it (all possible) but at first they baffled me. I refer, of course, to the gaily colored paper bags (usually lined with tissue paper) into which one places a wrapped gift before bringing it to a party.
At first I ignored the gift-in-bag protocol since I am a frugal person (no, no, Steve. I am. really) and the idea of spending money on something that is used for a millisecond appalled me but eventually we hosted enough whatits of our own that I managed to acquire a nice stash of gift bags. You know, every now and then I wonder how the bag manufacturers have ever managed to sell more than a dozen of these things because surely everyone does what I do. Remove the gift, fold the tissue paper, flatten the bag, store it and then pull it out again later to use for someone else's gift. You think you'd only need about ten or so in circulation at any given time, right? Of course I am right.
Tonight my new friend (have I told you about my new friend? I have one. I like her a lot) has invited us to the surprise birthday party she's hosting for her husband. I bought a bottle a wine and a card and Steve found a book he thinks the husband might enjoy. In the old days I would have just carried these items in my hand like a lemur but I am a Minnesotan now. I know better. So I went upstairs to my magical guest bedroom window seat of many uses and rummaged around until I found a bag that was about the right shape, size, age and gender.
I wrote the card, wrapped the book, dusted the wine and inserted it all into the gift bag, remembering at the last moment to check and see if the attached gift tag had been used. I'm glad I did. It had. It was addressed: Steve Patrick and Julia - Congratulations on your new home!
We moved here in 2003.