Story | Jun 21, 2011 | 3:37 PM
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Story | Dec 5, 2010Every Christmas when I was a child and even as a young adult, I knew which present I would open last. Deep under the tree, covered with fallen needles and those home-made paper ornaments you save for the lowest branches, lay a large box. Originally used for some bulky garment — a really significant cardigan or, pushing further back, one of those inexplicably popular fuzzy ponchos —it was the kind of box one saved, once upon a time, before gift bags were invented and gift wrap was dear, when kids were encouraged to slow down and remove the paper carefully so it could be smoothed, folded and used again. To make this box suitable for easy reuse, only its lid had been wrapped in red paper bedecked with some green figure (wreaths possibly, or just festive bows) that over the years frayed at the corners and had a web of inevitable wrinkles so that it eventually looked like a Christmas present might look on a TV screen full of static.