Intimidated by Christmas paper?

A few years ago and a few nights before Christmas I was having drinks in a game park in South Africa with friends. My friend Peet had bought a Christmas present for someone that he wanted to show us but his son replied that it had already been wrapped in Christmas paper.  I was disappointed that we couldn’t see it but there you had it – the present was wrapped and there was nothing to be done about it; we’d missed an opportunity.

Then Peet (who often thinks out of the box, which is probably why he’s a very successful businessman) said ‘Well, then I guess we’ll just have to wrap it again!’

The gift was brought, opened, looked at and then lo and behold – it was wrapped again in less than 3 minutes, using a bit of Christmas paper and some tape.

I don’t remember the particular gift or who it was for; what made a lasting impression on me was the realization that I, like everyone else in that room except for Peet, had simply accepted that the present ‘was already wrapped’; we did not even consider the possibility that it could be opened and simply re-wrapped. We’d effectively been intimidated and controlled by a piece of Christmas paper (or more truthfully, by our own habitual ways of thinking).

Where are you being held back by your version of the ‘Christmas paper’ and more importantly – where have you broken through it?  Email me on by 14 March 2011 to be entered into a draw for a copy of ‘Yesterday, I cried’ by Ianla Vanzant, a profoundly moving book (read book review here).

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