For some years, I have been hearing on the grapevine that COSTCO is the way to go for Christmas wrap and ribbons. Rumour has it that their double sided paper was a find and at a red hot price to boot.
And so it was that I found myself at the North Lakes COSTCO on the fringes of Brisbane. I was driving right past it on my way to the Sunshine Coast for an appointment, so I felt a little smug that I had not wasted petrol dollars on a trek across town, because COSTCO is surely not a CBD concept.
Everything at COSTCO is big, but unlike most people there on a sunny mid-morning, I was not at COSTCO for the jumbo boxes of nappies or litres of cleaning products or the mammoth salted caramel cheesecakes or even the 4kg frozen Dagwood dogs that were flying out of the freezers. I was there for the fabled gift wrapping and embellishments.
I headed straight to the flashing lights of the Christmas department where once again everything is big – a life size faux stone Virgin Mary – big. A six foot nut cracker soldier – big – though at $429 something I seriously considered. Baubles – big. Wreaths – big. And there was a big crowd gathering around to ooh and ahh at the Christmas possibilities.
I had to fight my way to the rolls of wrap past a mother/daughter duo bickering over the point of double sided wrapping paper when you only ever really get to see one side of the paper. Seriously, have they never heard of the contrasting belli band or fan or fold?
Finally I was standing in front of the rolls which were 40 metres big. But both sides of the$17.99 double sided paper (which is described on the packing in French as reversible) were gaudy and I was a bit sad. There were also 36 metre rolls of metallic paper for $19.99, one of which had popped open (poor form if someone actually ripped it open) so I felt the weight (or in this case lack of weight) of the paper. No joy here. Dull metallic on thin paper. Double sided sadness.
I then spied boxes of ribbons at $9.00 for 45 metres. The colour choices were limited to red, Robin Hood green, white and rather fabulous wide chiffon gold.
While pondering the ribbon, my eye was caught by a set of two wreath adorned China deer. Quite lovely. There was also a fabulous designer looking 7 foot Christmas tree with LED lights on brown branches for $138 which I desperately wanted but do not at all need.
So I went back to get a roll of the gold chiffon ribbon only to find that in the 10 minutes I had been admiring other big trinkets, all the rolls of gold ribbon, bar one that was squirreled away, had been snapped up. It’s the quick or the dead here though I suspect COSTCO has a big vat of ribbons out the back along with the palettes of abalone that were being promoted.
The big boxes of Christmas cards weren’t real flash, The big box of gift tags contained a few gems but not enough to compensate for the crafternoon shockers.
So clutching my 45 metres of gold ribbon, I wandered throughout the store and picked up San Pellegrino sparking water at a hot price, a boxed set of Hairy Maclary books (unbelievable) a big pack of Banana Boat spray on sun screen (which could have been a good price but I’m not sure) and inexplicably a 12 pack of Dettol antiseptic hand wash. My eye also went to the big jars of festive cashews and row upon row of chocolates and lollies in packages too big to comprehend. I thought of Pete Evans and didn’t pick them up.
I’m glad I went to COSTCO for a Christmas wrap squiz, even though the myth of the divine double sided paper has been shattered. The ribbon, the nutcracker statue and mineral water were the standouts, but possibly not worth making the trek for.
If I was super organised, which I rarely am, COSTCO would work for Christmas party essentials provided you take a list with you, allow yourself oodles of time and resist the allure of all the big products.
I walked out past a COSTCO golf buggy on special. Now there’s a big Christmas gift suggestion and certainly one that would test my gift wrapping skills. Guess that’s where you really would need a 40 metre roll of double sided or should I say reversible paper.