Do you show no fear when it comes to wrapping a bike? A set of golf clubs? A bandsaw?
Or are your skills limited to popping a gift into a cute bag, maybe adding some coordinating tissue paper and a pre-made bow?
Perhaps you've been gifted with a box that looks like it was once a dog toy or one where the paper didn't quite make it all 'round. If so there are two wrapping contests just for you and your friends, whether you're wrapping inspired or handicapped.
For the wrapping inspired
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The 12th annual Scotch Brand Most Gifted Wrapper Contest, sponsored by 3M, is one that will test your, or a friend's, gift wrapping skills.
But it's worth it. Top prize is $10,000 which will buy a lot of ribbons and paper for wrapping holiday gifts. Even if you're all thumbs when it comes to bows, if you nominate a grand prize winner you too get a prize -- $1,000.
To enter -- or to nominate someone -- just explain in 100 words or less why you or your friend has what it takes to be crowned the "Scotch Brand Most Gifted Wrapper " for 2008.
Be sure to include full names, address, daytime phone number and, if available, fax number and e-mail address. Be sure to state if the nominee is entering as an amateur or a professional. (Professionals are anyone who's been or is being paid to wrap at a specialty store, department store, etc.)
Entries are due by Oct. 6. Mail them to: Scotch Brand Most Gifted Wrapper Contest, c/o Hunter Public Relations, 41 Madison Ave., 5th Floor, New York, New York 10010. They also can be e-mailed to email@example.com or faxed to 212-679-6607.
Eight finalists -- four amateurs and four professionals -- will compete Dec. 5 in New York City's quintessential holiday locale, Rockefeller Center. Only one will take home the title of "America's Most Gifted Wrapper" for 2008.
For a complete set of contest rules, send an e-mail to giftedwrapper@ hunterpr.com or visit www.Scotch Brand.com.
For the wrapping challenged
If your gift wrapping leaves a lot to be desired, or you know of a friend who's challenged by wrapping paper and bows, Sandy Sandler, founder of HPA Enterprises, wants to meet them.
Sandler, an expert wrapper and inventor of the Bowdabra, a bow tying craft tool, is looking for the "Worst Gift Wrapper in America." There's little fame and no fortune for the winner, but they do get a free trip to Las Vegas and personal instruction in gift wrapping from Sandler.
To enter, or nominate a friend, go to www.bow dabra.com and click on the contest link. Either write in 50 words or less just why you or your friend deserves this title and include a photo of one of their worst wrapped gifts. Or shoot a video of them in action and enter it instead of the written explanation and photo.
Ultimately judges will choose the 10 worst wrappers and ask for a video of their handiwork. After each finalist has a coaching session with Sandler the "Worst Gift Wrapper in America" will be crowned.
To enter, go to www.bowdabra. com. Deadline for entries is Oct. 31.
* Loretto J. Hulse: 582-1513; firstname.lastname@example.org