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Gift wrappers ease shopper woes

By Melissa Crowe
Dec. 22, 2012 at 6:22 a.m.
Updated Dec. 23, 2012 at 6:23 a.m.

Cathryne Mares wraps a present at a stand in the Victoria Mall. Shoppers were able to hire the gift-wrapping service Saturday by donating  a fee to benefit the Texas All Stars Dance and Drill Team from the Victoria All Stars Dance Academy. The team  will use the money  help cover competition fees.

In the mad dash to gift exchanges, Christmas parties and family gatherings, the thought of gift wrapping can fall by the wayside.

At its worst, those on the "nice list" are left with crinkled, shoddy boxes and bows not even fit for a sneaker.

Texas All Stars Dance and Drill Team are offering fuss-free gift wrapping at Victoria Mall to help gift-givers save face this season.

Bobby Benavides, 34, of Port Lavaca, dropped off two gifts for his wife Thursday morning.

For him, the fear of early gift detection was not a concern. He shamelessly admits he does not wrap very well.

"It's convenient," Benavides said. "I can hide the gift. That's not the problem. I know I would do a bad job."

He said he stops by every year. At $7 for two wrap-jobs, he said the price can't be beat.

"I think they undercharge," Benavides said. "I would pay more for good wrapping."

Adreana Cobos, 35, and Jamie Flores, 26, opened the first shift at their wrapping stand Thursday.

The gift wrapping service benefits the dance and drill team's 47 members. Funds help pay for costumes and send them to competitions.

It's their biggest fundraiser of the year, Flores said.

Gift wrapping starts at $2. The most expensive wrap-job was $25 for a barbecue grill.

"We've seen a lot of Kindle Fires, iPad 2s, jewelry and scarves," Flores said.

Work has been steady. As Christmas inches closer, every day gets a little busier.

For 11th-hour shoppers, gift wrapping is available at the mall during normal hours and until 6 p.m. Christmas Eve.

"The majority who stop here are men," Cobos said. "We keep hearing, 'You saved my life!'"

Customers bring their items, boxed or not, pick out paper and a bow; and Texas All Stars takes care of the rest. The whole package is complete within minutes.

Flores said the strangest thing she wrapped was a guitar. Cobos' strangest: a diamond-shaped box.

"I'm dying to wrap an engagement ring," Cobos said.

The closest they have gotten was wrapping a safe with two small jewelry boxes locked inside.

"I just want to go ga-ga over it," Cobos said.

Related Christmas stories:

Residents display ugly Christmas sweaters, click HERE

Readers share special holiday moments, click HERE

Helpful hints for last-minute Christmas shoppers, click HERE

Schedule of Christmas holiday closings, click HERE



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