It was 2008 when I first began to get what you might uncharitably call slightly obsessed with wrapping presents. Up until that point I’d had a very measured and sane approach, in common I believe with most of the population. It went like this: buy roll(s) of wrapping paper, buy gift tags, wrap gifts. Run out of paper, buy another roll or two. The end. It was a more innocent and perhaps a happier era.
2008 was the year of my ‘Christmas goes Bollywood’ wrapping theme, and marked a dramatic departure from this. I don’t have a photo of said theme, since this was before the days when I would immediately photograph anything visually pleasing, and share it on social media (can you imagine? Me either.) So you will have to imagine it: pink tissue paper, gold sparkly ribbon, purple and glittery gold gift tags, with shiny beads hanging off each parcel. The whole theme came from finding a necklace in New Look that was reduced to a few pounds, and made up of enormous, petrol-coloured, dangly beads. It was enormously pleasing.
Since then, and since my discovery of the collective madness that is Pinteres, and also the Mumsnet ‘poncetastic Christmas’ threads, life has been somewhat transformed. We have had ‘Scandi cute’ Christmas wrap (brown paper, gingham ribbon, a small bell and a candy cane), ‘cool paper craft’ (brown paper, with patterned washi tape ‘ribbon’), ‘homespun craft rustic’ (brown paper, tied with red and cream wool, with a small wooden star threaded onto the wool) and many more. So it was part and parcel of this year’s preparations that I should find myself on the one hand longing to just grab some wrapping paper as in the pre-Pinterest era, but on the on the other hand powerfully desirous of coming up with a new and even more beautiful way of wrapping.
For there are rules here. Who knew? Turns out even though I did very much like my candy-cane accessorised wrapping theme, I am not allowed to re-use it. Why? I would say ‘I don’t make the rules‘… Except that in this case I quite clearly did make the rules.
So – voila! This year’s wrapping. Brown paper, doilies, raffia, and assorted gift tags. These lettering ones are from the ever-fabulous not on the high street. Shamefully, I bought these tags years ago, but lost them and could not find them in time. They turned up this year, tossed up on the flotsam as we tidied up, and I pressed them into service.
I should add that this year represents something of a compromise. I originally planned doilies, with red baker’s twine threaded with a few green buttons. But I was let down – for the first time! – by an ebay seller, and couldn’t quite get it all together in time. I do love the doilies, though. I bought full size doilies, plus a pack of little mini ones, and I think they look really fab, even if I do say so myself. I also used some little wooden star tags from Tiger, and used either the cardboard ones or the star ones pretty indiscriminately as I loved how they both looked.
Every year in around November I start up a food production line of presents for aunts and uncles, friends, and others, and this year was no exception. After the success of last year’s toffee vodka (recipe: drop Werther’s original into vodka. The end.) I branched out into Christmas pudding vodka, which was slightly more involved, but very lovely. I hope it’s received well.
This year I found some red party bags which I used as gift bags, realising one night as I was almost asleep that I could pritt-stick on the mini doilies as decoration and gift tags all at once. Of course, I then ran out of them so had to use some star tags as well.
The doilies were a huge pain to stick on, but the effect of the red peeping through the pattern was so lovely that I persevered. And when I handed over Christmas presents this year, two people (two) separately said, “Beautifully wrapped presents – as always!” And sad to say it, but it made my heart rejoice.
And made me think I should start planning next year’s wrapping theme…
Merry Christmas one and all. See you on the other side.