Wednesday, 18 December 2013

All Wrapped Up

You know those magazine articles that are full of lovely ideas for beautifully wrapped presents?  They suggest brown paper and string with homemade dried orange peel and cinnamon sticks attached, or using pages cut (never haphazardly torn) from magazines, or arranging layers of different coloured tissue paper finished with generous servings of a wide satin ribbon, doubtlessly bought at great expense from VV Rouleaux.  Seriously, google 'creative gift wrapping', and just see what comes up.

I've saved you the hassle of googling.  This is one of the images that comes up.  Amazing, right?

Anyway, I don't have time to do any of that.  Not since I got married and had children and my sister got married and had a child and my sister-in-law had a child etc. etc. - not to forget Father Christmas's duties - the point is that I now have to wrap what seems like five hundred presents every Christmas.   So, these days, I go in for rolls of the least gopping wrapping paper Paperchase has on offer, and copious quantities of Sellotape.  I occasionally manage to accessorise with some silkiness, but it invariably has chocolate smeared on it (Esmeralda loves the ribbon drawer.)  On balance, however, I find myself at peace with my somewhat slummier wrapping method, and it has definite advantages:  the receivers of my gifts tend to have very low expectations of what is going to be inside.

What a present wrapped by me actually looks like.  Especially since I ran out of Sellotape and have been having to improvise with electrical tape.

Despite my lack of wrapping skills, I thought that I was pretty organised as far as Christmas goes this year.  I got the bulk of the presents wrapped, and delivered, to my parents' house in Yorkshire about a month ago.  So I switched off.  Today, in horror, I realised that I had nothing for my father, and virtually nothing for my husband.  Oh, and one of my orders, containing Esmeralda's presents, has not arrived.  And we're leaving London first thing on Friday morning!  I tried to do some emergency shopping this afternoon at the Olympia Horse Show (it's not too late to get tickets incidentally, and it was fab, Esmeralda loved it, especially the Shetland Grand National) but it wasn't great for much besides sparkly browbands and multicoloured numnahs, both things I think my father's horses can probably do without.

Olympia Horse Show, Shetland Grand National.  I always wanted to ride in this when I was little, back when my sole ambition was to be the first female jockey to win the actual Grand National.  Times changed.

I've potentially got a chance tomorrow afternoon at Winter Wonderland, and for a moment it really was looking like all those I forgot about were getting things from the genuine replica German Christmas Market (or however it is that they phrase it.)  But then I remembered Amazon!  Who now sell everything! (Including serious art.  Weird, but, whatever.)  I can get it all delivered, ready wrapped, to Yorkshire!  And the only reason I remembered this is because my friend Georgia has been doing Gift Lists on her blog, Before the Baby, and published Esmeralda's wishlist today.  Georgia's site is seriously worth checking out if you've got children to buy for.  And if you're buying for a woman, well, my friend Willow has done an amazing list on her blog, Willow Rose Boutique.  (I want everything.)

As far as husbands and fathers go, I have one thing to say:  Fine Food Specialist, who, if you order on Thursday by 11am, are still able to deliver in time for Christmas (just like Amazon!)  They've got it all:  truffle oil and goose fat, Gentlemen's Relish, endless cheeses, caviar, foie gras, whole hams - some of which are the most perfect stocking fillers imaginable (perhaps not the ham.  Unless your stocking is giant.)  And because I get to share what Father Christmas gives my husband, I'm definitely adding the Artisan du Chocolat Salted Caramel Drinking Chocolate.

However badly wrapped, what's inside is not going to disappoint.

Happy Christmas!