To date I have bought but one Christmas present, and I’m not even sure that I still want to give it away! Long gone are the days when I can spend November and December knitting scarves and individually wrapping home made fudge cubes in cellophane, and I’m not sure these days that a macaroni covered photo-frame would bring a smile to anyone’s face. My plan of attack this Christmas is simply to personalise an already lovely gift with an easy homemade addition, or at least wrap the neon, the plastic and the unsightly DVD beautifully! And so I bring you quick-fixes a plenty, and I promise you can leave the sugar thermometer in the drawer.
Below are some beautiful tins, jars and bottles to get you started. Fill these with homemade cakes, biscuits and jams – but do not underestimate the joy you can bring by remembering someone’s preference for custard creams or searching out another favourite, shop-bought treat.
Particularly at this time of year there are so many lovely chopping and cheese boards, and how much nicer to give one of these topped with a camembert and a fresh baguette? Or if you don’t fancy a midnight dash to the shops on Christmas eve I’m sure breadsticks or olives would do just as well! (A similar approach can be applied to wine racks if you grab a couple of bottles of suitable vino…) Some cellophane and ribbon will not only add a professional touch but take you only seconds to do.
At this stage I should put my hands up and admit that none of these ideas is revolutionary and you can buy very similar things in the shops. But what you can’t do is select each item with the recipient in mind or control the quality of the components.
Whilst we’re assembling goodies, you might want to think about collecting a few smaller items and collecting them in a lovely basket or hamper. I’ve had my eye on this one from Queens of French chic Summerill & Bishop for ages, and the only way it could be improved is by stuffing it with festive treats.
This idea is ripe for interpretation: a mixing bowl full of cooking gadgets and ingredients for a baking fiend or a gardener’s cuttings basket complete with seceteurs, seeds and gloves…
The same principle can be applied on a smaller scale with Kilner or mason jars. Treat friends to a jar of comfort with a pair of cashmere socks, perhaps some hot chocolate, a scarf and some luxurious bubble bath or other smelly. The variations are endlessly tailorable. Which reminds me that I couldn’t leave out this sweet idea for the budding seamstress:
We’ve all seen those pre-packaged hot chocolate sets, but how much nicer to get a really appropriate cup and choose some high quality hot chocolate, adding your own special touches?
Whilst you’re readying your carefully selected items, consider a spot of repackaging. I’m not for a second advocating that you make your own jam unless you want to, but consider giving it a fabric lid, secured with some festive ribbon. Wrap your hamper items in the same paper and tie them with a simple ribbon.
Bath salts and all manner of smellies are everywhere at this time of year, but maybe have a think about decanting your purchase into a vintage jar or bottle, that way once your gift has been enjoyed it keeps on giving -and could even be redeployed the following year! I think this idea below is so simple but that it really adds a nice touch, and possibly reminds your loved one of a holiday you took in the year..?
I’ve really gone to town this year with additional trinkets to tie on to my presents! I have an (ever diminishing) stash of mini candy canes and bought some wooden reindeer ornaments in the sale last year which I will be using as gift tags. There are endless options! Smaller baubles can really add fun to a simply wrapped present and last year I baked ginger bread cookies which I tied on to my presents with ribbon. Here are some amazing ideas from the ‘Nice Package’ blog!
If you can think of quick and easy way to tailor the beautiful present you have chosen to its recipient and you will enhance the gift enormously in the eyes of the beholder. I will leave you with two more easy ideas that I found on my travels and with that, wish you luck on your own journey to Christmas!
I'm a freelance interiors stylist with a keen eye for the unusual and the creative. I love nothing more than discovering a new use for everyday objects or finding original ways to display my treasures. I trawl the web to bring you the most interesting ideas I've found and hope to inspire a little too! Read more posts by Vicky.