festive traditions :: brown paper packages

brown paper packages-2

I realise that it’s probably a blogger cliche, but I just can’t help loving brown paper packages… and yes, I do adore them tied up with string! Bakers twine, to be precise. I’ve been wrapping my Christmas parcels in brown paper for the past five years or so, and I don’t see that changing any time soon. I know that brown paper feels frugal, functional and even austere. In truth, this is part of its appeal- it fits with my hopes for a pared back Christmas, where the focus is on simple festive magic: family, feasting, the fireside, a few thoughtful gifts, chosen with care and given with love.

brown paper packages-4

I buy my brown paper by the roll from the local post office. For me, the fun of brown paper packages is the myriad of ways in which they can be customised and personalised, depending on the recipient. Over the year, I stash away bakers twine, raffia, coloured tape, gold thread and metallic ribbon (the wired sort makes the best bows, I get it from the local haberdashery). For gift tags, I favour plain brown (like these from Papermash, my favourite shop for gift wrapping goodies). I also have a set of air drying clay snowflake tags that I’m re-using from last year. In fact, brown paper also lends itself to re-use. The scrunchy wrinkles add a rather pleasing texture, or I think so, at least.brown paper packages-5

I’m not an absolute purist, of course. When it comes to wrapping the children’s presents, I either use a roll of colourful paper (Ikea is brilliant for characterful gift wrap) or, I customise their parcels with bright ribbon and cheerful cutouts, or even draw on them with Sharpies. This year, the eldest two boys, although too young for the Star Wars film, are far from immune to the charm of space adventure. They’d play with Lego every waking moment, if they could, so I anticipate squeals of delight when they tear back the paper and unwrap this Star Wars Lego via George.

brown paper packages-3The brown paper doesn’t change, but the trimmings vary from year to year: one Christmas, I crocheted snowflakes, another I made air drying clay tags. This year, I’m favouring natural flourishes such as eucalyptus and wax flowers, rosehips and spruce cuttings. In the end, though, it’s once again the tradition that matters. The repetition. The predictability. The beautiful, soothing inevitability of a pile of brown paper packages underneath the tree come Christmas morning.

{The Lego was gifted c/o George at Asda. All words, photographs and traditions are my own.}

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *