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Wrapping, etc.

On the official day that Christmas is meant to be over with, I thought I'd share some highlights of festive presentation with you...

My friend Holly always does things beautifully, and that includes eco-friendly wrapping. Each of my gifts from her this year came encased in carefully chosen sheet of newspaper or a page from a magazine. She knows I'm rather fond of a canine theme... (and thanks to Pedlars for providing the original – one of the best festive baubles of Xmas 2011, don't you think?).

Isn't this little bird a beauty? My super stylish neighbours, Emma and Sarah, who we saw for drinks on Christmas day, gave each of us a going home present of one of these little porcelaine birds. They used them as place settings for their Christmas lunch, too. Emma told me she'd found them for a couple of quid each at our local department store and bought the lot – having immediately been reminded of the artist Clare Twomey, who made 4000 little birds from Jasper Blue – a material created by Wedgwood in the 1800s – for a 2006 display at the V&A.

My friend Camilla's wrapping is always a work of art in itself. She is one of the most creative people I know (and the only person I've ever had a home-made, woven birthday card from). So it was no surprise that she was able to turn a clementine crate into something beautiful and exciting, with a bit of patterned card she had in her stash and some old fashioned paper sweet bags (which you can get in batches of 100 at Not on the High Street for £3). And what was inside? A stunning set of six Babycham glasses, or saucers as this lovely, old-school shape of champagne glass is known.

I always look forward to Holly's homemade goodies, which she packages so sweetly too. No need to explain the contents (other than to say that they didn't last long and were delicious – the chunky, chocolate chip snow cookies also looked festive inside the packaging too, as they had been sprinkled with edible glitter). What a lot of lovely things. And what a lot of lovely friends. I feel very lucky. 

Finally, a different sort of wrapping.I couldn't resist adding this photo of my friends Stephen and Russell's dog Pepper. I don't know if she hated her Christmas jumper or whether the expression is just down to the classic, mournful look Jack Russells naturally wear. I reciprocated by sending back a snap of an equally suicidal-looking Reggie, bottom, wearing his "jingle balls". Poor things.

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