I love putting together packages for people, especially when it is not for a special occasion, but rather to say “thank you” or “I’m thinking of you” or “I hope you feel better” or “congratulations” or “happy Tuesday” or “I think you’re alright”.

One of my favorite things to wrap up is food, which is no surprise because I love food.  Mostly I love the eating of it, but I do like to bake and cook as well.

So what better way to combine my passions than to bake something, do some heavy sampling (just for the safety of its recipients, of course), and then wrap it up with some cellophane, a pretty bow and a tag.

I’m also a huge fan of making gift baskets filled with mason jars of soups and such because they exude a homemade vibe, are timeless, very durable and also reusable for years and years.   In summary, they are very pretty and practical (and I’m slightly obsessed).

This morning I baked some peanut butter chocolate chip cookies for a “thank you for inviting me to supper” package.  I intended to capture the step-by-step preparation of these lovely things with my camera to include a recipe, but realized as I was adding the last ingredient that I forgot to take pictures.  I will try to do better next time.

Here are the cookies as they cool on the baking sheet for a moment:

And here they are all wrapped up purty-like:

In addition to making the package look nice, I always like to put a little tag or sticker (handwritten for a nice homemade touch) to inform the recipients of what they are about to put in their mouths.  I do this especially when there are controversial ingredients such as peanut butter, nuts, or oatmeal.  I might even add raisins to that list because I can’t tell you how many times I have bitten into a cookie thinking it was chocolate chip (my favorite) and quickly discovered that it was some sort of devilish raisin nonsense (my not favorite).

It is my conviction that cookies shall not contain raisins just as cornbread shall not contain sugar.  Amen.

Now that we have that settled, I will get back to the point.

Even though I love putting together an unexpected package, I do enjoy wrapping up gift boxes for holidays, birthdays and other occasions.  Here’s a gift I wrapped recently for a friend’s birthday:

I found the peacock paper at Homegoods and the ribbon I ordered from the ribbon factory.  While a great paper sets the tone, I think a nice, sharp bow really finishes a beautiful present.  I learned this from my Aunt Anna, who was the queen of gift-wrapping.

My Aunt Anna (we called her “A-Nana” which I will explain in a future post) passed away in early 2011, but she was quite the gift-wrapper.  She always wrapped gifts in beautiful paper with big bows and, for Christmas, she often added a little ornament or accessory to the bow.  These packages were so beautiful that you almost didn’t want to unwrap them.  I said almost.  There was always a thoughtful gift inside, so you had to unwrap it.

To have your wrapping likened to Aunt Anna’s is a big honor and level of distinction in our family.  You have arrived on the wrapping scene if some says your gift-wrapping work looks like “An Aunt Anna Package.”   Over the last few years, a few people have received this praise and we continue this tradition of wrapping excellence in her memory.

I love you and miss you, Aunt Anna.  You were such an elegant lady who did everything with great care.  You are an inspiration to me and I think of you every time I wrap a package.

Y’all come back now, ya hear?


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