Packaging. Oh I do loooove packaging. I have loads of washi tape and hunt down the prettiest tissue paper whenever I can because I hate plain packages. It's kind of disappointing when I get plain packages when I buy from Etsy, and even more so when there's no thank-you note. Call me a demanding customer, but when there's no note or effort in the packaging whatsoever, it feels like they don't enjoy what they do or really respect what they've made. I kind of get it if it's someone's hobby and they get like two or three sales a month, because why would they have pretty packaging for that? But at the same time, I would expect a note then because they would appreciate it more, wouldn't they?
Anyway, that's half of the reason I put care into my aesthetics. The other half is simply that I enjoy it. If you buy from me, you will never receive a plain box or envelope, and neither will it just contain the item you bought in a ten-a-penny organza pouch.
I enjoy the packaging process for another reason: I don't really have to think. It's the last thing I do for orders - though I write the address on a package as soon as I receive the order and put a note inside to ensure I send the right thing - so when the tissue paper and pillow boxes come out, I know I can sit down, switch off, and just enjoy the colours.
It gets a little more fun at this time of year because of all the Christmas tape and stickers, but it does also, of course, become more of a chore. The closer it gets to Christmas, the greater the volume of orders, and that means that even when I've finished jewellery and all that's left to do is package things, that's still a big job. It can take four hours just to tape up envelopes in December for three days' of orders. Fortunately I have tea and hot chocolate on tap by that point, and lots of natural history DVDs to watch for the ten millionth time.
As for the post run - obviously the final step - it's a nice walk and the post lady knows me well enough for the posting process to be as quick as it can be for the number of things I bring with me. I write my customs forms before leaving the house, I print my own bulk proof of postage forms so all she needs to do is sign it, and I have no issue with being just given the stamps for the UK orders, which I always hand over last, and putting them on myself while she sees to the ridiculous number of customers waiting behind me when December rolls around. I also usually slip her a small box of chocolates on my last post run before Christmas.
And as for Christmas posting specifically, I have my last posting date (December 19th) circled on my calendar and accompanied with the promise of a long soak in the bath and, finally, Christmas indulgences. Unsurprisingly, I also love wrapping presents, so I wait until I've made my final post run before dedicating an afternoon to wrapping presents - usually the next day - and that will be accompanied by Christmas specials on the TV, hot chocolate and a small box of chocolates I have no intention of making last beyond four hours. Seeg hates Christmas wrapping, as does more or less everyone else I know, so I wrap everyone's and he wraps only mine.
And don't forget about my final Christmas order dates for domestic and international purchases!