So first, I must confess. I did use wrapping paper for the gifts this year. Not thinking, the bargain-hunter in me bought five rolls of it during last year’s Boxing Day sales, so it was just sitting there looking at me guiltily. Also, I had not thought ahead to how I was going to make this a non-disposable Christmas. I don’t like using newsapaper as it stains the fingers, and I didn’t have a stash of shiny flyers to use because I don’t get many of them where I live. I thought of making fabric gift bags, but just didn’t have enough time left for that. It would also have meant spending a lot of money on fabric to wrap the gifts in. But I do have paper gift bags that I reuse every year, as well as boxes and wrapping tissue.
So, for next year’s gifts, I plan to collect as much potential gift wrapping as possible, mostly in the form of reused fabric. I did wrap a few gifts with just a square piece of fabric. Tea towels would probably do as well and make a double-gift. I love the microfibre cloths for their bright colours, and they dry dishes instantly. And if you wanted to be extra sure that gifts aren’t open before Christmas Day, you could potentially sew them up!
A lot of the gifts I gave this year did bear an environmental theme. (If you are friend or family, you might want to wait until after Christmas to read this paragraph!) I’ve given quite a few Envirosax reusable shopping bags, and the World’s Best Pot Scrubber (the one in the link bears a different name) – I’ve been using the same scrubber for over a year now and they really are fantastic! Even my friends rave about it when they do my dishes. At work, I gave dishes and cutlery to co-workers who were still using paper plates at staff luncheons. I found them at the thrift store and had fun matching patterns to potential recipients. I gave my Uncle’s family a stack of melamine plates and forks for family dinners so they won’t have to resort to using paper plates and plastic forks the next time we’re over. And to my two cousins one each of David Suzuki and Al Gore’s eye-opening books. My daughter also re-gifted a few of her toys, books and games to her friends, which was terrific. Speaking of which, my daughter asked for mostly non-packaged gifts this year. No more Littlest Pet Shop, yeah!
Since we were going to be home this Christmas and are hosting Christmas dinner, we also chose to get a real tree as the most environmentally friendly option. That was a tough one and there is no perfect answer. I was considering getting a potted tree that I could plant in the yard, but it turns out that the tree could only stay inside a few days, and the survival rate of the tree would have been very low if I tried to plant it. Of course, we could forgo the tree altogether. We certainly won’t get a tree next time if we plan to be away for Christmas.
We didn’t have any garlands for the tree, so instead of buying tinsel, we decided to string popcorn instead. We’ll put it out for the birds after Christmas. Next year, we’ll have to try stringing cranberries too. Fun, and smells so yummy!
What else? As I only have four dinner plates, I’ll be using Mom’s Corelle dinner plates Christmas Day. She has a whole stack of them for family dinners. The great thing about Corelle is that they are 100% glass, and they are so thin they don’t take up much room to store, which is perfect for my small kitchen. I’ll have to watch for sales and get my own stack for special events. And of course, we’ll be using cloth napkins.
So, I get a thumbs-down on the wrapping paper this year, but am definitely planning to make next Christmas a non-disposable holiday.
All the best to you and your family,
Grace & Hannah