I’m going to tell you right up front—for me, the wrapping is almost as important as the gift itself! As a kid, I loved trying to guess what the presents under the tree were—who am I kidding, I still love to shake every one and try and guess what’s in the package! The anticipation of Christmas morning still holds the magic for me, I just don’t have to be up at 4:00 a.m. ripping open the gifts like I did as a kid!
I love Christmas. As I was growing up I always had my list for Santa ready, but the requests were far more modest than those of today’s kids. I always wanted a dolls house—never got it—but that did not diminish Christmas for me. The brightly colored packages were so exciting, that the anticipation of opening them just made up for any potential disappointment of what was inside.
Even now, I put a lot of effort into making each present as unique on the outside as it is on the inside. It’s not about the cost of the gift, but the thought that goes into it.
Wrapping paper, ribbon, bows and gift tags can often cost as much as the actual gift. I always hated seeing all the pretty ribbons and cards being gathered up and thrown out after the “clean up”, so I began salvaging things a long time ago. I never thought about recycling or being eco-friendly, I just hated to throw out the time and effort that someone had put into wrapping that gift.
So now, I have developed a simple method for recycled gift-wrapping:
1. As the gifts are being unwrapped, gather up all the bows and ribbons to reuse—I am still using ribbons from five years ago!
2. Save any decorative items from the gift boxes you receive throughout the year—chocolates come in some of the best decorated boxes I’ve ever seen
3. Christmas cards are a great resource for turning into gift tags or to decorate a package with
4. Save boxes—it’s so much easier to wrap a gift in a box
5. You don’t always have to use “Christmas” paper. Many printed papers have a white reverse side, use this as a blank canvas for your creative gift-wrapping
6. Use gift containers in which to store your ribbons, bow and cards
On old Bolla wine box holds a lot of my Christmas ribbons and bits and pieces
A gift basket keeps cut up Christmas cards in order.
Boxes I re-use over and over again, once the gift has been opened most people discard the outer box, I hang on to them to reuse.
This gift was wrapped with the “white side” from a roll of Hanukah gift-wrap I bought by mistake. The ribbons are from various gifts I had received and the four images are from Christmas cards I have been sent over the years.
I had a little gift-wrap left over from last Christmas (I buy wrapping paper the week after Christmas when it goes on sale). The ribbon was from a previous gift and the bow from a box of chocolates. The gift tag was cut up from a Christmas card.
This one was last year’s gift-wrap, ribbons I have used over and over again and the gift tag was from a cut up Christmas card.
Anyway, you get the idea. It makes for some really unique looking gifts at a fraction of the cost to wrap and you are doing your bit for the environment by recycling and reusing. Try it, it’s easy and fun and the gifts look beautiful under the tree!