Monday, December 28, 2009

That's A Wrap

It's a phrase I used all too often when I was working full time before Zach was born, but now I often just think it in my head. (the boy already says "cut", I need to draw the line somewhere) But the other kind of wrapping gives me a secret thrill. I LOVE to wrap gifts. I don't know why. There is something meditative about it for me. When I was a little girl, I loved wrapping so much that my mom would let me wrap all of the holiday gifts - including MY OWN. She trusted me not to peek (and I didn't either) and she knew that the wrapping gave me as much joy as the gift inside.

The only bad thing about wrapping it the wasteful pile that grows next to the tree as the family tears open gift after gift. So over the past several years I've tried to be creative about how we wrap so that I still get my fix without being wasteful.

(1) Cloth Bags. I've collected mine over the years from but you crafty mamas who sew can whip up a drawstring bag in no time. You can also get them on etsy. We have them in all shapes and colors and use them for in-family gift giving so that we have them year after year for birthdays, winter holidays, etc. To me they are even more festive than paper wrap.

(2) Festive Recycling. Of course wrapping a gift in the Sunday comics is nothing new. But around the holidays, I seek out the really pretty stuff. Our local grocery store has a TON of free local newspapers and magazines. And around November and December they all have nice cover shots and nice inside spread of snowmen and trees with lights and santas and the like. These papers are already printed and get tossed into the trash or recycling bin anyhow, so we look through and pick the ones that have good pages to use and bring them home to wrap.

Also, the catalogs we get in the mail. Chinaberry had some beautiful catalogs this holiday season. Music For Little People had a Jan Brett illustration on the cover - score!

Speaking of books -- we usually don't use dust covers on our books because on a boat they just get torn and mildewy and rumpled anyhow - so these get saved for wrapping too. Also, I found a couple of literally falling apart kids Christmas books at Goodwill for 10cents and since they were missing too many pages to be read, we wrapped with them!

(3) Simple Yet Classic. Plain brown paper. Once in a while I have been known to forget my cloth grocery bags at home. And so we have a small collection of paper grocery bags. Plus the craft paper that was used to pad the boxes of some larger items that were shipped to us this year (our new heater, etc). Wrapped up with a beautiful ribbon and something to decorate (like a bell, beeswax ornament, some fresh holly) and it looks gorgeous! (you can see the cloth bags in the pile as well)

Aside from having a colorful little pile of gifts for the family, this was the sum total of our trash and it just went straight in to the recycling bin. (this box is only about as tall as a loaf of bread). Of course we only have one child and we buy small anyhow, but it still felt great!

As much as I love the holidays, I am happy to say for this year, "That's A Wrap."


Joy said...

We use a combination of wrap-sacks, WAHM-made and homemade cloth bags and am I ever so glad we started that tradition because I really DON'T like wrapping gifts. Cloth sacks are a perfect solution for me. :) Like you, I'm ready to call this holiday a wrap, but when I get home from Asheville today, I'll have all the decorations waiting for me to put away.

BTW, we definitely need a girls weekend away in Asheville. You'd love it here. :)

S said...

Great ideas! I still have a ton of wrapping paper, but I don't plan to buy any more ever. I'm bookmarking this for the future!

cupcakesandcoffee schwartz said...

I love your ideas, and I am totally inspired to use then next year. The paper looked so festive under the tree, and I never would have guessed that it was from newspapers. I LOVE the wrapsacks as well.
Thanks so much for sharing.

boatbaby said...

Joy - Asheville here we come!

S - yes use what you have, but it's fun to get creative and look for ways to recycle!

Cat - i'll bet next year you'll look at freebie newspapers, magazines, and catalogs in a whole new way!

Anonymous said...

Oh my gosh I love the book ideas- so wonderful- thanks for sharing these-

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