Christmas Tips & Fun

Learn interesting, unusual, unique and useful facts and tips about Christmas and the winter holiday season, in America and around the world.

Christmas Shopping & Gift Ideas

Recycling Your Christmas Packaging & Wrapping


eusing last year’s wrapping paper and bows – which you collected in separate bags and carefully culled the best specimens last year, right? – can be an easy way to save money as well as natural resources. We know some folks who every year for the past bunch haul out the stored special sleeves that you could buy that would hold a new 12-inch vinyl LP – only now they hold gift certificates and other thin things – it’s become a family tradition.

Before throwing out boxes and packaging material, consider reusing them. If you’ve been shopping and gotten a bag from a store that’s even a little exotic or upscale or far away (no, Target or Pier One won’t do) then think about using that instead of wrapping paper to hold a gift, even if it’s not from that store. Just stuff some coordinated colored tissue in the top and add a card. (Just remember to retain the gift receipt in case you need it so the recipient doesn’t try to return the gift to the store whose bag it’s in.)

Think, too, about recycling other materials to use to conceal those presents. Newspaper is an old standby. So, too, are brown paper bags. Deconstruct them so that they’re flat and they make surprisingly interesting wrapping paper that’s easy for you – or your kids- to decorate. You can use any kind of marker – even gel or glitter ones – just be sure to do your decorating before you do your wrapping or the ink might bleed through. You can use watercolors or even colored chalk as long as you spray it with a protective coating (tried hair spray? – polyurethane is probably better, but...)

Some of the craft stores (and IKEA) sell white drawing paper for kids in huge rolls that are reasonably priced and can be used throughout the year. Just tear off what you need for your gift-wrapping project and either leave it plain – and add decorative ribbon or bows (recycled, of course) – or decorated as mentioned above.

Written by Dianne Weller
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