Wrapping gifts for christmas. Some people love it, some dread it. This is an area where you can get really creative if you want, just try to remember that most wrapping paper is not recyclable. However, there are several other ways of wrapping gifts than in regular wrapping paper.
Firstly, I would start looking around the home what is lying around that could be used. Maybe you find an old shoebox that you haven’t thrown out. With some paint or fabric that could make the perfect box for grandpa’s new sweater. Just put a bow on it and you are done! Maybe you have some old wall paper lying around from renovating the house, those would make great stand-ins for regular wrapping paper and they don’t require you buying new. With some creativity, most things can become a nice wrapping design!
If you are the really creative one with some time on your hands, I would go for designing your own wrapping paper with potatoes. By buying simple brown or white gift paper (the ones without the shiny side) you can simply design different papers for the entire family. All you need are the paper, an ink pad, a knife and some potatoes.
If you are more of the lazy type (like me most of the time) go for reusing old newspapers. It gives a nice retro feel and you can dress it up nicely with nice bands and some decorations.
Last idea is to wrap in fabric, so called furoshiki (you can see more about furoshiki and the techniques on my Pinterest board here). It is a traditional Japanese way of wrapping gifts. You do not need to buy new for this, you could wrap it in a kitchen cloth, old sheets or whatever you have laying around.
For all the ideas you have the option of making it more fancy by accessorizing. Some pine cones, a tree twig or some dried winter flower that are easy to find outside. It really takes a gift from regular to special looking.
Christmas can be an incredibly busy and stressful time of year, especially if you are fed up with overconsumption and consumer culture. There are ways of making small changes for the better though. One field for improvement is the holiday gifts. There are different “levels” of conscious consumption in my book, below you can read about them.
The optimal choice is to not give anything. At least not material. Great things you can gift people that are not material:
- donate in their name
- gift card for service they use or need (like Spotify, Netflix, maybe some clothing subscription?)
- gift them time to do something with you. Maybe you are a great chef? Well why don’t you gift them a 3-course dinner at your place. They love hiking? Plan a weekend hike to do together!
- gift an experience. They want to learn pottery? How about you give them a class for x-mas! Want to learn a language? Sign them up for classes or buy a subscription to Babbel!
If you still feel that you want to gift something physical, try to make something yourself. A lot of times it is more appreciated, since it requires time and love. One year I made my grandma a knitted headband for winter. She cried for like 20 minutes because she was so happy for it. And I made a felt Ipad case for my dad one year, he still uses it to protect the screen!
What if you want to git something physical and you suck at any kind of crafts or similar? Well then I say give stuff that is sustainable and that they actually need. Some ideas for this is:
- Bees wrap – a really practical way of wrapping food that eliminates plastic wrap
- Reusable bottle – because we all know the problem of plastic bottles, don’t we?
- Bamboo utensils – for when they are out on the run and need to eat.
- Produce bags – very handy for grocery shopping, and we all need to buy food!
- Sustainable underwear – you always need new underwear…
- Garment care – e.g. pimp stone for clothes pilling, clothing brush, clothes mists.
- Edible treats – such as homemade granola, truffles, bread mix, sourdough, kombucha starter.