wrapping

Dealing with left over Christmas wrapping

I went for a walk yesterday and was surprised to see a roll of Christmas wrapping paper sticking out of a bin.

Christmas wrapping paper in a rubbish bin in February!

Christmas wrapping paper in a rubbish bin in February!

Obviously, being towards the end of February, I was surprised to see something Christmassy in the bin – I would have thought left over Christmas rubbish would be long gone by now!

But I was also surprised at someone throwing out a roll of wrapping paper – it seems like such a waste to me. It could easily be used to wrap presents next Christmas, so why throw it out?

Many people feel obliged to use new wrapping paper (that is, not so many reuse wrapping paper), but this was a new roll someone had put in the rubbish.

I guess if you like having all your gifts wrapped consistently each year, a small amount of one year’s paper may seem less useful for the next year. But there are other ways to use it…

  • give it to a kinder or childcare centre – they can use it as wrapping or just give it to the kids as a craft material
  • keep it as a back up in case you run out next year
  • use it for some surprise Christmas in July gifts!
  • use it in various Christmas crafts – or give it to someone crafty so they can use it
  • donate it to a charity that provides Christmas gifts to the needy – the less paper they buy, the more they have to help people in other ways
  • use it for wrapping pass the parcel items at a party
  • recycle it! Rip it up and put it in the compost, line a bird cage with it or just put it in the recycling bin (to be fair, this picture does show the roll in the recycling bin)

So what do you do with left over rolls of wrapping paper after Christmas?

Do you have any other ideas on how to use up old wrapping paper if you don’t keep it for next year’s wrapping?

Kids’ artwork = wrapping paper

Child made wrapping paperKids often make a lot of art pieces – often a lot in one art session!

I’ve often heard of people using some of the larger art pieces as wrapping paper. What do you think – is that a good idea?

Artistic wrapping paper is good

I like this idea because:

  • it is bright and cheerful – and stands out under the Christmas tree
  • I like the personal touch over the commercial shiny paper
  • it’s good for the environment to use artwork you already have rather than buy more paper that will just be thrown out. Especially given much of the paper children paint and draw on is recycled in the first place!
  • it’s positive to display their artwork this way, and  negative to just throw out artwork when it builds up
  • children can be very proud of the gift they carry to someone if they see their artwork is on view to all
  • kids learn that their efforts (ie painting in this case) is appreciated and probably given more attention than a shop bought gift

 Artistic paper is cheap

Using your  children’s art work is certainly cheaper than buying rolls of gift wrapping paper – I think that’s a positive as it makes your Christmas budget go further (I could spend $15 on a gift and $5 on wrappings and cards or $20 on a gift, or $15 on a gift and have $5 still in my pocket for necessities).

Yet some people think gifts must have pretty wrapping to pass some unknown standard, so would see ‘cheap’ wrappings as a negative.

Do you think kids artwork is a cheap cop-out for gifts or something good?

Are there other negatives of using artwork this way?

Have you ever received a gift wrapped this way – did you like it? How did others respond to it?

 

Christmas mess…

I just came across this thought in a magazine (Your Child in Banyule & Nillumbik to be precise) and loved it:

one of the most glorious messes in the world is the mess created in the lounge room on Christmas Day. Don’t clean it up too quickly.

I love that mess (especially compared to the mess my kids usually make…) all the wrapping paper and packaging strewn across the floor, new clothes, books and toys scattered around, topped off with tinsel and decorations around the room. It evokes happy feelings of sharing and giving, and its bright and colourful. Love it!

I never clean it up before we go out for Christmas lunch, and generally leave it for Boxing Day (isn’t that the point of Boxing Day anyway??) Does that make me unusual?

Wrapping paper reuse

Who else collects and reuses wrapping paper? Just at Christmas or year round?

We always fold up the decent bits of paper (those the kids have ripped to shreds go in the recycling bin!) and keep them for future use. Some relatives look down at us for it, thinking we’re being cheap and lazy. Yes, it does save us money (some of which goes into buying better presents for said relatives!) but more importantly, it saves the environment.

The creation of wrapping paper involves chopping down trees, processing the paper (which uses fossil fuels and huge amounts of water) and printing the paper. Then add in the footprint of wrapping paper – how far does it travel to reach your Christmas tree? And if you collect enough paper, it is one less thing you need to worry about buying next Christmas (potentially saving pollution of driving to the shops, too!)

Other ways we save on wrapping paper are:

  • using paper we already have (e.g. from the deli) and getting the kids to decorate it – saves paper and money, entertains the kids and provides a personalised wrapping paper
  • using something practical instead of paper – tea towels and ribbons in particular wrap gifts nicely

What does everyone else think about green gift wrapping?

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