I’m dreaming of a green Christmas

Last Christmas...I gave you my heart, but the very next day...

Whoops, sorry, I'm getting carried away...this isn't a post about Wham! or about the latest romcom. No, this is a post about waste. You see, last Christmas it suddenly struck me how very wasteful the festive season can be. I don't know why I hadn't noticed it before, in my 45 years of existence, but a LOT of stuff gets chucked in the bin at Christmastime. Maybe it was because we were away and had to take our rubbish home with us, or maybe it was a bit of my parents' hippyness finally rubbing off on me. Or maybe it was because I was so disorganised that we were ripping open presents that I had literally just wrapped hours before. Whatever it was, for the first time I was paying attention to how much paper, plastic, and even food, got thrown away in the name of Christmas cheer. And it seemed wrong. 

Cover of Ruby Star Wrapping by Melody Miller

So I decided right then that I am never buying wrapping paper again. And as soon as I started googling for ideas on how to achieve this without abandoning the magic and beauty of a stylish Christmas tree, I discovered that fabric gift wrapping is actually a thing. In Japan, people have been wrapping gifts in fabric for centuries. In fact the Japanese Ministry of the Environment even has a how to guide on their website. And what do you know, we have a book on Furoshiki, or Japanese fabric wrapping, too! Which lead me on to other books on gift wrapping. While many of the ideas in these books still use paper, they got me thinking about ways to reuse and upcycle all sorts of stuff. Empty boxes from the pantry can be dressed up with used wrapping paper or fabric scraps, magazines and glossy fliers (and there's plenty of those around at Christmas!) can be turned into beautiful flowers to adorn gifts, empty tins and jars can be prettied up for gifting. Or maybe gifts can be wrapped in something reusable, like a tea-towel or pillow slip--tie a bit of ribbon round a wooden peg, fold your pillow slip sandwich-bag style, peg it closed, and you've got a gift that is both beautiful and waste free.

I've put together a list of books, not only about gift wrapping, but also homemade and upcycled gifts, and a couple of ideas for reducing food waste, too.

And, yes, I am once again making handmade gifts for Miss Missy and the Young Lad. I actually got an early start on the Young Lad's gift this year, but I'm still no closer to being finished than if it were the usual last minute, skin of my teeth, Christmas crafting madness. Whatever possessed me to agree to knit him a Pikachu hat? Oh, not just any hat, this one has to have long earflaps with mitten pockets at the end, and of course the face will have to be Swiss darned and crochetted to get the right look. And of course there is no pattern in existence! And Miss Missy wants a dress, which I still haven't even started...

Gotta love Christmas!!

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