I give unpackaged presents or in some cases recycle the wrappings.
For several years, my kith-and-kin have been enjoying the gift of experiences. Performances, concerts or outings. Afterward, we have dessert at a restaurant to continue our enjoyment of the evening.
We can and preserve from our garden all summer long, and for the holidays our family receives lovely packages of local produce – pickles, jams, jelly’s, salsa and pesto! We also make homemade beef jerky, cookies and sometimes bath scrubs and salts to go with them. Homemade gifts are the best, and not having to rush around in holiday shopping craziness is the best gift to ourselves of all!
My husband and I have a contest with the rest of the family on whose present has the best green wrapping. We use everything from saved paper grocery bags to the newspaper comics; reusable fabric bags to art decorated boxes. It’s always a blast guessing who put together which one and seeing all of the different ideas.
I’m excited to make my own natural decorations this year — like using fallen holly branches to make a wreath for my front door and pine cones for my mantle.
This year my plan is make ornaments from materials from my backyard for my kids first Christmas.
We have an experience with our friends rather than exchange gifts. It’s fun to plan it together and we have the memories of our adventure to cherish for a lifetime.
Last years Holiday cards are trimmed and cut out for this years gift tags. We have done this in my family for as long as I have lived.
Like Marye, I dehydrate apples, oranges, and such along with using bay leaves and cinn. sticks to decorate and use for wrapping as well.
Like Mayre we also do a ‘bird Xmas tree’. I go to a local Christmas tree farm and ask for an ‘unperfect’ one they would otherwise throw out, set it on the deck in a bucket of water and decorate with dries fruit,popcorn, oranges hollowed out to contain seed, etc. They love it! Also grew birdhouse gourds to paint for gifts. Also Email shopping to cut down on gas…
One tradition that we started several years ago is to dehydrate various fruits like apples, oranges, and pears in our oven. We hang them on our tree with raffia along with popcorn and cranberries. After Christmas we hang all of it on the trees outside for the birds. The kids love it and the house smells so good!
For the past three years I have stopped exchanging gifts with my adult siblings (we range in age from 50 to 65), and instead make a monetary donation to an organization that has some significance to me for the past year. Each year it’s a different group, but always one that means something to me personally. Several of my siblings have adopted this philosophy as well, keeping needless junk out of our homes, and cutting down on gas spent for shopping and shipping, eliminating wrapping and shipping waste, and helping needy organizations at the same time!
I am making canvas tote bags and reusable coffee cup cozies for my friends and family out of remnant fabric that I have been saving. I’m also going to make peanut brittle, chocolate covered pretzels and bread. No need for wrapping: All gifts will be beautifully presented in the reusable bag.
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