4 December, 2010
The Dec-Jan 2011 issue of MaryJanesFarm magazine (www.MaryJanesFarm.org) is, as usual, wonderful. If you have never seen it, you MUST!! It’s a wonderful magazine. This issue, I love some of the ideas for “Reducing Your Holiday Impact” on page 14. For example, making cloth gift bags and including a note suggesting reusing the bag – how fun! For those who sew, all those odd-sized stashes of fabric?? Here’s a solution! Would take maybe 10 minutes to whip up on the sewing machine, and that’s coming from someone who is distinctly NOT a sewing machine expert. Use a length of ribbon in a “cuff” around the top, so you can easily cinch it up! Or make it even easier, and simply tie off the top with the ribbon. Pinking shears (those scissors that make a zigzag design) are great for funky edging if folding over and sewing down a seam is more than you want to try.
Or, the article suggests for other wrapping options, use reusable decorative tins, baskets or boxes – lots of those available at places like Hobby Lobby and Michaels, Joann Fabrics, etc! Of course you could also look for re-usable shopping/grocery bags in Christmasy colors from your favorite – or neat local – stores! The article mentions that “if every American family wrapped just 3 presents in re-used materials, it would save enough paper to cover 45,000 football fields”! Reusing newspapers and comics, old magazines (OTHER than MaryJanesFarm of course!!), old maps, etc are good ideas as well, but I love the “re-use” idea… something that you gave a gift in, that your recipients can remember your family by as time goes on and they continue to, hopefully, use it again.
We love doing Christmas photo cards, and of course adding each year’s photo to our Christmas Love Journal (another post to follow re: THAT little tradition!). This isn’t particularly “green” at first consideration, however, it does kill two birds with one stone by not only sending Christmas greetings, but giving people we love an updated photo of the Prince and Princess!! (and their parents – grin) I have Christmas photos from 15 years back from different friends’ families and young children… now that their kids are older, maybe I could figure out how to make that into a gift for THEM???
Due to rather dreary and dangerous winter weather that kept us from driving into the mountains to cut our own tree, and the fact that I figured out last year that they spray DYE on many live Christmas trees (no wonder we sneezed nonstop the month of Dec 09! We never sneeze in the woods!!), we actually went with, gulp, an artificial tree this year. From what I understand, it’s 6-of-one, half-a-dozen of the other as far as whether a one-time-purchase artificial tree is better or worse than hauling, fertilizer, etc. of live trees as far as the carbon footprint… but with young ones in the house the artificial tree will work better for us. (You can tell I feel very defensive about this! I am a tree-huggin’ mountain girl, I love my live trees like nobody’s business!!!) The joy I felt then, when last night at my handsome hubby’s annual office Christmas party/awards ceremony, we were actually given a tabletop-sized live Italian Stone Pine with decorations, I’m sure you can imagine!! I wasn’t even out the door with it (I insisted on carrying it so I could SNIFF it at leisure!) before identifying several potential tree-planting locations in our yard!! One must think ahead.
Enjoy your preparations, one and all!!!