This year, I proudly presented the recipients of my gifts with my very own hand-lettered Holiday cards on cereal box cardboard. It was but one years’ experiment in a quest to make the holidays a little more "green," a little more special.
I have to start by saying that I'm lucky to be part of a family who truly values togetherness over gifts. With each passing holiday, I wrap and receive fewer gifts and spend more and more meaningful time with my family and community. But it wasn't always this way. Growing up, I often felt out of place at holiday family gatherings: I just couldn't find a place for myself amidst all the excess food, drink, purchases, expectations, people, plastic and waste.
After a lot of experimentation (and moody holiday dinners), I've been able to find my own meaning and ritual within our holiday gatherings. And as our family becomes increasingly aware of our own excesses, we have collectively committed to "more time and less stuff."
A simple holiday commitment I have made is choosing and wrapping my gifts with care. The few gifts that I do give are chosen or made with LOVE and I like them to look that way. That's why I've been wrapping with up-cycled materials for the past few years. It's been a small change in my holiday routine, but has made a big difference in my state of my mind and heart during this time of the year. I've said goodbye to brand-new wrapping paper, boxes, plastic bows and the chemical dyes and processes that come with them... and it feels good! I've taken a crack at a bunch of different ideas (a list which has only expanded since my discovery of Pinterest...) :
- Placing gifts in clay pots, ziplock containers, mason jars or up-cycled food boxes.
- Wrapping presents with fabric, magazine pages, newspaper (old calendars and maps are also a great idea!).
- Making my own bows from newspaper.
- Making my own hand-lettered cards on the back of cereal boxes (shown above).
And damn those gifts look good! Here are some favourite visuals from the wide world of the internet: