(Un)wrapping up for Christmas!

zero waste gift wrapping

Lots of observations from this week.

We had an election. I don’t think you need me to ramble on about that too much, especially when Twitter exists…

Alex has been ill off work all week (an incredibly rare occurrence – I have resisted the temptation of others to call it “man flu”), but having both parents at home seems to have been very acceptable to Rawrie.

As the first batch of Christmas cards arrive (eek!), my list of recipients has inevitably gotten longer (do we all find the actual writing of cards to be therapeutic and fun, but it’s soooo hard to get round to starting it?).

The new Attenborough series on Netflix ‘Seven Worlds, One Planet’ is so magical and painful to watch.

Making chilli jam with your Mum while your baby happily feasts on raisins and grapes in the high chair is just a perfect Friday activity. So is randomly reaching for the Waitrose Christmas magazine and quizzing on festive food facts (did anyone else know that the village of Stilton isn’t actually allowed to produce its original cheesy namesake?? Please see this IYV (Informative YouTube Video) that my husband discovered and that I ended up really getting into).

Going to London on a busy Saturday evening with absolutely no plans is completely do-able, and so awesome! I took Rawrie up on a whim to see my older sister, we ended up bus-ing to Oxford Street, stumbling upon some amazing ocean-themed Christmas lights (Project Zero on Carnaby Street), ate pizza and then enjoyed the sights and sounds of the market in Trafalgar Square. We have no photo evidence of this lovely evening, partly because my sister’s phone was dead and partly because we didn’t bother to check our phones until the very end of the night and just enjoyed all the moments together.

And now, I’ve started to gather up presents, gift wrapping being another big source of non-recyclable waste at this time of year. It was so nice to reach into the gift and crafts box in our flat and find I am mostly sorted for wrapping presents. Last year I didn’t go completely plastic free for Christmas, but I made small changes. For wrapping, I packed presents unwrapped into adorable festive Jute sacks from Hobbycraft, and then kept the sacks for this year, and hopefully every year from now on! To really get frugal, there always seems to be a crate of stockings and sacks for as cheap as 50p in every charity shop I’ve gone in this week.

I also love the idea of wrapping presents in fabric, which is an aptly timed thought as our lovely friend Charley came up yesterday to see her little buddy Rawrie and give him an early Christmas present (a cloth whale book which now cannot be prised off him), which came wrapped in fabric, and unwrapping it with Rawrie felt so boho and special, knowing that the fabric can and will be saved for anything – crafts, sewing, wrapping another present, the options are endless!

I have natural twine and paper tape from Pedrick’s, and ended up ordering some patterned paper from Good Things Gifts. The paper is 100% recycled, all the packaging is recyclable or compostable, even the bag is corn-based and biodegradable. Next year, with Rawrie being a bit bigger and hopefully inclined to artsy stuff, I’m thinking old newspapers that he can colour and print on with leaves and pinecones. The research for ideas and cool tricks is ongoing, and it just gets me more excited for when our growing family can get involved.

If you happen to follow me for longer than a year and my 2020-something Christmas gift-wrap blog post includes a photo of me, alone, doing all the kids’ crafts while they’re off doing better things, do feel free to come back to this 2019 post and leave a comment telling me how na├»ve I was.

Jenny x

PS. I know that the talkings above have been about gift WRAPPING but I literally discovered this Taxonomy Tree about GIFTS this morning and thought it was perfect to share (wish I could take credit for it, but no, it’s from Clean Earth Pantry – a beautiful looking Zero Waste store in Berkhamsted that I follow).

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