Thursday, January 04, 2007

Bright Colors and Eco-Friendly, Way Late

My grandmother started the tradition in the 1940's. There weren't a lot of people celebrating Christmas where my mom and her siblings were growing up, so Grandma had to be creative. She made tree ornaments by covering empty goose eggs with the foil from chocolate wrappers and cut up old Christmas cards for decorations.

Since there was nowhere to buy gift wrap, she sewed bags out of brightly covered fabric for the presents. We've done the same ever since. I can't bear to use sheets and sheets of paper to wrap a pile of gifts, just to see them in the trash a day later.

Two exceptions: I always find pretty paper for weddings, because it somehow just seems right. And second, it is just too wonderful to see a little kid tearing into his presents with high excitement. I'll happily wrap in paper for Q, just to see that glee.

The rest of our gifts go in the soft Christmas bags, which makes the wrapping incredibly fast besides eco-friendly. I used to make a few each year to fit whatever odd sized gifts were being given and didn't fit my general bag size. I haven't sewed any new ones since Q was born and all my spare time disappeared somehow, but it's fun to bring out the same colorful bags each year, like familiar tree ornaments.

This was supposed to be a pre-Christmas post, but I guess it's better late than never. Besides, by now, holiday fabric is certainly on sale at 75% off, so consider buying a few yards. It doesn't take much skill to make bags – heck, you could do it with a stapler if you don't sew, and you might make some new Christmas memories!


Mamacita Tina said...

A fabulous idea! I like to occasionally buy gift bags also, in the idea that it can be reused. I know whenever I receive a gift in one, I do.

Mir said...

That's totally brilliant.

Andrew's mommy said...

That is a great tradition. Thanks for sharing!

Karianna said...

Great idea. My in-laws have sent us some gifts wrapped in felt bags before, but they were the really cheap felt that itches!

ewe are here said...

What a great idea!

Lady M said...

It just occurred to me that I should get the sewing machine out and make some birthday fabric bags too.