Last Christmas I learned a few things. Thing number one: Fabric Gift Bags. I am reposting this now so that those of us (ahem) who are really seriously on it, can keep this in mind as a possible "To Do" for their holiday list.
Last year I spent Christmas with a friend's family. This fabulous and crafty friend shared a secret with me, and now I am sharing it with you. The new thing is fabric gift bags instead of paper.
Brilliant! I personally am not a fan of red and green, I rarely do "normal" for Christmas. It certainly doesn't have to be just holiday themed patterns though. In fact, I am adopting an entire spectrum of these bags for birthdays and such as well... and this neutral bag with the tree on the front is another lovely idea. I think stamped or silk screened pine cones would be gorgeous. I haven't taken on silk screening before, but I have a friend who does it and would probably be willing to do a trade. Regardless... this is the most easy peasy sewing project imaginable!
In the end, the bags cost less than paper if you use them over and over and I can't tell you how amazing it was that there was no crazy obscene mess of torn paper as an aftermath last Christmas morning. When I asked her if her kids missed the ripping and tearing into gifts, she replied that there were still gifts from outside the family (or from grandparents) that came wrapped in paper for that. And that when the gifts are torn into, often it becomes more about ripping open gift after gift without having much appreciation for what is inside. I tend to agree with that... having seen the youngest in more than one paper ripping frenzy. Christmas was very calm and lovely, and the cleanup was not only far more eco... but super easy. All the bags fit into one big one to be stored with the decorations. Or with your wrapping whatnots, whichever you prefer. I am looking into wooden gift tags as well... or durable cardstock ones. There are a number of possibilities and since your family members will probably keep their names, re-use is a simple option :)