So, I have to confess that I don't really get into the holiday decorating spirit that much. Actually, truth be told, I don't get into it at all. As in, I still have my summer-themed wreath hanging on my front door. Sad, yes, I know.
I used to decorate and have an entire bin of holiday pretties in the attic but the actual act of using them has gone by the wayside over the past few years. It's for a number of reasons, none of which I can explain without being in my computer chair for hours typing, so we will leave that for another time (or maybe never at all), but let's just say this time of year you won't find my house in the community holiday open-house parade. (Side note: Has anyone ever gone on one of those? I have always wanted to! - just to fulfill that nosy bone in me, i guess.....)
My mom, on the other hand, is a Christmas fairy. Or at least she would be if such things existed. Her house is perfectly decorated with holiday flowers, homemade centerpieces with dried cranberries and candles, and holiday cards displayed in a holiday sleigh. The tree is trimmed perfectly (okay, my dad helps with that a little), the holiday menus are planned deliciously, and there is fresh pumpkin bread and hand-squeezed orange juice for Christmas morning brunch. She makes gift lists (and checks them a gazillion times) and the gifts are arranged beautifully under the tree, a pile for each family member, wrapped to perfection. Really, she is amazing. I envy it. All that and a full-time job, too. (yeah, yeah, i know... and i can't even find time to empty my dishwasher everyday.)
Anyway, back to the wrapped gifts. My mom - a.k.a: Christmas fairy lady - buys the best wrapping paper. Embossed, textured, glints of shimmery patterns in rich hues and color-saturated designs. Thick and heavy, it's the kind that scissors glide through with a satisfying 'zing' and that creases with perfection under your fingers. Soooooo much nicer than my usual dollar store roll of wrapping
Such a sad pity that it all goes into the trash after the festivities are over. :-( (I'm not even a huge save-the-earth activist person, but really, isn't it? I mean, aren't there groups out there, somewhere, picketing this time of year with 'save the wrapping paper' signs?)
And so, last year I didn't throw any of that beautiful, expensive paper away. I opened all my gifts gently and re-folded the paper and brought it home with me. And this year I wrapped all my gifts in it! My family kidded me, my husband shook his head (endearingly!) as I smoothed it all out on the living room floor, and my local dollar store mourned the loss of my meager dollars, but I couldn't be more thrilled with myself! My gifts look great and I did good by both mother earth and my wallet. And yes, there might be a faint wrinkle here or there, or a crease down the middle of a package that wouldn't normally be there, but overall it won't change the way people look at, or feel about, the gifts under the paper. And you know that is the truth!
I am doing it again this year and I challenge you to consider it too. Or at least start out small and save the bows that people rip off and leave in heaps on the floor - all they need is a little spot of tape on their bottom to be good as new, you know......
p.s - ugh! I really wanted to post pictures of the above mentioned beautiful, 2nd-time-around-wrapped gifts but my camera bit the dust last week. Great timing, huh? Guess you'll have to just use your imagination.... if it helps, they paper was red with gold snowflakes....