by Tammy Taylor
Years ago I became aware of the massive amounts of trash caused by gift wrapping. I hated that wrapping paper, although beautiful, was simply trash seconds after that gift was opened. There used to be mountains of it after our family Christmas celebration, all destined for our local landfill. Right then & there I began to search for lower-waste gift wrapping options.
Last week I shared with you my method of using colorful bandannas and other festive cloth for our smaller gifts. That cloth was either folded creatively or tied with ribbon. My family knows these are my reusable wrappings & they happily return them to me after the gift is opened. I’m able to reuse this cloth to be used year after year. But today I’m going to share with you our low-waste basket decorations.
RancherMan & I almost always make all of our own gifts for Christmas. We often bundle those special homemade gifts into gift baskets. This year included in our basket is apple pie filling, cinnamon applesauce, homemade pumpkin granola and pear preserves. We’ll add some kind of home-baked goodie too. (we’ll wait until the last minute to make it to maintain freshness.)
Choosing The Container To Hold Our Gifts
For our baskets RancherMan & I picked up these colorful tubs to hold our gifts. We chose them knowing our kids could use them afterward in their homes. They can be used for grandbaby toys, DVD movies, kitchen storage – almost anything! Now even though our simple gift from the heart involves several hours of labor for both myself & RancherMan, my mama always told me “Presentation Is Half The Gift”. And of course she is absolutely correct! So after the gift was assembled I looked for the prettiest way to present the basket. Sometimes I use a basket wrap tied with a ribbon. But this year I really liked the look of gift baskets without additional wrapping. (which of course speaks to my crunchy-green heart.)
Repurposed Filler For Gift Baskets
After pulling out the tubs and figuring out what kind of space I needed to tuck in our gifts, I asked RancherMan to bring me a couple of completely shaken-out cattle cake feed bags. There are three different layers in each of these bags – the printed layer on the outside and two plain brown-paper layers underneath. I tore away the printed layer and was left with two large pieces of plain brown paper – LOVE IT! I took one of the sheets and tore it down to size and used it to give an elevated bottom to the bucket, allowing for better display of our gift.
Then I cut another largish-sheet of brown paper and fan-folded it, careful not to overly crease it and cut strips to make a cool-looking cover over the crinkled-paper bottom. (some people could accomplish this with a shredder but we don’t have one)
So our gift baskets this year are primarily consumable food in reusable jars placed in a handy reusable tub. And it’s presented using only plain brown paper that can either be composted or used as a fire-starter in their own fireplace. I really like the way the baskets turned out and I know our kids will love them too!
Merry Christmas, Y’all!