We celebrated a birthday this week. It was Dad’s! Well, not my Dad, but the Dad in our house… of my children. I love birthdays. We tend to extend them over the week and do as much as possible to over indulge and make the birthday boy or girl feel extra gooey special.
However, birthday celebrations have gotten a bit “Pinteresty” for my taste. Not that I don’t love decorations and fancy matching name cards (for 3 year olds) and all that designy stuff that looks amazing. I love it so. It just gets so expensive and time-consuming, both of which are on my “do less of” list, at least during this stage of my life. There’s also a strange phenomenon going on where Moms, who should all support each other, compete against each other on who can make the most Pinteresty party. Haha… ha.. ha……….Sigh. It’s not funny, really.
I must admit, I do get sucked into this Pinterest world at times. We all do. But for the most part, I just try to remember that the only thing that really matters is time spent with one another. Friends, family, tasty food, music and splashes of simple creativity are what truly make a party good.
Which brings me to gifts. I LOVE unwrapping gifts, but feel sad about all the resources used to make wrapping paper when a majority of it doesn’t get recycled. And gift bags, well… I kind of hate gift bags. (No offense gift bag people.) But isn’t it more fun to unwrap a present? And can’t we take the teensy amount of time to wrap a gift for someone? Or if not, just be honest and say, “Hey, I didn’t have time to wrap this, but here!” What’s wrong with humility?? I have gift bags hanging around my house everywhere and I just stare at them, uncertain of what to do. They are too nice to get rid of and I forget to use them so they just add up at their $2-$4/bag price point. Hmm, what could we do with all the money spent on gift bags?
So how do I handle gifts? Years ago I started purchasing a huge Kraft Paper butcher roll from Amazon. Let’s talk about the cool aspects of owning a big kraft paper butcher roll:
1.) Having a big butcher paper roll in your office is artsy. I love this. It looks cool and is full of possibilities.
2.) Kraft paper is recyclable, uses no inks and always available, for any event or season. Add a ribbon and voila!
3.) It enables creativity. For every gift we wrap, another activity is created for my kids (and me.) They draw, decorate, practice their writing, cutting and dexterity.
Ours may not be the prettiest gifts, but they certainly are the most enjoyable. And of course, sometimes I do use wrapping paper if I see an amazing print for a special occasion. It’s hard to resist. But, I do look for recycled brands like Wrappily. Have you seen them? Simply wonderful and lovely prints! Grab your tissue box to read about the trash statistics, though…
Hmm, maybe I should start a line of eco-friendly wrapping paper…
Disclaimers: I give credit to my sister for this idea. She has used kraft paper for over a decade and is an inspiration for many of my “ideas”. Also, the Nordstrom bag below was our ‘box’ for the shirt we purchased. I call it “gritty”.