Inspired by this article, a heap of grocery bags and my poverty, I took to my roots and said to hell with wrapping paper; opted instead for locally sourced products, like, say, all those brown paper bags under my kitchen sink.
See, from age seven to twelve-ish, I would traipse through my grandmother’s house, procuring “gifts” from drawers, countertops and closets. I’d flitch the newspaper, scissors and tape, and head into Nana’s room, Grettle, the trusty daschund, underfoot. There, in my wrapping kingdom, I’d measure and cut, cut and measure. I’d wrap through a roll of tape and an entire LA Times. With inkprint fingers, I declared it gift giving time: Dad would get a box of Triskets, my brother, a half-eaten dog bone, my sister, a pair of Nana’s earrings. Sundays were best, as my grandmother loved anything wrapped in comics. But it could be any old day. No special occasion needed. My mother always joked I should get a job at the Nordstrom’s wrapping counter.
Since those carefree days, I’ve grown disillusioned with the notion of passing out gifts at Christmas; I hardly purchase any at all, except for my young nieces. But this year, I’d already spent more than I should have on the goods, and I still didn’t have anything to wrap it in. No fear–paper bags near!
I know my sister will laugh and her husband will utter some comment involving the words “dirty hippy.” But Maddie and Brooke? They won’t know the difference between my grocery bags and five-dolla a roll santa paper. See, they still have the spirit of Christmas.
My favorite part is that I cut up a Vanity Fair for embellishments; my only regret: I didn’t have double sided tape to attach the details with. And those little blue circles–oh ya, they’re from the scent strip of a Ralph Lauren cologne advertisement. That’s right, they smell like hot, hunky, gorgeous man. And what six-month-old from Kansas doesn’t want that for Christmas? I’m certainly hoping there’s one under my tree.
Me? I’m just slicing up and repurposing in a tiny, tiny way. Check out what this guy is doing. His studio, his whirly-gigs, his nightlights are amazing. When you come for the wedding, be sure to check out the shop, Hutch.
And you–how are you saving money and or making the season more meaningful? Am I the only one resorting to scrounging? Have you recycled any goods into gifts?
Your pressies look a lot like mine, but the addition of perfume strips is GENIUS.
And I really appreciated your comment, it meant a lot to me.
Meghan, you know what they say about necessity being the mother of invention! I want to see your pics–send em over!
I love it! I think it’s a frugal Christmas for everyone this year – for me it’s all about the food experience, creating memories and spending time with family. I saw an episode of 30 Rock where Jack and Liz had to give each other a “thoughtful” gift and they weren’t allowed to spend any money. That episode has been my gift giving mantra this year. Thanks to your thought provoking blog now I have some great ideas for wrapping too and I can finally find a use for all those stupid plastic bags I have because I’ve forgotten to take my own bag to the supermarket.
Oh, D, whatcha gonna do with the plastic bags? Ha ha, I’m glad I can be “thought provoking!” Long distance Aussie hug. xo
Old maps are also great for wrapping paper and look pretty cool.
Oh, this is a great idea, Laura! In fact, N has a whole box of old maps I’m sure he won’t mind me cutting, taping and tying up. Right, honey? 😉 Okay, okay, I’ll find some of my own.