As usual, being away over the Christmas period and moreover staying in quite a rural area, I usually don't really get to do much Christmas sale shopping. I did, however, manage to dip a little toe in the water and visit a couple of favoured shops, mainly to buy some reduced Christmas items for next year, and a couple of gifts to give for upcoming birthdays.
It was, however, mostly a case of buying Christmas cards for close family members, gift boxes/bags, some kraft paper bows and tags, and jute ribbon for wrapping gifts next year. I avoided buying any wrapping paper, as I still have several rolls left over from this year that should suffice and I'm definitely going for a more natural and recyclable theme next year.
I have already decided, after reading a few blog posts on my return, that I am going to run up some fabric gift bags for wrapping gifts next year and for reuse after that. They can easily be washed and ironed ready for re-use.
In addition, after watching some YouTube videos on Furoshiki, the Japanese art of wrapping using fabric, I am intending to use up some of my vast fabric stash to make Furoshiki wraps and get creative with wrapping using this system. It feels like quite an exciting departure for me and it will still allow the recipient the excitement of unwrapping the gift.
As I already have a stack of Christmas and other fabric, I should be able to do this throughout the year and it will help me use the fabric, which is otherwise just taking up precious storage space. I will still be using some wrapping paper, for gifts to people outside of our small family unit, but for most of our presents, I will definitely be attempting to reduce waste substantially.
Talking of presents, I received some lovely presents this Christmas, most of which I asked for. A mini yoghurt maker to avoid all of the packaging that goes with buying yoghurts every week, a couple of books relating to living simply, some socks, chocolate, vegan perfume and a wireless mouse that I'm using whilst typing this post.
I was very happy with these gifts and am looking forward to making good use of them. We also received some lovely handmade gifts from friends. I really liked them and loved that they were hand made. Most other gifts we received were consumable or recyclable which is perfect.
I myself didn't get around to making as many homemade gifts as I wanted to this year, as the jars I had ordered to put them in didn't arrive, but I did give a couple of homemade lip balms and a paw balm away as gifts. Hopefully they will get used.
As it is LB's birthday next week, I am now in the throws of organising any gifts I might be giving her. (Most were purchased before Christmas). January is always a busy month for birthdays in this household, so I've had to buy a whole bunch of cards today. I've just realised how expensive it now is to post cards to Australia, where my sister lives. It's her son's birthday next week and it will now cost over £2 to send a single card. I was pretty shocked, but will be sending it all the same. As he is now over the age of 21 and is working, this will be the first year that I don't send a present. I hope he doesn't mind too much.