Greetings Thrifty Sisters! Once again, I seem to be following my recent trend of writing on the week of a holiday, and this month is no different! To those of you who are celebrating Christmas, Merry Christmas! And for those of you who may be celebrating different holidays, may the joy of the season fill your hearts with happiness and good cheer!
In this ever-joyous time of year, I don’t mean to be a Debbie Downer, but do take time to think about your holiday waste. According to the Stanford University, (https://lbre.stanford.edu/pssistanford-recycling/frequently-asked-questions/frequently-asked-questions-holiday-waste-prevention), “Americans throw away 25% more trash during the Thanksgiving to New Year’s holiday period than any other time of year. The extra waste amounts to 25 million tons of garbage, or about 1 million extra tons per week!
If every family reused just two feet of holiday ribbon, the 38,000 miles of ribbon saved could tie a bow around the entire planet. If every American family wrapped just 3 presents in re-used materials, it would save enough paper to cover 45,000 football fields. The 2.65 billion Christmas cards sold each year in the U.S. could fill a football field 10 stories high. If we each sent one card less, we’d save 50,000 cubic yards of paper.”
That’s a lot of rubbish! No wonder our collection companies seem to run later and later each week during the holiday season. My family has always saved the “nice” Christmas wraps and bows and ribbons. I remember doing this as a kid and continue to do so, even to this day. I think that some of it was out of necessity, as I remember in my college days it was tricky enough to purchase gifts, let alone give them their full wrapping glory. But, thanks to the gift-wrapping collections that I had started to save, and get to borrow from my folks’ house, one could really make their gift shine by reusing ribbons, bows and even papers, as well as gift bags and tissue paper.
But, just think about all of the crafty possibilities that one could discover with wrapping paper – check out these 19 ways to reuse your gift papers throughout the house and all year: https://www.buzzfeed.com/alessiasantoro/reduce-reuse-recycle-that-wrapping-paper
Many of you might find that you have extra cloth scraps from mask making this year. Put those scraps to good use and make some cloth gift bags. Check out a tutorial here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G42yfB_eqAc You could get even get extra crafty and sew different fabrics together to make bigger bag options with your scraps. And don’t forget about the recycled ribbon options one could add to this project!
Recently, my son and I pulled out the good ol’ jar of hot cocoa mixes and enjoyed a nice cup of cocoa while he was doing laundry. I always forget how nice and soothing a warm drink on a chilly day is. That first cocoa always makes me want to get creative with my warm beverages. And by creative, I mean how much Irish Cream would be appropriate in that cocoa cup, but that just might be me. Ha!
In all seriousness, though, warm beverages during the holidays, and beyond, are always a treat. Here’s 60 warm beverage options for you to try out. One can always make these beverages with or without extra spirits, depending on your audience. https://www.countryliving.com/food-drinks/g2087/winter-holiday-drink-recipes/
And with that my Thrifty Sisters, Happy Holidays to each of you! I have heard that Zoom has once again taken off their 40-minute limit to accommodate families who will be apart this season. Fully enjoy the opportunities to wrap you gifts in recycled options (and remember that you can do this year-round!) while appreciating those warm beverages. Warm wishes to each of you, as you remember to keep on keepin’ it thrifty and fun, all year long.