To wrapping paper that is!
Growing up, everything was always wrapped under the tree and with the way my step-father unwrapped presents (no ripping into those presents for him)….Christmas morning ended up lasting into the afternoon. I’ve never personally been a fan of wrapping gifts, I’m terrible at it and I just find that it is such a complete waste of time when I could be doing so many other things.
As young parents we didn’t have much money, so the extra cost of wrapping paper and tape meant that we would have to budget less for the actual gift. We didn’t want to do that, and so our “not wrapping presents tradition” was born. As the years have gone on, I have come to appreciate our not wrapping tradition for a great many more things then just cost and the giant time suck that is wrapping. The amount of garbage and landfill space taken up by holiday waste is incredible. Toys already come with SO MUCH extra packing garbage that gets tossed, adding wrapping paper and bows and packing material exponentially increases that amount.
When I talk about not wrapping gifts, I always get a mixed reaction from whatever group of people I am talking with. Some people think it’s awesome and jump on the bandwagon with not wrapping gifts. Some people think it’s weird, and even more think we are ruining Christmas for our kids. It’s this last group that stumps me, because I just can’t imagine how wrapping paper is so important that it would ruin a holiday. The joy and excitement are almost palpable Christmas morning when my kids wake up to their unwrapped presents under the tree….seeing their faces, I know that nothing has been ruined for them. They spend the same amount of time…if not more examining each gift as their wrapped present peers. There is no rush to see what’s under that paper, so they take time to play with each toy before moving onto the next because they can see everything they received. I do not think my way is better, however I think it has a lot of advantages that some people just dismiss.
There are many alternatives to traditional wrapping paper that I urge people to consider if your a wrapper. While we don’t wrap at all, or use anything to “hide” the gifts…many people use giant bags made from cloth, or reusable large gift bags. While I understand that many people want their kids to “unwrap” things…please consider the huge amount of waste that you and so many others will be making on Christmas Day and consider a reusable alternative.