This is something I *have* to try! Perhaps I can steal borrow an old teacup from my mum and pop a few of our succulents in there?
From my earliest days, I remember this practice of a Christmas morning.
We would never rip into presents in gleeful abandon (not having any siblings probably helped with this), but carefully unwrap them, sliding a finger under each piece of sticky-tape and almost reverentially separating it from the paper. Wincing, if it started to tear, and our aim to upwrap a near-pristine piece of paper looked like coming unravelled!
My mother always carefully collected Christmas and birthday wrapping paper to re-use at a future date. I’m not sure whether she inherited the process from her mother, but it is an unshakable part of my being to this day. Throughout my childhood, whenever a friend had a birthday, I would buy their present, then venture into the hall cupboard, where mum kept the stash of wrapping paper – carefully folded in an old paper bag. I would pull it out, and sort through the pieces until just the right one for this particular present presented itself!
I still, at 27 years old, follow this careful ritual when unwrapping a present. I have now begun my own collection of old wrapping paper, to be re-used when the perfect combination of present and paper occurs.
In fact, a little bit of me still winces in horror when I see other people gleefully ripping their giftwrap to shreds. That little voice in my head cries ‘what a waste’ – and it is! CopperWiki suggests that we throw away an estimated 83 square kilometres of wrapping paper each year! Now, I try and do my bit to live a sustainable life, and this is just one more little way I try to both save the environment, and save money, too.
The funny thing is, I never had to make this decision. It was made for me during all of those Christmases and birthdays where I would, under the loving gaze of my mum and dad, carefully unwrap every gift with care, and peek my way, bit by bit, into the mystery of the present beneath.
So – what do you do? Are you one of the wrapping-paper-collecting hordes, or do you end up with a great big garbage bag of paper each Christmas?
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