So I try not to even think about Christmas until after Thanksgiving, because I really like Thanksgiving–lots of food, you hang out with your family, but no pressure to give/receive gifts and not many songs (which are festive and exciting for like a week and then just aggravating). The thing is, due to limited financial resources and a tendency to obsess about things, I usually make most of the presents we give away. Sometimes this backfires (Dad, I PROMISE you I will finish that damn scarf–enjoy it because I’m never making another one), but normally I feel like it lets me get really into the spirit of things without the horrendous mall warfare and checkout line-rage.

Making things yourself, particularly if you have a big family/a lot of friends, necessitates starting things a bit earlier than usual. I’ve already figured out what our friends are getting, but I won’t be discussing that here, for obvious reasons (*cough*Sadye*cough*Emily). However, the other night Jimmy brought up a good point–he thinks we should focus on making less waste this year, on reducing our footprint where we can. I love me some wrapping paper–I like buying gift wrap as much as, or more than, I like shopping for actual gifts–and I never put a lot of thought into it because I figured it was just paper. But Jimmy did some checking and discovered that as far as recycling goes around here, foiled and flocked papers are both big no-nos. Which are, of course, what I immediately flock (HA you see what I did there) toward in the stores.

The other day, I found this image on (where else) Pinterest, from Style Me Pretty:

I was really inspired by how much the stylist did with so little in the color and flash department–just soft, natural browns and whites. And so, we decided to do something similar, only with brown kraft paper for maximum recyclability/multi-purposefulness. While I was at it, I thought I’d try and do it as cheaply as possible, so I ran by our local dollar store and Goodwill.

At the dollar store I picked up five rolls of brown kraft paper ($1 per 45-square-foot roll), 2 packages of white crepe paper ($1 per package of two rolls), 2 packages of white tissue paper ($1 for 40 sheets), 3 packages of ivory/gold tissue paper ($1 for 8 sheets), 4 brown kraft gift bags ($1 for 2) and a package of little gold bells ($1 for 9). I’m also digging into my fabric/wedding leftovers/craft stash for bits of fabric, paper, yarn, and shiny things to make it happen. While I don’t feel like starting on presents just yet, I’m going to go ahead and start making little knickknacks to dress up my packages with (like the inspiration image above, except that ours will be primarily white on brown) in the hour or so each evening when I’m winding down for bed. I’ll keep you posted. (Not on the gifts, though. Those will have to wait until after Christmas).

Are you doing anything differently this year (planning ahead, trying to be eco-friendly, eschewing gifts, etc.)? Tell us about it!