Eco Friendly Parcel Wrapping

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Throw Away Wrapping Paper is estimated that Americans spend over $7 billion dollars on gift wraps each year. And most of this is not recyclable, some because it is foil or plastic based and the rest is extremely thin and covered in ink and costs too much to recycle.

In the UK, it is estimated that 227,000 miles of wrapping paper is thrown away. The earth itself is 25,000 miles in circumference, so that paper would wrap around the world at the equator NINE times! Again, plastic or foil wraps are NOT recyclable but some of the wrapping paper is, though it will be covered in a great deal of ink, which again, requires chemicals to remove.

The average American adult gives 42 gifts each year and the average British child receives about 16 gifts a year, which is a lot of wrapping. So what to do?

Don’t Spoil The Surprise

The wrapping paper is a big part of gift giving. It hides the present until the last minute, it takes time to unwrap and contributes to the overall mystery and excitement of Christmas.

Santa Does Not Bring ALL The Gifts

While Santa brings some gifts, most of the presents a child receives will be from their parents and family and these could be wrapped in recyclable paper.

Where Do You Get Recyclable Wrapping Paper

You make your own. You may not be able to get Santa to wrap his presents in recyclable paper, though it would be nice if you could add that in your letter to Santa but all the presents from friends and family could be wrapped in brown kraft wrapping paper, which is available cheaply at all stationery shops and many corner shops too.

Not very exciting? Ah but that’s where the fun comes in – you can make your own decorated wrapping paper very easily from brown wrapping paper and it’s something the kids can join in with too.

Here is a blog post from a UK firm that sells brown wrapping paper giving you loads of ideas on how to create the most delicious wrapping paper around, while having lots of fun. If your kids belong to a group, such as scouts or a homeschooling group or a church group or something similar, you could use these ideas for a fun meeting where everyone can create their own unique wrapping paper. Use water based paints and potato prints, hand prints or even brush splatters to create something completely different.

Gift wrapping does not stop with wrapping the parcel. You can also add recyclable tying material, like garden twine or raffia and decorate your own luggage labels instead of using printed labels. Add more decorations with found items like pine cones or snippets from evergreens.

Here are some more ideas for wrapping your Christmas parcels, without needing to use bows. Instead, you use some different wrapping papers and make one a pattern on top of another. Confused? Take a look at Jade Boyer’s wrapping ideas¬†and you’ll soon be buzzing with ways to wrap presents. Just make sure you use recyclable paper.

Christmas Eve Box

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The Christmas Eve Box

You or the kids too excited to settle to anything on Christmas Eve? Hard waiting for Santa to arrive? What about preparing a Christmas Eve Box to make the waiting more bearable and have a Merry Christmas Eve?

It’s a great new tradition that you may want to start for yourself or your own family of a box or bag to open on Christmas Eve. It doesn’t have to contain anything massively expensive. It can be one box for each person or one for the whole family. Certainly a family bag or box could help lessen the overall cost.


Some Ideas For Inclusions

You may want to put in Christmas PJs, or onesies to start off the Christmas spirit and keep everyone warm and cosy. You could also include a movie, especially a Christmas themed one, plus some candy, hot chocolate, etc. It’s easier to include single items, like movies, if you use a family box, rather than individual boxes, though if your family are at the stage where they don’t want to watch a movie together, you may decide to include games for various machines and then perhaps individual boxes would be better.

Less Expensive Items

Christmas socks.

These can have non-slip soles for running around shoe-less, without slipping and sliding on polished floors. You can go for non-Christmas themed socks, such as superheroes, or cartoon animals, or Christmas themes. Non slip socks are available for men, women and children and can be a useful gift for a senior in a hospital or care home.


Christmas music playing softly in the background can be a great way of keeping the whole family calm, while still excited about Christmas. There are many compilations you can buy as CDs or download straight onto a player. And if you want to listen to Christmas music for free, try these original Victorian themed Christmas songs, available online.


There are many children’s books about Christmas, whether religious or secular, depending on your preference. Or why not treat yourself to a Christmas themed book? A number of genres include stories with a Christmas setting or theme, including romance, horror, crime, etc. There are also puzzle and coloring books available with Christmas themes. If you are buying coloring or puzzle books, remember to include pencils or crayons, plus a safety sharpener and perhaps an eraser. If your box includes electric toys, remember batteries.

Pet Presents

If you have a family pet, you may wish to include them in the Christmas Eve celebrations, perhaps with pet treats or even a Christmas costume, if your pet would wear it.

After Christmas Events

Your Christmas Eve box may be the place to surprise the family with an after Christmas event, such as Pantomime tickets, or a visit to an ice skating rink or even a ballet or concert. If you like to take a holiday at Christmas, then your Christmas Eve box could be something light to take along with you on holiday, leaving the Christmas presents back at home ready for your return. You can still carry Christmas with you.

Christmas Eve Splurges

Your Christmas Eve box could also include things to do with Christmas, like art for the Christmas tree, such as painted slates or wooden shapes to hang on the tree. These are novel decorations that you can either purchase from a local artist or buy blank to decorate yourself. This could be an activity to keep children occupied and provides keepsakes for that particular Christmas.

Other Christmas Eve Box Gifts

Depending on the age, gender and composition of your Christmas Eve gathering, you might include gifts like¬†jewelry, silver photo frames, tickets for a holiday, or even non-monetary gifts such as paper promises of time spent with someone. Some really desirable gifts might be an evening’s baby sitting, a promise to wash the dishes (or fill the dishwasher) or tidy a room or declutter a cupboard, or even read a long story over several nights to a child. These do not cost the donor any money but provide very welcome gifts., because you are giving the gift of your time and attention.

Leave A Comment

Got a great idea for a Christmas Eve Box item? Leave a comment and share it with us.


Does Santa Exist

www.merrychristmascountdown.comMany years ago, in 1897, an eight-year old girl called Virginia, wondered whether Santa Claus was real because some of her friends had been saying he was not. She wrote to the editor of The New York Sun and received a reply that you can read in the museum of newspapers.

The same question is being asked today,especially by young children who have been told “the truth” by teachers (!) friends and other well-meaning people who believe in never lying and telling only facts and truth to everyone. Some of these people may be religious, others may be rationalists and some may be extremely factual people who will not even read fiction stories, “because they are lies”.

Do You Believe In Santa?

Do puppies, kittens and baby animals in general melt your heart? What about sunsets, sunrises or rainbows? How about babies learning to walk, a sandy coconut island, or gardens full of flowers or a fresh snowy landscape? Those skies, landscapes or animals are beautiful because we PERCEIVE them that way.

Have you ever experienced serendipity, a helpful coincidence or a lucky break? Maybe you went into an exam only having studied a couple of subjects and found those on the exam paper? Perhaps you found a piece of money exactly when you most needed it? Maybe your car broke down near a garage, rather than out on the freeway or the middle of a traffic jam? Maybe you heard about a new technique or a helpful book, just when you needed it most? Perhaps you found a new recipe just in time for Christmas or someone’s visit or birthday? Most of us are lucky at one time or another, provided we look out for luck and are open to it and not the opposite.

Has anyone ever been unconditionally kind to you? Maybe gave you something you really needed without expecting anything in return? A suit for an interview or funeral perhaps? Maybe your bus fare or taxi fare home when you had no money? A bunch of flowers when you needed to say sorry or even found you a birthday card for your friend when the shops were shut? Maybe a phone call when you just needed to hear a human voice or someone calling to say they missed you? Maybe you have even felt that someone was sending you a message that kept you from harm? When we give unconditionally, very often we also receive unconditional kindness or love.

Can you honestly say that you have NEVER felt or experienced any of these things? Only if you have never felt any of these things can you truly say there is no Santa. Santa is the embodiment of the perception of beauty, luck and unconditional kindness; and whenever you feel or experience any of those things, Santa becomes more real. At Christmas time, we are more open to appreciating this and also to giving to others but it can and should happen at any time of year.

Merry Christmas. And may Santa bring you your heart’s desire.