I love the holidays. I find it especially rewarding to slow down when everything around me is speeding up. I love going for long walks on the empty streets of our neighborhood when the malls are packed, or wandering on trails in the woods with the (almost) silent sound of wind whistling in my ears.
I’m not a total grinch though! I love giving gifts to friends, family, and non-profit organizations, and I enjoy getting into the holiday spirit on a concrete level, not just an ethereal one. Much like other aspects of my life, I have re-engineered the gift giving process and created my own unique ways of doing so.
As you can see in the photo above, rather than packaging gifts in expensive new wrapping paper that will go into the trash heap and straight to the landfill, I like to cover gifts in newspaper (that I’ve read), giving it a second use. I enshrine this reused newsprint with a big, beautiful, piece of ribbon. After consumption, the newspaper can be recycled and the ribbon can be saved for another use. I’ve wrapped gifts this way for years and decided it’s about time that I share this money saving process with y’all!
The gift depicted above is for a very dear friend. The recipient will remain a mystery, but I will reveal the contents of these packages. The bottom box contains a re-furbished vitamix, the top box, one of my favorite books, The Lives of the Kings and Queens of England.
Here are some of my tips and tricks to help you reduce, reuse and recycle during the holidays, so that we can protect the planet we are so lucky to live on, while we celebrate!
How to Reduce, Reuse and Recycle During the Holidays
- Make homemade gifts such as healthy cookies, candy, lip balm or a knit scarf or hat.
- If you don’t enjoy making things, go to a local craft fair to purchase hand made foods and other goods and support local artisans.
- Give used items such as books, or if you’re looking for clothing or high end gifts, investigate gently used merchandise on TheRealReal.com or a local consignment store (I shop at Common Threads which has locations in Boulder and Denver).
- Give the gift of your time by offering a massage, babysitting, walking your neighbor’s dog, or gardening for them.
- Give a monetary gift to charity, or offer to do an afternoon of service in honor of a friend or loved one.
The boys know that I don’t like to waste and they regularly wrap gifts to me in newsprint! As you can see, when I purchase envelopes, I buy them in this plain naturally colored shade that does not contain artificial dyes or bleach.
How do you conserve during the holidays? What tips do you have for all of us? Please leave a comment and let us know!
All of the Jewish holidays have fabulous culinary traditions, and Hanukkah is no exception. During Hanukkah, we celebrate the miracle of lights with fried food. How is frying connected to Judaism? I’ll get to that in a minute. First, a few words about this apple fritter recipe, a spectacular Hanukkah dessert. Sweet rings of freshly sliced apple are dipped in a grain-free, nut-free batter made of coconut flour, arrowroot powder, and eggs, then deep fried until golden and crispy.
Fried foods […]
When I discovered that Starbucks was coming out with a Chestnut Praline Latte, I decided it was on! Yes, I’m taking on the behemoth of beverages with my healthy version of this festive holiday drink. My caffeine-free Chestnut Praline Latte is made with real chestnuts, coconut milk, and nourishing Dandelion Coffee. According to Starbucks, their Chestnut Praline Latte contains “espresso, steamed milk, and flavors of caramelized chestnuts and spices.”
Yes, I know it’s mighty easy to go to Starbucks and order […]
Below is a list of what I think are the 10 Best Children’s Books. Books don’t ever go out of style, they make fantastic gifts for the holidays, and great birthday gifts as well! These classic novels will delight children and adults alike. I’ve read each and every one of these books and they are fantastic. Alongside each book is my personal mini-review, and below that a plot summary (usually the book jacket) in quotes from amazon.com.
10 Best Children’s Books
Just the other day, my children and I were discussing the etymology (i.e., derivation) of the word “eggnog.” According to Wikipedia, the drink may have originated in England, and it is possible that it developed from a drink called “posset,” a beverage made of hot milk. Eggnog’s second syllable, “nog,” seems to have come from the word “noggin” which is from 16th century English and appears to mean “small cup or mug.”
This Eggnog recipe is based on Alton Brown’s eggnog. […]