Wrapping Gifts With Calendars   Leave a comment

Several years ago in my quest for a way to have beautiful/interesting gift wrap that does not waste resources I stumbled upon the idea to use old calendar pages, and I have to highly recommend this. They don’t work for every gift, but it is part of the “arsenal” of gift wrap. Arsenal may  be an odd choice of words, but I think that it is appropriate since different types of gifts/gift giving situations require different strategies for wrapping. My arsenal contains gift bags, newspaper, butcher paper (from buying things online), tissue paper, calendars, paint, stamps with colored and metallic inks (although I haven’t used them in a couple years so they may be dry), ribbons, and various silk flowers and leaves from my old bookcase decoration. Oh, and this year there is one particularly large box that will be covered in a sheet as a visual shield since nothing else will work.

I gather from reading comments this year on various Facebook posts and blogs that lots of people just can’t stand the idea of not wrapping gifts with a roll of wrapping paper. I’m  not going to say that using wrapping paper is horrible for the environment and no one should do it, because that’s just not true or helpful. One could easily say the same thing about buying wall calendars or sending out Christmas cards, but for me the spiritual satisfaction of those things is enormous. Besides, I totally understand the desire to make gifts look beautiful. I spend quite a bit of time on the quest myself. The idea to use old calendars to wrap gifts came about because I love a good calendar and a pretty gift. At the end of the year I always felt bad tossing a calendar that I thoroughly enjoyed into the recycle bin. It occurred to me that many calendars have images that make for good/fun gift wrap. And there’s something that I like about using my husband’s old pirate or Darth Vader calendars to wrap gifts for him, or wrapping my mom’s gifts in old goddess calendar pages. It’s more personal than a generic roll of gift wrap that is the same for all of the gifts. For those who object to the look of newspaper or plain paper wrapping, a calendar page can also be used on just the top/front of the gift to spice it up a bit.

There is one type of person who should probably not try this strategy, though, and that’s the person who needs to get every edge and corner perfectly folded and match the patterns at the seam. Calendar pages are heavier than typical wrapping paper, so it can get difficult folding corners sometimes. They do have the hole at the top of the page and the torn edge at the bottom, and depending on the situation these may end up visible. Sometimes the best part of the image is in a corner of the page, requiring some creative wrapping to frame the image on the gift as desired. To me it is worth it and the act of wrapping the gift has become part of the gift itself.

For all that I recommend old calendars as gift wrap, I also have to recommend being more open-minded about gift wrap. Simplicity is ok. A few years ago I went to a few gift exchanges with gifts wrapped in plain paper with a nice ribbon, and I noticed that my gifts were the last to be chosen. It was almost like people expected plain paper to house lame gifts. I am rather offended by that notion, especially since I put effort into every gift and I find plain wrapping to be simply beautiful. Simplicity can be very beautiful.

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Posted December 23, 2011 by mayakey in frugal living, resource use

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