Saturday, January 2, 2010

Cheap Christmas

The holidays might be over, the presents wrapped, gifted and opened, and the toys have all been played with. But here in our house the shopping has just begun! The after holiday sales are often some of the best to stock up on necessities for the next holiday season. Yes, we buy for next year *this* year. One of the best ways to save and have a thrifty holiday without seeming cheap is to plan ahead, but I find that to be true with anything. If you plan ahead and don't find yourself in a pinch and forced to pay full price you will save money in the long run.

So this year some of the things we stocked up on for next year are wrapping paper, ribbons, bows and all the trimmings for wrapping gifts next Christmas. Because wrapping supplies are non-perishable and they don't really go out of style I try to plan ahead so I have enough for next year and won't have to pay full price for something that will end up crumpled in a pile and tossed in the landfill.

But my best secret to saving on wrapping supplies? Every year when we are given gifts we end up with literally dozens of those adorable gift bags. We have a stash of beautiful gift bags from Christmas, birthdays, new baby gifts, housewarming presents, and the list goes on. I never throw them away. Not only are they just to pretty to toss, it's nice to know that hanging onto them and reusing or repurposing them helps keep one more item out of our landfills. So these gift bags are used around here for storage of small items like my girls hair items or their tights. We use them for storing craft supplies and school supplies. And the really nice bags that are still in brand new condition are used again to give a gift. I think it's fabulous when we receive a gift that is in a beautiful bag that was used before to give a gift. The principle behind it is one that can be appreciated--in our culture we suffer from consumerism and this is just one way of battling that. Is the gift any less thoughtful because it is in a bag that was used before? I think not.
Some of the wrapping paper we have found on clearance. The black and white paper is actually velvety and so beautiful!

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