Yesterday my husband asked me to please not to buy any glossy wrapping paper this year. "I can't recycle it, and I can't burn it," he reasoned. "Can we get some more of that plain brown paper, and the kids can decorate it?"
Well, sure. But Santa can't pull off plain brown paper, people. Instead of arguing with his all too valid observations, I went shopping.
First stop: JoAnne's Fabrics. There were a bunch of 100% cotton fabrics on sale at half off--in Christmassy prints. At $4 a yard, it's more expensive than Santa usually spends. But it won't be thrown away. Instead, these same fabrics will reappear next year. I bought a skein of chubby yarn to tie it shut. This year, Santa wraps in fabric.
Next stop: Staples. I was happy to find a roll of what they labeled "Banner Paper" measuring 36" by 52...feet! In other words, there was about five times as much paper on this roll than on an average glossy roll of wrap. The paper is uncoated, bright white and completely recyclable. The weight approximates good quality butcher's paper. It cost $7. It was pretty much the best thing I've ever bought from that soul crushing hell known as Staples.
Next stop: my basement. I took a couple of fingerling potatoes out of storage and then dug out some 20 year old lino cutting tools. The tools have "V" shaped blades, allowing me to easily carve a design into a halved potato. But a sharp paring knife would have also worked.
I told myself I'd wait until the kids were hope from school, but I just couldn't help myself. I made a sheet of wrapping paper solo, and promptly experienced that same Eureka! I-am-a-Freaking-Genius feeling I get whenever a craft works even marginally well.
Oh, and the kids enjoyed it too.