There was a time when the kids were tiny that we had to stretch every dollar till it squealed. We still aren’t flush but we no longer hold our breath when paying the bills waiting to see if we’ll be able to pay them all. Maybe it all started during this time in an effort to save money or maybe it was my eco activist persona that made me want waste less but somewhere along the way I began recycling Christmas wrap.
I loved Christmas when I was younger, but even then I dreaded the waste of wrapping paper. in my practical mind, to buy something for the sole purpose of it being ripped up and thrown away seemed the epitome of stupid. So I did what made sense to me, I saved it and reused it the next year. Bags, bows, boxes, gift tags and even large sections of paper were all saved. As I got older I started to hate the commercialism that had infected the holiday and also the waste and so saving the Christmas wrapping trend continued and over the years has become a tradition.
When I was younger, I was a bit embarrassed if someone happen to be visiting and see our recycled gift wrapping items. As I got older, it was a badge of honor, my own personal crusade to be frugal and help the environment. Today it became something else.
Today my tradition gifted me with a memory. As I was wrapping gifts and I pulled out a cute box decorated with snowmen to be reused. I glanced down and saw the old tag and that it had last been used by my mom and dad. Dad has been gone for 5 years now but just like that he was back with us. I sat there on the floor for almost an hour, surrounded by gifts, boxes and bows, trying to remember the exact item that had been gifted in the box previously, searching through all my Christmas memories and cherishing each one.
I loved stumbling across the old tag on the used box and the memories it brought up so much that I think our tradition will be growing and changing a little. I won’t be pulling off or covering the old tag this year, instead I’ll place the new one below it, so we can remember and cherish those gifts and gift givers from previous years. In this small way they’ll always be with us. <3