Holiday Rewrap: Start New Family Traditions This Year
A Little Bit of Love Day...
A favorite box that keeps on giving year after year
You will see in several of the articles that I have posted that selfless givng and loving others is a topic that is mentioned often.
The ways this can be accomplished are only limited by your imagination. Decide on ways your family can make any holiday special for the members of your family and for those in your community.
Rewrap...renew...give new life to holidays this year. Breathe new meaning into the holidays by thinking of those who are in need.
Make selfless giving part of each holiday this year
Consider giving back to your community in some way as a new tradition to begin with your family. If you already do these things, you are on the right track to helping us find our way back to a country that shows its caring and compassionate side. Rewrap the holidays---in the literal sense by reusing gift wrapping materials as well as figuratively, when you bring new meaning to the holidays as you make giving the focal point of the celebratory time.
- Volunteer at a soup kitchen.
- Donate food to a food bank.
- Buy a sandwich and a drink and give to a homeless person who is standing along the road with a sign, someone who is curled up in the street.
- Help a neighbor ...someone who cannot get out---go to the store for them, or, do some chores they may need done
- Call someone who is alone to brighten their day.
- Do something for someone that will make that person realize how valued they really are.
And, as you know, you do not need a holiday or an excuse to do these things. Any time is a good time to do them.
Learning about Holidays Around the World
Celebrate in a new way
You can begin some new traditions in your family. If your family is like mine, there are certain traditions that we include as part of our celebration. It makes the holidays just a little more special if that is even possible.
Something I have done since my daughter was twelve years old was celebrate the 12 days before and after Christmas. There was a reason that I began this tradition and it really did not have as much to do with Christmas as it did with reading. At that time, my daughter was not much of a reader. She would read what she HAD to read but that was the extent of her reading...she rarely if ever read for pleasure. It was not until she was in eight grade that she explained why reading was not something she enjoyed. She explained how difficult it was to read...that the words often seemed to fall off the page. Simple words caused confusion fo her when she did read. I read about dyslexia and she exhibited most of the signs. I researched and researched and together we found a way for her to survive high school.
You can do this for Valentine's Day, Easter, the Fourth of July---any holiday can be turned into a festive special time to begin new traditions.
A Sweet Little Box to Use Year After Year
Some of Our Bags from Yesteryears
The Twelve Days of Christmas Began....
Because my daughter was not a child to let something be the reason she gave up, she plodded along trying to make sense of the words on the pages. I read to her and she would read to me. I bought her a book by R.L. Stine...at that time he had written a whole series of books that she found interesting. She read that book all the way through. So, my thought was that I will give her one book a day for the twelve days before Christmas and continue this new-to-be tradition for twelve days after Christmas. It was like magic. She read and read and read. It did not cure the dyslexia but her confidence improved.
From that time on, I continued the this new tradition. Maybe you have a reason you can begin something like this with your family. You, of course, do not need a reason except to make the holidays fun and something special to anticipate each day. It takes the pressure off those packages that are now visible under the tree or hidden in closets and under beds too.
Turn this tradition into one that works for your family. Of course it does not need to be twelve days. Make it your own new family tradition.
One very special bag
When my grandson who is now 17 was eight years old, he gave me a bag for Christmas that had sweet little pictures he had drawn inserted into tiny plastic pockets. I not only got to enjoy the surprises inside of the box but had a new treasure to add to my collection.
It is still used at Christmas and my birthday. It is my favorite.
My special bag
Other options for wrapping and giving
Some other ways gifts are presented are:
- Wrapped in a child's blanket
- Wrapped in a soft, snuggly throw
- In a pillowcase tied with a colorful scarf
- In a basket (we do this at Christmas time and at Easter time..the baskets are given year after year): filled with towels, wash cloths, whatever you wish
- In terracotta pots filled with all things gardening
The options are endless. Let your imagination lead you to the what to give and the how to give it.
Holiday Wrapping Materials Rewrap: Boxes, Bags, and Tissue Paper Saved for Another Year
Starting this new tradition was not really intentional. One year we did it and it caught on with us. About ten years ago a tradition was begun with my daughter, grandson and I. We decided would save the bags that we had received gifts in and use them the following year.
The year that we began our tradition, I had purchased two cute little boxes that were colorful and needed no wrapping paper. Those two boxes are still being used. Each year some new treasure is put in each box and given to a family member. After gifts are opened, the boxes and bags that I gave gifts in are returned to me to use the next year. Right now one of them is at my daughter's house. I sent cookies home in them last night. A photograph of it will appear here soon.
Some of the bags I used this year, I have used for five or six years. When they get ripped or soiled, we retire them from our batch of rescued bags.
Together we can change the world with selfless giving...
Tissue paper rewrap
Save and Reuse
The year that we began our tradition, I had purchased two cute little boxes that were colorful and needed no wrapping paper. Those two boxes are still being used. Each year some new treasure is put in each box and given to a family member. After gifts are opened, the boxes and bags that I gave gifts in are returned to me to use the next year.
I do purchase some new bags each year when they are on sale in the summer or after Christmas when they are marked down from the insane prices we find as the original price.
Some of the tissue paper is saved as well and it is used to stuff into little corners that need some extra filling when the gift bag is being assembled.
- copyright 2012-2013 pstraubie48 ™ All Rights Reserved
More rescued bags
Do you think traditons are an important part of Christmas and other holiday celebrations?
Tagging bags and Storage of Items
Tags on the bags….This has been handled in one of three ways:
Put a new gift label over the old label, give the same bag to the same person who received it the year before, or use tags that tie on to the bag so they can be cut off unless you decide to give the bag to the same person as the year before.
Store the bags in a container so they can be spread out as much as possible. I purchased years ago a gift wrap container. It is wide enough for the large bags to lie flat in it. Storing them in this way keeps the bag looking new.
At Christmas time, an afternoon or evening meal is often a way to pull the family together to wind up the celebrating. And, our family does that. We all go together to a Japanese restaurant where we enjoy the ambiance as much as we do the food.
But, before that we have a special breakfast early in the morning before Christmas gifts are opened. It is a breakfast of pancakes topped with strawberries and whipped cream if anyone would like it. This tradition began when my daughter was two, and it has become an annual favorite.
You may wish to choose a favorite food to prepare for your family. Make it something easy and quick but just enough to take the edge of the hunger. It is one more way to gather all family members together to celebrate this lovely time of the year.
Each family can find special ways to enjoy the holiday. Beginning new holiday traditions may just bring a new level of expectation and joy to the season for your family.
Choose a way to rewrap the holidays this year.
Literally rewrap as you reuse.
Through your kindness and generosity, rewrap the meaning behind the holidays by giving unselfishly to others.
© 2012 Patricia Scott