We have more people on our Christmas list this year but in terms of expenses, we seem to be spending less for gifts compared to last year. Possibly because I’ve decided to prepare a lot of DIY gifts and homemade stuff for give away. Although they require a lot of planning and effort, I believe such presents are made more special that way. I’m not one for spoiling surprises so I’m keeping my mouth shut on what those gifts are until after Christmas. What I can reveal in this post is how I plan to wrap and package those ultra-special gifts.
After Ondoy, there’s been a conscious effort to reduce on waste, particularly plastic, and reuse and repurpose old stuff. I now go to market with a laundry basket where I can put meats and fish and vegetables without the need for extra plastic bags. I carry a green bag (it’s actually a black recyclable bag from levi’s) with me all the time and instruct the cashier or bagger to not use plastic bags because I have my black green bag to store my purchases. I plan to make the same statement for my gifts this year. No disposable gift wrapping, only materials that come from natural and recycled sources.
While I try to create an eco-friendly impression in gift giving, I am also very particular about the costs. I chose boxes and baskets made out of woven palm leaves or banig because they’re the cheapest, most readily available product I know.
I bought these small banig boxes from Kultura in SM Megamall for less than twenty pesos. There are other packaging materials that you can find there that come from natural sources but these boxes were the cheapest and were the safest form of packaging for some breakable stuff that I plan to give away.
I printed personalized gift tags using brown cardstocks I bought from Papemelroti. Made from 100% recycled paper!
For our family friends I plan to cook up some homemade sauces that they can add to their Christmas party menu. I bought recycled glass bottles and lids from Divisoria to store the sauces. They’re all up in Yaya’s room and it’s past midnight so it would be impolite for me to ask for the bottles just to take photos. Just imagine the small Lady’s Choice bottles with a curvy bottom. Got them for five pesos a piece. A total steal!
For the kids, we don’t really want to give out toys, first because they’re expensive and because they’ll be thrown to waste sooner than the next holiday season. So we planned on giving out goody bags of cookies and other snack items instead. I was initially looking for tin buckets similar to the ones we used as flower girl baskets during our wedding (see photo above). I bought them from Dapitan but I also remember that these were quite expensive. Besides, the closest thing to buckets that I could find in Divisoria were trash bins that were made of plastic, a definite no-no. I knew I had to pass by Tabora and it was in here that I spotted bags made of the same banig material as the gift boxes from Kultura. I bought a bunch of these bags at thirty pesos each.
So, wrapping materials for the gifts are here. A lot of packing is surely going to happen in the coming days. The Christmas elf (that’s me) is more excited than ever. I hope the recipients of the gifts will be just as glad as I am preparing them.