green Christmas presence

wrapped in green

We are happy to republish this story as a post from Christmas past.

The holidays can be a very busy and sometimes expensive time for people.

I have been thinking a lot about how I can decrease my stress (both financially and emotionally) and decrease the stress my family puts on the environment over the holiday season.

local ideas

The first and easiest idea is to shop locally. This helps local businesses, decreases shipping costs, and keeps me connected to the community.  Guide to the Good is a great tool for that!

home made wrapping paper

The next idea I came up with is making homemade wrapping paper. Did you know that gift wrap is not recyclable? I didn’t until I did a quick search on  Just think of all the waste this creates! 

Now I know you might ask “how is making something less stressful than just buying it?” And my answer is family time and a creative outlet. For this project, I needed a couple of things, a roll of brown shipping paper (recyclable! Yay!), some washable finger paint, painter's tape, and an excited 18-month-old. (Baby not required). I taped out a section of the paper and let my son have a TIME! 

How did the wrapping paper turn out?

Now I will admit it’s not the most objectively beautiful paper in the world, but to the people who receive our gifts, it will make it just a little more special.

If you have older kids or you just want to do this yourself you could use stencils or paint brushes or whatever you like, we used chubby baby fingers and toes.  We had lots of fun making this and seeing my son enjoying himself so much made my day.

So this is the finished product ready and waiting to make a family member happy on Christmas morning.

So remember, do what you can to reduce this Christmas, reduce your stress, reduce your spending, and reduce your carbon footprint.

You and the world will be all the more happy for it. 

Happy Holidays from my family to yours!

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Rebekkah Bourne

Rebekkah is an awesome mom and a be-er of green. she's also a public servant, ex lawyer, family woman and a Director for she's always looking for ways to grow local and sustainable practices.