It is a truth widely acknowledged that the amount of fun you have opening Christmas presents directly corresponds to the pile of trash leftover when you’re finished. But never fear! There are plenty of ways to turn this trash into treasure — or at least decorations.
Time to engage our favourite R word — Reuse! — with these crafty tips.
Every year, there’s a hilarious or particularly touching Christmas card that you don’t want to get rid of when the lights come down and the cookies are reduced to crumbs. But you also want to keep from cluttering up those drawers and storage boxes, too.
That’s why we’ve started repurposing cards as festive (or silly) gift tags for the next year. It’s easy — just slice off the personalised part and cut the rest into a fun shape. You can also build new Christmas cards out of old ones wtih glue, glitter and creative collaging.
While everyone loves a good wild tearing session, there’s also something to be said for unwrapping a gift slowly and with care. Employing this technique also means you’ll be able to use that lovely paper for another gift, or as the lining for a drawer or box.
This year, we also came across the idea of using a paper shredder to turn gift wrap into festive New Year’s confetti. Just make sure you have a broom on hand for clean-up.
As far as reducing waste and being good to the environment, a fake tree goes a long way. You can reuse it year after year, you’re not contributing to the problems caused by Christmas tree farms, and you won’t be adding another dead tree to the trash heap.
But if you simply can’t bear fake shrubbery, there are plenty of good ways to reuse your tree after the tinsel comes off. Have an outdoor firepit or indoor fireplace? Chop up that wood for later and use the dried needles for kindling. You can also turn it into mulch, or find out if your city has a pick-up program for Christmas trees that turns them into wood chips or compost.
Have a lot of these laying around, post holidaze? Us too. We’ve taken to using them as candle holders — just insert a taper into the neck, and twist it a bit so it stays upright. Then set a few on your dining table for a bit of rustic romance, or place them in the sitting room for ambience the next time you have a party (maybe New Year’s?).
If you’re feeling especially ambitious, you can also try spray painting the bottles or cutting them in two. Just remember, safety first.