For me, decorating for the holidays is also about the gift wrapping. I celebrate Christmas, complete with the tree and the beautiful presents underneath. But I also know the gift wrapping is temporary, often ending up in landfills after the holidays. And as a lover of eco-friendly redesign, I really do my best to make sure that happens as little as possible. But without sacrificing beauty. So here are a few of my favorite ideas . . .
Wrap your gifts in something useful. For the "paper" use a dishtowel, handtowels, a pretty antique handkerchief. Something that will be used again or cherished for its beauty. Use craft paper decorated with stamps. Get the kids involved as a fun craft project. Go one step further and make your own potato stamps. (Follow this link from HGTV to find out how.) Use pages from books or magazines you no longer want such as coloring books, maps, or old picture books.
When it comes to the "bows", use nature instead. Dried berries, evergreens, leaves, and pinecones all make beautiful decorations. Use leftover fabric trim instead of ribbon. In fact, bows can be made from all kinds of material you may have on hand. Try headbands, yarn, string, pipe cleaners. Get your creative juices going!
Granted, these ideas aren't completely eco-friendly. There will still be "remains". But in the process you'll be finding new uses for old things - and having fun doing it!