Over the last few years, when it came to birthdays and Xmas, I have gotten into the habit of saving any gift bags I get so I can reuse them. Living in a small town means that I don't have easy access to a lot of "green" wrapping alternatives such as recycled gift wrap, so I figure reuse, reuse, reuse. There's no need to just throw out what is still perfectly useful.
This year, though, for my store, I needed a wrapped box that looked like a present to be a draw box, and I needed it fast. So I ran to the store and got a roll of wrapping paper. Of course, there was plastic shrink wrap on it and it meant using tape. I felt guilty about the whole thing.
But as I was wrapping, childhood memories of telling everyone to stay out of my room while I meticulously folded every crease perfectly and made sure every corner lined up perfectly came flooding back. I remembered my love of choosing which paper to use with which ribbon, which bow for which person and loving the beautiful disguise for each gift.
Gift bags just don't have that customizability that wrapping paper offers. So I decided "not to waste" the rest of the roll and did all of my presents. It meant that all of my presents would look very similar, but I happened to have had a little bit of curling ribbon on hand, so I was able to make them somewhat individual.
In hind sight, I probably could have donated the remainder to someone who would have gone out to buy some anyway, but it was just too much fun. I won't be buying any more, if I do run out. I'm thinking, though, that I may support my somewhat local craft store and invest in some hemp twine to dress up some newspaper and use that to wrap presents instead.