Our house is not big enough and our basement is not tidy enough to store wrapping paper. That’s my excuse for not using store-bought wrapping paper, but my real reasons are that I cannot abide spending money on it and I don’t like the waste. Instead, I usually find something else lurking in the shadows that needs to be used up.
In the past, I’ve sewn simple bags from fabric scraps, recycled old test prints, and used the classic newspaper-as-wrapping-paper. This year, I scrounged up an out-of-date road atlas. I bedecked all of our gifts in maps, even if I had to piece together a few pages for the larger presents. By tying them up with bright red yarn, the packages take on a festive, worldly air.
These presents would look just as good under a traditional Christmas tree as they do on our, ahem, camel saddle. No, we don’t have a tree. No, we don’t have a mantle. Yes, we have a camel saddle. It used to sit in Michael’s great-grandma Maude’s entryway, and now it sits near our front door. It is a handy place to sit when removing your shoes, plus it doubles as a bonus present holder. Yesss.
This is my advice: find some maps and wrap up some stuff. Don’t use any rare, one-of-a-kind maps, of course. Red yarn is icing on the cake, plus one cheap-o skein of synthetic yarn will last you a lifetime. Make some pom-poms if you feel like it. Use a sharpie to write directly on the packages, or go all-out with the travel theme and tie on a luggage tag with the “to” and “from”. On one gift, I drew a star on our hometown. You could also trace a road trip you’ve taken or would like to take. It is the time of year to get a little sentimental.