Hello, and thank you for your kind comments on my last post. Things moved on a little this morning as The Mathematician called to let us know that she has decided to stay in Guernsey for Christmas. She called this "bad news" but I replied that it wasn't that, it was "sensible news". A few tears were shed on both sides but I feel better for the decision having been made. As the Best Beloved said, it has lifted some of the fog. So with the government saying that it won't change the three-household, five day Christmas bubble rule in England but advising us that it would be wiser to keep our bubbles as small as possible for the shortest possible length of time, we just need to work out how much time to spend with The Teacher and her family. It's a good job I am flexible!
I met with three knitting friends yesterday to exchange Christmas cards and gifts. It was the first time we have all been together for nine months and it gave us all a real boost. We sat outside wrapped in many layers with hot water bottles and blankets and nobody moaned about the cold because we were just grateful to be together. We can't wait until we can be vaccinated and our weekly knit and natter group meetings can resume.
Now, this is what I intended to share with you last time, before my typing fingers went astray. I enjoy wrapping gifts. I like to turn under the edges of the paper so that no rough edges show, I like to crease my folds carefully so that they are as neat as can be and I like to adorn the parcel with carefully chosen, co-ordinated ribbons and bows. Seeing a pile of neat, bedecked Christmas parcels gives me an all-over glow. However, I have recently become concerned about what happens to my wrapping after the gift has been opened. When I unwrap a gift I save any fabric ribbon and other adornments which may come in handy, carefully peel off and discard the sticky tape, fold the paper and put it in the recycling bin. I have known for years that plasticised paper can't be recycled so I never buy it and a few years ago I discovered that glittery paper can't be recycled either so I stopped buying that, too. I know that sticky tape is plastic and so can't be recycled which is why I peel it off when I am recycling paper but it didn't occur to me to use an alternative until I recently read that some local authorities don't accept any wrapping paper at all in recycling bins because of the sticky tape problem. At a time when many of us are trying to reduce our consumption of single-use plastics I felt that my all-over glow needed to be sacrificed in the name of ethical responsibility.
So, I decided that this year I would wrap my Christmas gifts in good, old-fashioned brown paper. Over the last couple of years this has become fashionable, the parcels fastened with jolly red and white bakers' twine and perhaps some sealing wax and this was my intention. However, while I was looking around the internet for twine, wax and seals I found an independent business in Wales here which sells lovely ribbons online and I changed my plan. I bought 80m of jolly fabric ribbon for £10 and last week, with ribbon, brown paper, a glue stick and a pen, I started wrapping.
I wrapped the paper around each gift, turned under the raw edge, applied one dab of glue on the long edge if necessary, folded in the ends and used the ribbon to secure them. Ta-dah! The recipient can either save the ribbon for reuse or put it out for fabric recycling and the paper can go straight into the recycling bin, leaving nothing to go into landfill. I wrote the recipient's name straight onto the paper so there was no need for a gift tag. I am REALLY pleased with how the parcels look and they have delivered that all-over glow. I was especially pleased with my brother-in-law's gift: a bottle of something was placed in the same bottle bag which my sister had used for my husband's gift last year, I made a gift tag from the starry packaging she used for my gift last year and attached it with a stray piece of ribbon from my sewing box. Ta-dah! She hates waste and I know that she will appreciate it with a smile.
After wrapping the first batch I remembered that I had a starry stamp somewhere, a free gift which came with a magazine at least fifteen years ago and which I had never used. I found it in my crafting box and used a white ink pad to decorate some of the wrapped gifts and then got a bit carried away and stamped some paper before I wrapped with it. The pleasure this gave me far outweighed the level of skill required.
So far it's been straightforward as everything I have wrapped has been rectangular so my plan may go awry when I get to the more oddly-shaped gifts, and I am aware that there are more ethical ways to wrap, but as I said to my friend who said that all she has done is give up using glittery paper, it's all small steps in the right direction and it's OK to take one step at a time, at least it is in my book.
See you soon.
Love, Mrs Tiggywinkle x