By Gabby Fringette
Christmas time. The soft smell of fir mixed with woodsmoke meld together with the scent of fresh buttery cookies and fruitcake. The soft, opalescent glow of the Christmas lights reflect off the ornaments on your fresh tree.
Millions of tiny snowflakes, each one different, but similar to the others, fall outside. They crunch softly under your booted foot as you go out to get more firewood. Now you sit comfortably by your warm fire, sipping spiced cider, allowing the glorious splendor of your tree to wash over you.
The Christmas moon is huge and pale, at any moment, the shadow of Santa and his reindeer could pass over it. This pale light shines softly on your piles of presents, illuminating the merry printing. How much does your wrapping paper cost? Have you ever wondered? Not just in money for you, but for the environment. Where does the paper all end up?
According to Earth Byte, 4 million tons of wrapping paper and gift bags are thrown away each year. That is a huge amount of waste. It’s better to save and re-use your wrapping paper next year, or if it’s too ripped up, to pad your decorations when they go back in the box.
Cards also waste paper; according to a Stanford study, 2.65 billion Christmas cards are thrown away each year. Cards are recyclable. So are the huge catalogs that department stores send to you each year. you can recycle these catalogs with your every day papers. Rather than sending someone a card, you could email them, or better yet, call them.
People love to hear the voices of their friends during the holidays, especially if they live too far away to visit.
But, at least we shop local, right?
According to American Research Group Inc, most people will spend $861 on Christmas gifts this year. Of those, 45% will be buying from the catalog, and 54% will be buying online. This leaves a measly 1% to buy from local stores. Of course, this is just a statistic, and many of the people who buy online or from a catalog will also buy from stores and other venues.
Still, the Christmas spirit generates very little for local stores, especially compared to what Amazon gets. Buy local, or make homemade goods, like cookies, crafts, or give seeds from your garden for gifts.
Your friends will appreciate a real gift from the heart.