I do. Brown parcel paper, washi paper, scrapbooking paper, origami paper, wrapping paper, pages of books and magazines… even the plastic wrapping of food packets (which technically isn’t even paper but plastic). Some papers are great to look at, some smell lovely, some are amazing to the touch and some tick all those boxes. It is such a wonderful, versatile material and there is so much all around us, just heading for the recycling bag.
I usually prefer not to wrap presents because I think it is a bit wasteful and also because when I was a child and it was time for the traditional equivalent to “Santa Claus” that is fed to kids in the village I come from, my mother never wrapped our presents; instead, she would stay up at night beautifully arranging the gifts for myself, my siblings and cousins as though she was dressing a shop window; there were toys, clothes, books, stationary… all decorated with sweets. Looking back, with the knowledge of what the financial situation of my family was back then, I realise it was not mountains of expensive gifts, but that is certainly what it looked and felt like to us children. This is usually how I give presents on Eid ul-Fitr.
Eid ul-Adha usually ends up being a smaller affair (because it follows the day of Fitr quite closely) and my children love ripping through what they call “paper presents” (i.e. wrapped up gifts), so this year I decided to be creative with the pile of cooking magazines I had to throw away (which, incidentally are full of very colorful full page pictures of food).
A quick research on pinterest and here it is: Our recycled magazine paper Eid decorations and gift wrapping! (gift bows included!!!!!)
I had a lot of fun making this, it put me and the boys – who helped with the paper fans – in a very festive mood AND – when the festivities are over – the lot is going the get chucked in the recycling with a clear conscience. It was heading there anyway, at least it went out with a bang!