Congratulations to “Rachel!”  My son enjoyed being the one to choose the winner from a random assortment of entries!  I will contact you for information and get it in the mail soon.

Every week, I resolve to do better and try to post at least once a day, during the kids’ naptime.  However, ever week, after the first day or two, I find that I just get too busy.  Between homeschooling, baking bread and making snacks (a family does have to eat after all!), cleaning house, tending to the children, and handling other things that come up, I just find that blogging is kind of low on the list of priorities.  I figured, however, that the least I could do is tell about the latest project that has been keeping me busy.

We are always looking for new ways decrease our waste, recycle materials, be self-sufficient, and, if it happens to add speed and convenience to my day, so be it!  A while back, I found a website (sorry, I have no idea where) that had suggested using bags to “wrap” presents instead of wrapping paper.  I was intrigued by the idea, and after some discussion, we thought it could be fun to give it a try.

I’m not talking about re-using brown or plastic bags.  I mean actually sewing some bags together, adding a drawstring cord, and viola!  I have only made a few in small sizes, but so far I am loving it!  I tend to do most of our Christmas shopping earlier, before the Christmas season gets here, so I don’t get all caught up in the stress and commercialism of the holidays.  I love being able to take the time to really put thought and effort into our gifts.  The one part I always hated though was wrapping gifts.  Ever since I can remember, I was in charge of wrapping gifts.  Growing up, my parents hated to wrap, and I was the oldest child, so the responsibility fell to me.  Most years, my parents would even put my gifts into an obscure package and make me wrap it!  We laugh now, but I am finally a bit tired of the hours involved in wrapping.

Now, I take a bag, drop in the gift, pull the cord tight, tie a loop, and I’m done.  Now that the Christmas season is getting closer, gifts have started piling up.  I needed a way to hide them, but the kids play in every room (and closet) of our house.  The solution?  Bag it!  Now, I have all the gifts acquired so far bagged up neatly.  Unless they actually pick up the gift, they don’t have a clue what might be inside because of the standard shape of the bag.  Now, I do remember reading on the website that the biggest downside to using bags is that it is very easy for older children (or adults!) to untie the bag, take a peek, and retie, and you have no way of knowing.  Therefore, you may have to keep the bags tucked away until the night before Christmas, which could be a bit more inconvenient.  I guess I finally figured though, that, in our case, I store them for so many months anyway, what’s another 3 weeks? 

My goal now is to make several sizes of bags (sm, med, large, and a few extra large if needed).  For the most part, I am trying to do the bags in distinct colors so maybe I can decipher at a glance which gift belongs to which person.  I am not sure how that will work out in the end though.  We will also keep a roll of wrapping paper on hand for now for gifts being given away, or just any last minute things that don’t have a bag.  Of course, who knows, maybe I can eventually make enough bags that I can give gifts away in them, and introduce others to this concept! 

To start this off, I am going to give away one of these bags!  To participate and try to win, just leave a comment telling me your favorite Christmas tradition (past or present).  I will leave the comments open through Friday, and randomly draw a name from all the comments posted.  Consider it an early Christmas present!