Daniel Kucan’s Holiday Package Extravaganza

This is a fun way to help change our thinking about packaging and wrapping paper that can make a big difference to our landfills and our planet.   For the holidays, instead of wrapping all your packages up in wrapping paper (which then gets torn off and thrown away), why not make some pretty boxes that you can re-use?  Better yet, make it into a fun, Christmas day game. Here’s how it works:

Get a box. Seriously. Super easy. You can make one out of wood or whatever you have around the house, or you can buy one, or use a shoe box or a file box or whatever. But that’s step one. Get a box. In fact, get a bunch of boxes. Collect them over the years. Use them to store ornaments and decorations. Make them with your loved ones, so that every time they get brought out, they are filled with history and memories.

Now there are a million zillion different ways to decorate a holiday gift box. You can paint it, you can glue pretty things to it, you can use spray adhesive and attach fabric to it, you can draw on it with crayons or markers, you can mortgage your house and buy a bunch of gold leaf and cover your boxes with precious metals! But however you’d like to do it, decorate your boxes. Make them festive, make them bright, make them beautiful, but most of all, make them personal. Maybe you can use pictures that you’ve collected from the year, or dried flowers from that season’s garden. But the more personal, the better.

Here’s what makes the whole thing fun. Make the boxes LOCKABLE. Yup, with a padlock. You can buy a small hasp from a hardware store, or put grommets in the ribbons that can be fasted securely with a lock on top. You can drill holes in the sides of the box and stick a lock right through the top and bottom. It doesn’t have to be Fort Knox, it just has to keep prying hands out. Now take the key to that particular box, and attach it to a tag that has the gift receiver’s name on it. And then take that key with its tag, and hang it on the Christmas tree.

So now, on Christmas morning, instead of everyone ripping open a bunch of paper and packages that has to be thrown away, everyone will search the tree for keys with their name on them and then search for the box that THEIR KEY FITS! It’s a fun way to open packages without all the waste.

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