Before we go any further with gifts, I want to address an important part of being greener in your gift-giving. Wrapping!
When you think about it, doesn't it seem silly to buy a product that is specifically designed and meant to be torn up and thrown away? Downright crazy! It makes me wonder what other thing out there with which we do the same.... hmmm....
Anyway. Get creative! use the comics from Sunday's paper. That's fun and colorful! Use the paper shopping bags from the grocery store and let the kids decorate it! That's a good, fun rainy-day project. Use the colorful mail flyers. Even take-out menus make interesting wrapping. For small gifts, you can use magazine pages.
Another great idea for green gifts are pretty bags which can be re-used. For larger gifts, a reusable shopping bag is ideal. Shred some colorful junk mail for filler. Fabric bags are also a very nice touch. Or, get some fun bandanas from the dollar store and use those.
There are many options which do not require and waste to be created, or any trees to be destroyed. Make this a holiday for as little waste as possible, and create a new tradition for you and your family and friends. All it takes is a little time and a little bit of thought to be greener this years and the years to come.
Plus, you saved a few dollars by not buying something that will just be thrown away.