OK, (take breath here) now October really is the time I've always started thinking of Christmas and Christmas presents. Though, unlike before, this year I'm imposing two constraints: 1) think basics, 2) pursue low footprint.
So how am I doing this? Had the ahha moment last spring when my handspinning guild started talking about a dishcloth ring. Never heard of it before. The premise is to make a handknitted dishcloth and exchange it.
Hmm. Handmade dishcloth. But why? A dishcloth costs under a buck, unless you're looking at designer stuff. Where would a handmade dishcloth fit in? But wait, it can make footprint sense! I knit a dishcloth and give it as a gift. Cost of gift is $1.50 in materials max (unless you have a field of cotton and have spun the yarn...sure I have many pounds of cotton fiber in my stash, but this year, not enough time to spin it into yarn for dishcloths, so I'll buy cotton yarn) and $0 in time (labor of love). Balance that against the cost of a stupid present that will be thrown out or regifted $5-$20. The recip of my gift will lay it over the kitchen sink faucet, whether they ever wash dishes by hand or not. No one will throw out a handmade dishcloth
OK now about packaging my gift dishcloths. I've saved up all the tissue paper from gifts-past. I've also saved past gift boxes and envelopes. Basically, having not landfilled either, saving for reuse, becomes my small statement against landfilling gift wrapping.
So basically, I'm now knitting a slew of dishcloths as Christmas gifts. Trying to start a trend back to gifts being a labor of love and practicality and not a 'just grab something from a store to satisfy a gift requirement' and buy gift wrappings that will instantly be put into the landfill.
Yes, we can reduce our footprint and return to the basics of what a Christmas gift from the heart really means.
Make it personal.