Screwing up torn, single-use wrapping paper and throwing it in the bin minutes after you have opened your presents on Christmas morning might be seen as wasteful.
Not that your concern for the environment means you should go overboard and abandon the entire notion of gift wrapping completely. After all, the excitement of unwrapping a gift or watching the recipient’s surprise and/or joy is half the fun.
Thankfully, there are a few ideas that combine the reduce, reuse and recycle philosophy so you can enjoy your Christmas without destroying the planet.
An excellent example that is beautiful, simple and sustainable is Furoshiki gift wrapping, a Japanese art that involves using fabric rather than paper to wrap and transport gifts.
Raid your sewing cabinet for fabric offcuts or even use items such as tea towels, scarves, sarongs, aprons, pillowcases and even not-so-bulky beach towels to wrap other presents, making a two-in-one gift, if you like.
Pretty plastic or metallic paper gift bags are particularly useful to hold multiple or difficult-to-wrap items.
However, with the plastic bag ban now in force, an attractive, re-useable shopping bag might be a functional wrapping idea that is useful long after December 25.
If you do go down the wrapping paper route, there is nothing wrong with recycling gift wrap. Get creative and surprise yourself with the results. For example, do you know a crossword puzzle enthusiast? Recycle puzzles cut out from the newspaper (or an old book from a secondhand store) and use them to wrap his or her gift. With carefully-placed adhesive tape, you could even wrap layers one after the other for the recipient to open in an advent calendar-style lead-up to Christmas Day.
For youngsters, a wordsearch puzzle or even black and white outlines of Christmas or animal shapes to colour in may be more suitable.
Don’t forget to attach a ribbon and tag with a lovely message for the recipient so he or she knows who the gift is from. Make tags cut out of Christmas cards from years gone by.
Why not loop a Christmas decoration through the ribbon that the recipient can hang on the tree for years to come, a wrapped candy cane, snowman cookie cutter or a wearable Christmas hair decoration or novelty earrings?
Too busy to wrap your gifts? Allow someone else to do all the hard work for you, while helping a worthy cause? In the lead-up to Christmas, look out for volunteers manning gift wrapping stalls who will wrap each of your gifts for a gold coin donation for charity.
A range of organisations such as Perth’s Cat Haven and The Salvation Army have used this as a way to raise funds to support their valuable work in the community.