1.02.2014

Thrifty Thursday: Turn Your Holiday Trash into Holiday Treasure

Christmas and New Year's are over and now for the daunting task of putting it all away.  Trying to find somewhere to stuff all those new gifts, and stashing all those decorations for another year; and what about the Christmas cards....oh my....think of the cards!  So rather than have a panic attack in a  post-holiday fog why not make use of some of those items in new ways?  Not only is it thrifty; it's also pretty green and maybe even a little fun!

5 Ways to Turn Holiday Trash into Holiday Treasure
  1. Wrapping Paper - I remember when I was a kid my Grandmother meticulously unwrapping each gift as to not put a tear in the beautiful paper.  When I was young I thought it was strange that she didn't tear into her gifts like a ravenous animal, but know I think it was sheer genius.  So if you carefully open presents or can salvage the paper, use it next year to wrap up your gifts.  Or if it's only small bits, then turn it into gift tags.  And if it's just been too mangled, then most paper can be recycled.
  2. Christmas Trees - this isn't something I've had to worry about for a while as we have an artificial tree.  But if you have a real one you'll be stuck with dragging that poor dried out needle-dropper to the curb in the New Year.  Many cities have curbside tree pick up for composting or depots where you can drop it off.  But better yet, why not give that tree a new job.  My mother always used to take our out to the backyard.  It was for the birds.  The evergreen stayed fairly green and she'd usually put it near her bird feeder to provide shelter for birds and other woodland creatures.  In the Spring she'd put it in her yard waste pile. But you could also chop up the wood and use it for your summer campfire instead.
  3. Holiday Cards - so now you've got a mantle full of gorgeous Christmas cards from all over the place. But what do you do with them? Hoard them in a box and add them to your 20 year old collection of greeting cards.  How about saving just the lovely artwork and turning them into gift tags for the next year.  Or if you're really crafty, make scrapbook type Christmas cards for your friends and relatives.
  4. So Many Candy Canes - for most people a candy cane or two over the holidays is quite enough.  But it seems everywhere you turn during the month of December someone is handing you one.  And I don't want to just pitch it in the trash and I definitely don't want to eat them all either.  Instead of  tossing tho festive sticks of sugar why not turn them into something else.  Can you say Heart Shaped Lollipops or Candy Cane Syrup for Ice Cream or pancakes? And what about some Candy Cane science experiments?  With a shelf life of a couple years there's so many possibilities!
  5. Cardboard Boxes - the simple way would be to break them down and add them to your recycling box.  But cardboard can be way more fun.  My daughter already seems to enjoy the giant box her dollhouse came in more than the dollhouse itself.  But aside from pretending a box is a little kids cave there are so many cool things you can do with those left over containers.  Artwork, light fixtures, decor and of course castles.  Let your imagination run wild....or maybe just run wild on Pinterest! Either way you'll be amazed by what you can do with a box!

What festive extras are filling up your house?  Share you creative ways of reusing & repurposing those unwanted holiday items.
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