Green, Thrifty, Fun

Author: Alecia Pirulis

Traditional Japanese wrapping cloth

Get ready to start digging through your closets! December 16 is National Regifting Day. It’s the perfect opportunity to get that ergonomic foot warmer off the closet shelf.

In fact, why not suggest a “Regifting Party” to your boss this year? It is similar to a White Elephant gift exchange only nothing can be purchased, just regifted. A White Elephant gives everyone the chance to “steal” gifts from those who unwrap before them, turning the ordinary gift-exchange into a fun game.

Another great way to conserve this year is to use alternatives to gift wrap. This is a great idea for birthdays and other celebrations, as well. Use a cloth bag, a reusable shopping bag, or fabric to make your gift extra special. If you prefer the more traditional look to your gift, consider recycled paper as a good alternative.

If you suddenly find yourself in charge of the office party (great idea on the White Elephant exchange, by the way), carry your eco-friendly mantra into the invitations and decorating. Use e-mail or an online card instead of the traditional invitation. Decorate your party space using “found” items, such as pinecones and branches. Cinnamon sticks mixed with citrus fruits and cranberries can make an elegant and fragrant centerpiece for the table. Light some beeswax or soy candles to add to the cheery holiday atmosphere and save electricity by turning off some lights. The space will look great (and green!) and your boss will be grateful at how well you managed to keep expenses down.

Just in case you’re also in charge of getting gifts for everyone from your boss (while you are planning the party, could you look for …?), give everyone a thermal mug with a lid. They can use it at the party instead of a Styrofoam cup, and they can keep it at work, cutting down on the waste from disposable coffee cups all year long. If a mug seems a little generic, consider having them personalized for each individual.

Make your office party frugal, thrifty, and fun – and celebrate National Regifting Day while you’re at it. Party on!