Holiday shoppers spend billions of dollars each year on gifts for friends, family and coworkers. But holiday shoppers also spend substantial amounts of money dressing up those gifts with bows and wrapping paper. Shoppers may not want to spend much more on wrapping paper, bags and other ways to dress-up their gifts, and by employing a few tricks of the gift wrapping trade, they may not have to. The following are some frugal, yet flashy, ways to wrap presents this holiday season.
* Children’s artwork: Over the course of a school year parents can accumulate dozens of original pieces of art from their children’s time in the classroom. Instead of relegating those pictures to a memory box or temporary glory on the refrigerator, turn them into unique gift wrap. Pair these pieces of art with colored ribbon, and everyone who gets a unique masterpiece will feel special.
* Newspaper: Recycle newsprint and comics into wrapping paper. Encourage everyone to wrap in newspaper for a cohesive look come Christmas morning.
* Cloth: Leftover cloth from Halloween or cloth purchased to create homemade curtains can be turned into giftwrap for awkward-shaped gifts. Use decorative ribbon to seal the bundle shut.
* Brown paper: Brown paper tied with twine or ribbon is inexpensive and can easily be recycled after use. Use a marker to put the names of gift recipients on each package to save on gift tags as well.
* Glass jars: Use mason jars when wrapping smaller gifts, including gift cards, to give them an arts-and-crafts feel.
* Fabric gift bags: If you’re handy with a needle and thread, sew sacks out of leftover fabric to make gift bags of various sizes.
* Cookie tins: Find unique cookie tins from yard sales or leftover tins from holidays past and use them as gift boxes.
* Recipes: If you will be giving a cookbook or food-themed gifts, print recipes that can be used as gift wrap and then later used to make certain dishes.
* Baby linens: From blankets to wash cloths, use baby linens to wrap infant-themed gifts for new parents.
* Baskets: Wicker baskets are available in various shapes and sizes. They can be used to make a gift collection and then reused over and over again.
There are many creative and inexpensive ways to wrap gifts this year instead of relying on preprinted and often expensive wrapping paper. GG13B650
Art can enrich the lives of people young and old, male and female. The arts can introduce adults and children to different cultures and traditions, while also helping them to develop more fully as human beings.
While some may feel the benefits of the arts cannot be measured, the nonprofit organization Americans for the Arts notes that kids who are involved in the arts are four times more likely to be recognized for academic achievement than kids who are not involved in the arts. And though mathematics and science may not be the first thing people associate with the arts, kids involved in the arts are four times more likely to participate in math and science fairs than kids who are not involved in the arts.
Parents can do a lot to make art a bigger part of their kids’ lives. The following are some simple ways parents can bring more art into their kids’ lives, courtesy of Americans for the Arts.
· Join in the fun. Parents can make art more fun for kids by playing music around the house and singing and dancing alongside their youngsters. In addition, read a book to or with your children and join in when they pursue other artistic endeavors, such as drawing or painting.
· Find local events. Many school districts have slashed their arts budgets in recent years, but parents can still find local arts events for kids in their communities. Peruse the local newspaper and other community-based periodicals for cultural events for kids. Support local theater groups by attending performances with your children and explaining to them that the performers live in the community just like they do.
· Pitch in with local arts organizations. Local arts organizations typically rely on donations and volunteers to support their programs. Parents who want to instill a love of the arts in their children can help local organizations’ fundraising efforts and even volunteer their time if the opportunity presents itself. If possible, take kids along when volunteering so they can get some firsthand experience with the arts.
· Encourage kids’ artistic pursuits. Some kids may decide to pursue artistic endeavors on their own, and parents can encourage such pursuits. Celebrate kids’ participation in arts-based activities in school and in the community, recognizing their hard work in the same way you would acknowledge their successes in the classroom and in sports.
The arts can benefit youngsters in various ways, but it’s often up to parents to instill a love of the arts in their children.