Although I know people talk about unbridled consumerism and environmental impact and such regarding Christmas, I just can't let this one go. There will be presents, and they will be wrapped (sometimes in reusable gift bags.) I'm cutting myself some slack here because I save and reuse a lot of ribbon, gift trims, and boxes.
I'm trying to avoid things that won't be used, but it's just hard to know sometimes. It helps when I can fulfill specific gift requests, but I still like to retain some element of "magic" and surprise. I hate giving gift cards, but I know they're great to get (I love getting them!), but even sometimes that doesn't work out. After my mom died last year, my sister found a stack of unused gift cards and tried to give them back to whoever had given them (when that could be determined.) I also found a few gifts I had given her that I don't think she ever used, so they're mine now. When I do give gift cards, I'm going to try to present them creatively (like a wrapped set of hangers with the clothing store gift card inside the box.)
I don't mind if people re-gift if they think someone else will actually use something they won't, and I don't mind trades among my recipients (as long as I don't hear some obnoxious teenage [and sometimes young adult] rudeness like "Do you want this? I hate nail polish." Leave my house first before you audibly hate on my gifts. Yeah, I heard you.)
Although I sound a bit negative, Christmas Day is usually wonderful at my house. The negativity stands out because it is not the norm. There is good food and there are games and naps and movies and lots of hugs and kisses. I am looking forward to the part in which the majority of work is done and we can enjoy each other.
Happy Holidays! :)