For my father/father-in-law, I've started embroidering flannel handkerchiefs with pictures their grandkids drew (just on the corners). I sewed a bag for my mother, using second-hand wool (I got the pattern off the Purl website).
I've got a few ideas for my kids as well -- doll house rugs, furnishings.
Is anyone else working on high impact, zero waste gifts yet?
Yes, I've been pondering zero waste, high impact gifts for a few weeks now. Here are some suggestions, in no particular order:
* Agricultural gifts for a needy family through Heifer International, in the recipient's name
* Microloans through KIVA.org in $25 increments that the recipient can then loan to a recipient of their choosing, and re-loan when the money is repaid
* iTunes gift cards (okay, there is a little plastic card, but the gift itself (music, movie, app) is wholly intangible and waste free)
* Kindle/Nook e-book credits (probably also sold in plastic card form)
That's all for now, but I'll be interested to hear others' ideas on the subject!
You can pay for the iTunes gift card online and have the "gift" emailed to the recipient. Works particularly well for long-distance teen relatives. Not sure about the response for local gift-giving...
I don't know about completely zero waste holidays...could be rather dull for kids in certain age ranges.
We reuse gift boxes, gift bags, and fabric over and over year after year. I've only been using the paper for the gifts we ship off and that paper is 5-7 years old and the number of gifts we buy and ship is minimal. We make homemade DVDs for the grandparents and great-grandparents. And, I turn our daughter's school picture (or a family holiday picture, if we do that...some years we do, some years we don't) into something crafty for all the relatives who dig that sort of thing. I'd love to switch to not physically using DVDs and cases for the family video, but my husband is not going for it so far and he is the one who does the editing and 75% of the entire process.
The main thing is we cut back who we exchange gifts with quite awhile ago. Only family for long-distance and mostly family for local. We include our daughter's teacher and her Girl Scout leader and sometimes a service provider (if regular and we personally know the person, such as the mailman we knew for 5-6 years and a hairstylist I used regularly for a couple years, etc.). We celebrate friendships on birthdays, for the most part. Our playgroup chooses to celebrate New Year's Eve together with a big kid-friendly potluck party, spending time together. It's a great time and we're all home before 8-10 pm, later and later as the children have grown. LOL
Anyway, it has been an evolution for our family and it takes time to recondition folks....