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“Upcycle” Your Holiday Gifts

Mindful Eating Everyday, Eating Everyday, Mindful Living Network, Mindful Living, Dr. Kathleen Hall, The Stress Institute,, MLN, Alter Your Life

It happens to us all occasionally; we enthusiastically open a wrapped holiday present only to find that it’s something we don’t want and don’t plan on using. So what can we do with our unwanted gifts? “Upcycle”your holiday gifts, of course!

Here are some creative solutions for unwanted gifts:

  1. Holiday baskets and tins. Tins of assorted popcorn are really popular during the holidays. After you finish eating the snacks, consider repurposing the tins with a stencil and a little spray paint. You could then use the containers as reusable gift tins. If you have baskets full of healthy treats, consider feeding the birds. They love certain fruit and nuts.
  2. Christmas sweaters. You only need so many Christmas sweaters. If you’ve received yet another one, don’t fret. There are many ways you can upgrade this garment. Consider turning it into a cozy rug, a pillow, a headband, or a jacket for the dog.
  3. Christmas socks. Have another unwanted pair of Christmas socks? Consider turning them into a cute miniature stuffed animal or a soft figurine for the kids. You can find instructions for a do-it-yourself sock teddy bear here. Or, consider covering an old planter with your socks for a decorative effect.
  4. Seasonal mugs. Do you have one holiday mug too many? With the right supplies, you can turn a mug into a sweet scented candle. These instructions show you how to turn a coffee mug into a coffee candle with paraffin wax, a wick, and coffee scented oil. You can also make a hot cocoa candle.
  5. Holiday candy. After the celebrations, there always seem to be an excess of candy and sweets scattered about our homes. You can deal with this rather tasty problem by grinding candy canes into a fine powder and using it in cocoa, tea, and coffee or for homemade white chocolate and peppermint pretzels. Or consider turning leftover Hanukkah chocolate gelt into cookies.

Bonus: Greeting cards. Do you have a sweet holiday card from a friend you can’t bear to throw away? You don’t have to! Consider using stencils, twine, and scissors to turn your old holiday cards into garland for the fireplace or tree ornaments for the next holiday season.


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