Every tradition starts sometime.

(We’re doing 50 Days & 50 Ways to have a merry recycled holiday. More about this….)

The nicest thing about the holiday season isn’t the parties and the gifts or even the chance to finally dress up.

HowToConsign.org is doing 50 Days & 50 Ways to Have a Merry Recycled HolidayThe real joy is in traditions. Traditions link us to personal and family history. Traditions make us look forward to a season of looking back. The best thing about traditions is that they don’t cost a lot and that anyone…yes, you, in the year 2013…. can start, uphold, or re-fresh them.

Here’s a few traditional holiday activities that we have gathered from our customers.

One crafty family has a hands-on party just after Thanksgiving. They send invitations to friends of all ages to join them for a Sunday session of making something special for their home. One year it was wreaths, another year it was tree ornaments covered with beads, “jewels,” even dried beans! The invitations specified what materials were needed, everyone brought enough to share, and the results were wonderful. Refreshments were simple, but the fun and laughter became something people of all ages looked forward to year after year. Other ideas could include painting T-shirts, printing wrapping paper (use sponge or potato “stamps”), and candle-making.

Another all-ages idea: a skating, shopping or caroling party. After the outing, hot drinks and cookies are served at home. Or try a “sack lunch” party: guests pack a lunch in decorated bags. The lunches are auctioned off to the highest bidder and the income goes to a holiday charity fund. Everyone gets a good meal and does a good deed at the same time. It’s amazing how creative people can get with their “sacks!”

One family’s tradition extends holiday greetings to family far away: extra prints of holiday snapshots adorn the thank-you notes their children write. It’s especially fun for the giver to see a picture of Charlie in the sweater they sent or Tony enjoying the new toy!

Our favorite tradition, of course, is that of giving a small gift from our favorite resale, thrift, or consignment shop to each member of the family. Each is wrapped in “recycled” brown paper with a big raffia or even plain old string bow and everyone looks forward to what their “previously enjoyed” surprise will be this year! We hope that visiting one or several of our sponsoring shops will be a part of your holiday traditions for years to come.

Start now: with phone calls, emails or even Twitters to family, let them know that you are looking forward to a “real, family-friendly” holiday and that you hope “the holidays can be even more meaningful than ever.” Start a new tradition: holidays are for families, not for tossing money around.

Plan on a warm holiday…and you (and your grandchildren) will have one just like “back in ’13.”

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