Maryland's main streets offer a
personalized shopping experience
Spirit of the season
Business leaders share meaningful
holiday memories and wishes
A supplement to
ILLUSTRATION BY JESSICA ZWIRBLE
2 Holiday Gift Guide The Daily Record
Contents 3 Giving back
Corporate charity donations back on the rise this holiday season
4 Unique boutiques
‘Mom and Pop’ shops entice customers with quality service
8 Trendy toys
Retailers underorder and cause massive toy shortages
9 More than a party
When planning your company holiday party, think quality over quantity
10 Spirit of the season
Business leaders share meaningful holiday memories and wishes
11 Lean and green
How to stay eco-friendly during the hectic holiday season
Daily Record Staff
Christopher A. Eddings Publisher and President
Suzanne E. Fischer-Huettner Associate Publisher, Vice President
Tom Linthicum Executive Editor, Vice President
Emily Arnold Special Publications Editor
Wayne Countryman Assistant Editor
Keith Minney Classified Advisor
Lisa Carmichael Classified Advisor
Lisa Roberts Classified Advisor
Jessica Zwirble Graphic Designer
November 2009 Holiday Gift Guide 3
Corporate giving on the
rise this holiday season
BY ALAN DESSOFF
Special to The Daily Record
Maryland charities that depend on end-of-year gifts from individuals, foun-
dations and corporations for much of their revenue hope for some holiday
cheer this year but are realistically cautious about what to expect, economic
conditions being what they are.
While giving by individuals and foundations appears to be down, there is
promise in the corporate sector, according to Mark Furst, executive vice avoiding
president and chief operating officer of the United Way of Central Maryland.
“I might be the oddball here, but I’m actually a little optimistic about this year,”
Furst declared. scams
A year ago, following the “economic earthquake,” ing,” agreed Tricia Rubacky, director of development
the United Way’s campaign was down 9 percent from at the Open Society Institute in Baltimore and a
its 2007 level, Furst reports. “Along with other non- fundraiser for more than 30 years “through several re-
profits, we were hit hard, especially because we do 80 cessions.” The holiday season is synonymous with giving.
percent of our fundraising from September through “People still are giving, which is great, but as long Whether giving gifts to family and friends or do-
December,” he said. as the unemployment situation continues, we’re going nating to a favorite charity, many people find some
“In no way, shape or form are we out of the woods to see a lot of traditional individual donors juggling way to go the extra mile during the holidays in an ef-
yet,” he continued, acknowledging that “a couple of their own bills. They really have little capacity to fort to help the less fortunate.
big corporate losses could affect our overall totals.” give,” Rubacky said. But just as there are countless charities in need
But he cites several major Baltimore corporations Some, she adds, “say they will make their decisions of support, there are an ever-growing number of
and other institutions, including Legg Mason, at the end of the year, when they see how things are scam artists that prey on the generosity of well-in-
LifeBridge Health, the State Employees Credit Union, going.” tentioned, unsuspecting donors. By becoming fa-
PNC Bank, Wachovia, Johns Hopkins and Citi Finan- On the other hand, she continued, recent im- miliar with the tactics they commonly use, most
cial, that “are going so far this year with their cam- provements in the stock market have helped middle- scams are easily spotted and avoided.
paigns and enthusiasm and the compassion we are range and upper-income donors feel more secure and
seeing in their work forces.” that indicates a “more positive” potential response • Don’t call us, we’ll call you. Soliciting by tele-
For instance, Citi Financial’s campaign, led by its from them. phone is a popular tool for scammers. The best
executive management team, is up 30 percent this For foundations and corporations, “the year con- way to protect yourself from a telephone scam is to
year over last year, Furst said. tinues to be challenging, with hard choices being simply say “No thank you” and hang up. If you feel
Beyond corporate financial contributions, “we’re made by all,” said Betsy Nelson, executive director of the charity deserves your attention, you can po-
seeing a real desire of people to volunteer,” Furst the Association of Baltimore Area Grantmakers. litely, but firmly, explain that you never contribute
added. He points to “hundreds of volunteer hours” that Overall, she says, they still are accepting requests for over the phone, but would be happy to receive in-
Constellation Energy employees dedicated to a grants but are placing more emphasis on organizations formation about the organization by mail. Never
makeover of the Boys and Girls Club in Glen Burnie. aligned with their own missions or that support “basic provide any personal information over the phone.
“I think people want to give back and are trying to human needs,” like food, health care and housing.
• Avoid online scams. Sophisticated fraudulent
do what they can. They haven’t forgotten the charities. She cites projections by the national Foundation
sites mimic legitimate charities, but the financial in-
But we’re not getting many of the big gifts. We seem Center that giving by foundations will drop more than
formation you provide is diverted to an unseen
to have more people giving smaller amounts,” said 10 percent this year and continue that way next year.
Web address. If you are not sure that a site is legit-
Cass Naugle, executive director of the Alzheimer’s But while the challenges continue, in the corporate
imate or you did not reach the site by entering its
Association of Greater Maryland. She anticipates sector “there seems to be a mentality now that things
Web address yourself, it’s best to log off and re-en-
that its gift revenue will be lower this year than it have stabilized. The economic earthquake is over,”
ter the organization’s address on your browser. By
was last year. Furst said.
going directly to the charity’s Web site, you can be
“We would be naïve to think there is going to be “There may be some aftershocks, but company
sure that it is legitimate.
any change in the pattern we have seen throughout the after company seems to want to help now more than
year, which has been significant retrenchment in giv- ever. It’s really great to see.” • The get-away car. Car donation scams are big
business. Even most legitimate vehicle-donation
programs are run by for-profit used car
dealers/fundraisers. In some cases, the charitable or-
ganization may receive as little as 10 percent of
the proceeds from the sale of the car, with the
lion’s share going to the dealer/fundraiser.
Follow these addition guidelines to avoid charity
• Confirm that the organization actually exists and
is indeed a charity.
• Don’t give in to pressure from a pushy fundraiser. The
harder they push, the more cautious you should be.
• Representatives of legitimate charitable organi-
zations will be happy to discuss their programs and
• Ask the caller to send information by mail or refer
you to the organization’s Web site.
• Check to make sure the organization is registered
as a charity with state or federal agencies.
• If a solicitor or fundraiser won’t take “No” for an
answer, the answer should definitely be “No.”
For more information on individual charitable
organizations, contact the Better Business
Betsy Nelson, executive director of the Association of Baltimore Area Grantmakers, admits ‘the year continues to be chal-
Bureau’s Wise Giving Alliance at www.bbb.org.
lenging, with hard choices being made by all.’ But things are looking up.
4 Holiday Gift Guide The Daily Record
‘Mom and Pop’ shops entice customers with quality service
BY MARY MEDLAND
Special to The Daily Record
F For many, holiday shopping means fighting the crowds
at the mall or dialing an 800 number, catalogue in hand.
But not for everyone. Many opt instead to patronize
local retailers rather than the big-box outfits.
Of course, small business owners are well aware that
they need to take steps to be as creative as possible in a
difficult economic environment.
“People really want to support local
businesses,” said Susannah Siger, the
made of wool, cashmere and angora,”
owner of Hampden’s Ma Petite Shoe, “When the economy is bad, people
a store she opened in 2002 that focuses are not going to go out and buy a car,
on shoes, as well as chocolate. but they will buy a pair of shoes. We are
“The less disposable income one not talking about designer goods that
has, the less one wants to buy dispos- are out of the reach of the working peo-
able goods. We provide a little bit of ple in Baltimore.”
relief from the stresses many people While Melissa Taylor, the owner of
are experiencing this year, and when it Belvedere Square stationer’s Simply
comes to fashion, Baltimore loves the Noted has offered an early-bird spe-
quirkier side of the fashion world. cial 20 percent discount for holiday
“We are unique and with all the chal- cards ordered in September, this year
lenges of the past year, we’ve had to be she extended the discount by two
even more creative.” weeks because of the recession.
To that end, Ma Petite Shoe has a “We do a snail mail promotion to
chocolate happy hour every Friday in our mailing list about two to three times
which customers can sample new can- a year and we have monthly e-mail spe-
dies. “We have chocolate from every cials,” said Taylor. “The big stationery
conceivable country in the world,” said vendors like Cranes and William Arthur
Siger. “We are working with a local ven- run special promotions that make it
dor — Mouth Party Caramels — to de- possible for us to pass the savings on to
velop new flavors, such as a sea salt our customers.”
chocolate.” Taylor acknowledges that she
Furthermore, Ma Petite Shoe is stocks goods that range from the ex-
open late on the first Friday of the pensive to the less expensive. “We have
month, which often includes discounts people who have no issues with money
on certain brands of shoes. and who spend a lot on holiday cards,”
In addition to supporting her local said Taylor, who adds that along with
‘We are unique and with all the challenges of the past year, we’ve had to be even more chocolate vendor, Siger stocks luxury holiday cards, she has invitations to
creative,’ said Ma Petite Shoe Owner Susannah Siger, on attracting holiday shoppers. socks made by Pennsylvania’s lisa b. weddings and bar mitzvahs and other
“These socks begin at $18.99 and are events. “I really try to find out what the
customer’s needs are and then point
them to something that meets those
Taylor admits that her biggest com-
petition comes from online vendors,
such as Kodak. “I do hear, ‘I can get
this cheaper online.’ My response to
that is, ‘Yes, you can. But wouldn’t you
want to patronize a local stationer who
employs people who live in the com-
“On the other hand, I do hear, ‘I’m
so happy that you are here and I do
want to support you.’ We have a ton of
great customers like that.”
In Ruxton Station, economic safety
in tough times means vendors are band-
ing together to make it through the up-
coming holidays and the recession.
“For the first time this year, on De-
November 2009 Holiday Gift Guide 5
In addition to a personalized
shopping experience, Ma Pe-
tite Shoe offers customers a
popular combination of
shoes and chocolate.
cember 5th, we are having Christmas tomers,” said Franke. “In the card, every
festivities,” said Blair Franke, owner of store sends a card with a discount on
Linens & Lingerie. “All of the stores our merchandise.
are offering holiday discounts, holiday “I’ve ordered candles with our logo
treats and beverages. embossed on them, that I plan to send
“We are working on having Santa to our better customers as a goodwill
visit, planning a scavenger hunt for the gesture.”
children and the Gilman School’s a cap- Franke notes that Ruxton Station
pella group — Traveling Men — will be merchants are considering offering a
singing.” discount on their merchandise in Jan-
Also for the first time, the stores — uary. In addition to that, a percentage of
Linens & Lingerie, along with the Little total sales will be donated to a local
Shoe Box, J. McLaughlin, Rutland charity.
Beard, Jewels and Ellie — have been “We all share a lot of customers, and
collecting customers’ dates of birth. we are all very customer oriented, but
“Every month we send a total of be- even more so in this economic climate,”
tween 60 and 80 birthday cards to cus- she said. MAXIMILIAN FRANZ
Avenue in Hampden Downtown Frederick Harbor East
Baltimore City Frederick County Baltimore City
http://shophampden.com www.downtownfrederick.org www.harboreast.com
Shopping Belvedere Square
Historic Ellicott City
Hot Spots Bethesda
Mt. Washington Village
Brunswick Main Street Fells Point Ruxton Station
Frederick County Baltimore City Baltimore County
www.brunswickmainstreet.org www.fellspoint.us www.ruxtonstation.com
8 Holiday Gift Guide The Daily Record
Can’t find the hot new toy?
Blame the economy
BY ANNE D’INNOCENZIO
AP Retail Writer
R Robotic toy hamsters, the latest Bar-
bie dolls and stylish boots are disap-
pearing from store shelves as holiday
shoppers start to get serious. But don’t
confuse this with the days of Tickle
Instead of a throwback to great buying binges of
the past, the empty shelves are just another sign of
The shortages come from stores that are terrified
of ordering too much and are keeping their inven-
“I guess if you see it, you should get it,” said
Martha Frey, who was surprised when she couldn’t
find a specific style of boots in a popular size for her
17-year-old daughter recently at a Top Shop in Man-
hattan’s SoHo district.
Shoppers are spending a little more these days,
but they aren’t going on buying sprees. Stores, re-
membering how Americans snapped their wallets
shut last holiday season, didn’t order big piles of
merchandise in the first place. ASSOCIATED PRESS/THE GRAND RAPIDS PRESS, PAUL L. NEWBY II
The result, with seven weeks to go before Christ- Meijer's employee Carol Gessner straightens up the Hot Wheel cars section in the toy department in the Plainfield store
mas, is that popular toys are already hard to find. in Grand Rapids, Mich.
In fact, the holiday season’s early hit — the Zhu
Zhu Pets hamster, an interactive mechanical rodent and 9 from Melville, N.Y., had to go to Toys R Us five “No one wants to leave money on the table,”
by Cepia Inc. that sells for $9.99 and is being com- times before she got her hands on Zhu Zhu Pets a said John Long, a retail strategist at Kurt Salmon As-
pared to Furby a decade ago — is almost impossible month ago. But she’s having a hard time finding the sociates. “No one wants to disappoint customers.”
to nab. accessories, like the car, pet carrier and bed. October sales results showed that lean invento-
Other toys that are already becoming hard to “It’s no use to just get the hamsters. You need the ries have helped raise profits for stores, but they’re
find include Mattel’s Mindflex, which measures habitat,” she said. Megal noted that overall worry also limiting sales. And many reported slower sales
brain activity through a helmet, a Nerf dart thrower about shortages has made her start her holiday toward month’s end as they ran out of clearance
called Nerf N Strike from Hasbro Inc. and Barbie shopping early. She’s almost finished. merchandise.
Fashionista, who can twist her hips and strike oth- The barren shelves are in stark contrast to last Inventory is one of the biggest challenges stores
er poses. year, when stores ordered too much and had to face this holiday season, said Carl Steidtmann, an
“Stores just underordered across the board,” slap big discounts on merchandise as soon as it hit economist at Deloitte Research. Nevertheless,
said Jim Silver, an analyst at Timetoplaymag.com, the floor. Holiday sales posted their biggest decline they’re reordering only the best-selling items.
who predicted shortages of the top 100 toys by ear- in at least three decades, and the results cascaded Even then, they may be out of luck. Manufac-
ly December. In a typical year, only the top 15 are in into poor profits and even the closings of prominent turers, particularly small ones, matched production
short supply that early. stores like Circuit City. to orders and don’t have extras ready to ship.
In recent weeks toy makers have dispatched ex- This year, inventory is 8 to 13 percent smaller for BaseCamp Adventure Outfitters in Basking
ecutives to China to make sure they get enough mid-price clothing, and 10 to 15 percent smaller for Ridge, N.J., which sells outdoor clothing and gear,
products to keep shelves full, Silver said. But pro- home furnishings, said Antony Karabus, CEO of has sold out of a few styles of fleece jackets from
duction times can be long, and chances look slim Karabus Management, a retail advisory firm. brands like Horny Toad and Prana. The store can’t
that people who put off buying a coveted toy until Stores would rather be out of stock than stuck get more until April.
Thanksgiving will be able to get one by Christmas. with lots of leftovers. But they also know that mer- “Folks are coming in, and we are trying to re-
Shoppers are starting to notice. chants who carry goods shoppers want will have an order,” said Nick Marotta, a sales associate. “But
Tami Megal, a 36-year-old mother of girls ages 5 edge. there is nothing to get.”
Mindflex by Mattell
Game that uses brain power
to move objects
Bendable Barbie that is flexible
Zhu Zhu Pet Hamster
$9.99+ Interactive mechanical pet
Nerf N Strike by Hasbro
Automatic Nerf dart thrower
November 2009 Holiday Gift Guide 9
When a party’s
not just a party
T The guest list may be smaller, the shrimp is succumbing to
budget cuts, a DJ is replacing the band. Yet despite the cost-
saving maneuvers, for many organizations, the holiday
party still goes on.
As well it should.
The annual gathering is a ritual that
carries with it some unique opportuni-
ties to engage your most important con-
stituents in your organization and its
mission. It’s a chance to immerse em-
off at the holidays? It may cost little if
it’s a traditionally slow time, anyway,
but be assured it will go a long way
with employees. Or give them an extra
day or two next year, for personal use
ployees and clients — equal contribu- or charitable efforts.
tors to your company’s success — in
the character and values that have seen 4. Encourage meaningful interac-
you through this year and will guide tion. The holiday party is often a rare
you in the next. opportunity to
It’s an opportu- gather everyone in
nity to re-energize one room for no
these ambas- other purpose than
sadors, build loy- to socialize. Group
alty and gain ad- experience is key
vocates. SARAH here to creating
Budget cuts or
business as usual,
WINKLER the camaraderie
that is so essential
we offer a few tips Commentary to organizational
for maximizing the success. Keep
impact of your guests together in
holiday events — without sacrificing one room, if possible, and arrange the
the fun. room and seating to facilitate conver-
sation. This can be especially impor-
1. Be smart and authentic. If it’s tant if your company has gone through
been a tough year and bonuses were significant changes (e.g., layoffs or ac-
light, you’ll need to nix even the ap- quisitions) or your employees are dis-
pearance of extravagance. With a little persed in different locations, day-to-
creative thinking, you can hold an im- day.
pactful event on a smaller budget. Just
don’t skimp on heart. This is an oppor- 5. Think beyond 8:01. The room
tunity to thank the very folks who’ve looks great, the food’s on the table, the
seen you through some potentially music’s humming in the background.
tough times, working longer hours, Now what? Consider combining inspi-
working that much harder for the sale. ration and that opportunity for rela-
Replace glitz with a more personal ap- tionship-building by incorporating ac-
proach and you’ll demonstrate your ap- tivities, such as setting up stations
preciation and gain loyalty. where people can do or make things
— a fun party hat or a Christmas orna-
2. Be your value system. Have you ment or that card for a soldier. Does
made a commitment to green, espous- your group travel a lot? Have them
ing it at every turn? The party should re- bring extra hotel-supplied toiletries,
flect it, then, from the use of renew- supplement them with razors, tooth-
able party supplies to the lighting to paste and plastic combs, ask them to
the holiday gift paper. Task your event bring empty shoe boxes and wrapping
planner, caterer and the venue with paper, and, together make up gift box-
helping ensure you’ve considered the es for residents at a local homeless shel-
environmental impact of your event. ter.
Green can even make for a fun party
theme. 6. Dance. Golden oldies, Top 40 or
tropical fare, you’d be surprised what a
Do you tout a family friendly atmo- little dancing can do for the soul — and
sphere? Make a point of highlighting the fun quotient at your party.
your commitment to the community?
Prove it. Consider inviting the whole 7. Speak up. Keep it brief but don’t
family along or, if that’s not feasible, miss this public forum to thank and
hold a separate daytime party for the recognize your team. Whether it’s
kids. Or tack on a pre-party campaign to through a simple toast or specific ac-
have employees’ and clients’ children knowledgements, let them hear from
make cards for soldiers or for children leadership at some point during the
with life-threatening illnesses, or do- event about how much their contribu-
nate toys or food for local charities. tions mean to the company. And why it
Gather and showcase these contribu- was so important to have this occasion
tions at your party. to tell them so.
3. Pay it forward. This is an oppor- Your values, your employees and
tunity to thank your employees and your clients are your greatest assets.
clients for their dedication and busi- Be true to them this holiday and your
ness. It’s also an opportunity for the organization and your brand will be
collective group to make those com- that much stronger for it.
munity contributions, engendering re-
spect and a collective sense of charity.
Sarah Winkler is president of Feats
Aren’t granting bonuses? How about Inc., an experienced marketing and
giving employees a couple of extra days events agency based in Baltimore.
10 Holiday Gift Guide The Daily Record
Clockwise from left, Shelonda Stokes,
greiBO media; Special Secretary Luwanda
Jenkins, Governor’s Office of Minority
Affairs; Hassan Murphy, The Murphy Firm;
and Alison Asti, Gordon, Feinblatt,
Rothman, Hoffberger & Hollander LLC.
FILE PHOTO FILE PHOTO
A holiday wish
Business and legal leaders reflect on the spirit of the season
BY KAREN NITKIN
Special to The Daily Record
Sometimes the greatest gift from Santa can be no gift at isn’t the right color or it doesn’t fit!” She would not confirm or deny, but
As for herself, she wouldn’t mind a she simply invited me, if I could stay
all. In interviews with prominent Marylanders asking for set of Croker sculling oars, she said. awake on Christmas Eve, to join her
their thoughts and memories on holiday giving and re- Now back to those Santa stories. at midnight to experience Santa
Late on Christmas Eve one year ago, Clause.”
ceiving, two told touching stories that centered on losing Stokes and her husband Phillip had fi- “Talk about anticipation,” Murphy
a little faith in Santa, but gaining a more valuable nally coaxed their excited children, said. His mother’s confidence almost
aged 7 and 5, to bed. Then they waited made him doubt his own doubts about
maturity instead. a little while, to make sure the kids Santa, but he stayed awake, determined
were really asleep, and around mid- to prove that Santa was not real. At the
Lawyer Hassan Murphy, principal kitchen. “It has been really gratifying to night got to work. They had to build appointed hour, he came downstairs
of the Murphy Firm, remembered be- know that they share the company val- an elaborate racecar set, the kind with and found a stack of gifts that had not
ing 11 or 12, and confronting his own ues and continue to find ways to push all the loops. Their late-night “to-do” been there earlier, and his mother sit-
mother about whether Santa exists. ourselves to do more,” she said of the list also included eating a chocolate ting beside them. “I said, ‘Where’s San-
And Shelonda Stokes, president of company’s staffers. chip cookie and drinking just a little ta?’ She said, ‘You’re looking at him.’”
GreiBO Media, told a Santa story from Alison L. Asti, a lawyer with Gor- of the milk that had been set out for Murphy recalled.
her perspective as a mother. don, Feinblatt, Rothman, Hoff- Santa. It was a turning point in his life, be-
The rough economy was on the berger & Hollander, said the eco- At about 2:30 in the morning, their cause from that point forward, he
minds of many as they responded to nomic downturn provides an opportu- seven-year-old son crept down the helped his mother buy gifts and set up
questions about giving and receiving nity for lawyers to rethink how they stairs. “We couldn’t even hear him com- Christmas for his two younger brothers,
this year. “During this holiday season in do business. She’d like to see more cre- ing,” Stokes said. He said, “Mommy,” who still had a few years left of Santa
the midst of a tough economy, I am fo- ativity in how clients are charged for le- and the parents jumped as if caught in Clause non-doubt. “It was a really lov-
cused on giving that speaks to a need or gal services, she said, with examples a crime. He wanted to know why mom- ing and productive way for me to come
is merely a thoughtful gesture,” said including, “project billing instead of my and daddy were setting up toys to grips with reality,” he said. “She
Luwanda Jenkins, special secretary in hourly billing, discounted rates for when clearly that job belongs to Santa. turned my disappointment in no Santa
the Governor’s Office of Minority deals that do not close, graduated rates Stokes thought quickly, and said into feelings of productivity.”
Affairs. or fee structures for different sized Santa sometimes needs help. He liked Though Santa no longer existed for
“For example, if a girlfriend is cur- businesses, increased use of alterna- that answer so much that “he told me Murphy, he had at least one more great
rently unemployed I might wrap up a tive dispute resolution, more use of this year, if Santa needs help, he’ll help present in store.
few food items with a grocery store forms when possible to avoid rein- him,” Stokes said. A year or two later, Murphy’s moth-
gift card.” venting the wheel.” Another brush with lost Santa-re- er gave him the complete 1972 set of
At Urbanite, publisher Tracy Ward Laura Gamble, a founding member lated innocence took place 30 years TOPPS baseball cards. In mint condi-
said the magazine’s employees are hold- of Skipjack Partners, said she likes ago. Murphy remembers well that mo- tion. “It was a really big score for a
ing a toy drive to benefit childcare pro- giving experiences instead of material ment when he confronted his mother, kid,” he said.
grams run by the Y of Central Mary- items. “I often give books, tickets to demanding the truth once and for all: Is In fact, he still has it, and now he
land and have talked about adopting a the Hippodrome, movies or sporting Santa real? shares it with his own children, who
family and skipping the annual holiday events, or a spa gift certificate,” she “I guess I was 12 or 13,” he said. are 9 and 11. Santa or no, memories
party in favor of serving at a soup said. “You don’t have to worry that it “What my mom did was very clever. are being made.
November 2009 Holiday Gift Guide 11
Enjoy an eco-friendly
W When it comes to colors, red and green are synonymous with the holiday sea-
son. The green of Christmas trees and the red of Santa Claus become more and
more prevalent once the holiday season begins.
But this holiday season, more and more people are involving green in their
holiday season in an entirely different way. That’s because more people are go-
ing green this holiday season, choosing to make their holiday as eco-friendly
as possible. Here are some tips to green your holiday season.
• Embrace the e-vite. Holiday parties are a big part
of the season. Be it the office holiday party, a get-to-
gether with friends or the traditional family gathering
cards depending on the recipient.
• Use energy-efficient lighting when decorat-
• Wrap gifts in old newspapers. Many communities
mandate that citizens recycle old newspapers and
magazines. But before shipping off newspapers to
the nearby recycling center, use those old newspapers
to wrap the family gifts. This can help save money on
wrapping paper and the newspaper will still be able to
be recycled, even after it’s served dual purposes.
• Get crafty. Ornaments to hang on the tree or
around the house are a tradition many families enjoy
each holiday season. But even Mom would tell you the
most valuable ornaments are the ones her children
made. Families can still make their own ornaments
even if the kids are all grown. Making ornaments
during the holidays, social calenders are especially ing. Though one of the most eco-friendly ideas around from recycled materials helps save on packaging and
busy this time of year. Unfortunately, many people still the holidays is to forgo holiday lighting entirely, many make the most out of those old materials around the
mail paper invitations. Those hosting a holiday party families find this tradition too much fun and too en- house.
this year can positively impact the environment by joyable to abandon completely. So for families who
choosing e-vites, which are e-mailed out to friends want to positively impact the environment while still • Replant the holiday tree. While there’s an argu-
and family and don’t use paper traditional invitations,. enjoying holiday lighting this season, energy-efficient ment to be made for both living and artificial Christ-
In addition to their environmental benefit, e-vites also LED lighting can save substantial amounts of energy mas trees, including how each can be eco-friendly,
make it easier for guests to RSVP, as it’s just a mouse while also helping save some money as well. LED families fond of living trees can help the environment
click away instead of mailing a reply card back to lights can be used both indoors and outdoors, and by simply re-planting the tree once the holidays are
the host. are just as bright and aesthetically appealing as tra- over. Plant in a pot and place outside the house to en-
ditional lighting. sure everyone still gets their living tree, but that tree
• Make e-cards. E-cards are similar to e-vites in that can live on to see another day once the holiday season
they help reduce the reliance on paper but still convey • Shop locally. Shopping locally when looking for has passed.
the same message to family and friends. E-cards can holiday gifts is not only a good way to boost the local
also help families save money (some Web sites even economy, but it also helps reduce packaging and trans-
provide free e-cards), and allow them to personalize portation, which can prove taxing on the environment. Metro Editorial Services
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