By Gretchen Spear
Director, Packaging & Government Affairs
The 2014 holiday season is upon us! This time of year, between
Thanksgiving and Christmas, is one of my favorites. Now that we
have a young family, my husband and I are combining our family
traditions and creating new ones. Among all of the new and old
traditions, one thing is constant—the use of paper and paper-based packaging.
A fun (or some might call it stressful) part of the holiday season is shopping. Buying that perfect gift, boxing it up and then wrapping it in festive paper for a co-worker, friend or family member is only part of gift giving. The suspense and excitement of unwrapping gifts is entertaining to watch, especially with little children. Some kids enjoy the box and paper that the gift was wrapped in more than the actual gift!
I love to send and receive holiday cards, because it is time to reflect and catch-up with family and friends. The Greeting Card Association estimates 1.6 billion Christmas cards are purchased (including boxed cards) each year and that 75 percent of U.S. consumers send holiday cards.
With extended family spread across two continents, the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) plays an important role in getting our cards and gifts to loved ones. Due to continued e-commerce growth and improvements to its Priority Mail product line, the USPS estimates 15.5 billion cards, letters, and packages will be delivered between Thanksgiving and New Years Eve. On November 17th, the Postal Service kicked off its seven days a week delivery in major cities and high volume areas to ensure timely delivery.
Another family tradition is decorating our house. We make paper snowflakes to adorn the windows, read holiday stories and create a paper chain as a countdown to jolly old St. Nick’s arrival.
Finally, once we are done with all those paper-based boxes, bags, letters, cards and wrapping paper, we recycle them.
Happy holidays to those near and far!