I’m one of those people that finds the holiday season a little difficult. I never celebrated Christmas as a child, so as an adult it doesn’t come naturally to me. Compounding matters are my conscientious efforts to reduce the consumerism in my life.
Over the years, though, I have found that there are lots of great things a person can do to make the holidays meaningful without breaking the bank or losing one’s mind. I call it Christmas Stopping.
Some people volunteer their time or donate money to local charities. I can think of no better way to demonstrate the true spirit of Christmas than to give to those truly in need.
Other people like to give experiences.
Tickets to the movies, a spa treatment or a gift certificate to a local restaurant are all great things to buy for a loved one. It means they are now mandated to take time out for themselves.
If budget is an issue – or even for a more thoughtful gift — one can offer up their own time to friends and family for things like window cleaning for someone who’s been feeling under the weather, a night of babysitting services for a new mom, or some homemade soup for an elderly person living alone.
Personally, I like to bake or give preserves as gifts. The care that goes into creating something from scratch is something that can’t be bought.
Not all shopping is bad of course, and sometimes new things are a nice treat. I try to shop locally whenever possible to keep my hard-earned dollars in the community, supporting small business and local employment.
There are some really trendy clothes, cool toys, and unique gifts to be found in our little town.
For our part, the Cariboo Chilcotin Conservation Society helps to run an annual Earth Friendly Holiday Event, and if you’ve never been, you should check it out.
With natural crafts, wreath-making, upcycling, art projects, clay creations, fibre crafts, carolling, and refreshments, it’s one of my favourite events of the year! Lots of warm and fuzzies to be felt here.
Above all, do some Christmas stopping – take a moment to reflect on what makes this time of year great.
Conservation Tip of the Month: Join us at the Earth Friendly Holiday Event Friday evening, November 30 (5 to 9 p.m.) and Saturday, December 1 (10 a.m. to 2 p.m.) at the Central Cariboo Arts and Culture Centre, 90 4th Avenue North in Williams Lake.
This event is a free all ages affair brought to you by the Community Arts Council of Williams Lake, Scout Island Nature Centre, and the Cariboo Chilcotin Conservation Society.
As is tradition, we will also be accepting warm clothing donations for the CAC Giving Tree.
Don’t forget to bring last year’s bike rims for wreath-making if you still have them!
For more information, contact CCCS at firstname.lastname@example.org or 250-398-7929.
Vanessa Moberg is the sustainable life education co-ordinator with the CCCS.