The Season of Good Cheer

snowThe seasons go by so quickly. It’s winter and four gale force wind storms took out the power lines this month. We even had snow.  Aside from being wet, which is guaranteed, who knows what the rest of the winter  months will hold?

I love some things about this Solstice, Hannukah, Chrismas, Kwaanza season.  It’s truly the season of good cheer and well wishes. But this year times are hard. No one is flush with money. Everyone is reluctant to increase their debt. Shopping local is the first step towards ensuring community success and security in a competitive global market. Every dollar that a community member spends outside the community diminishes the economic health of the community. This year my friends decided to shop local rather than traveling south and cross border shopping on Black Friday. We aren’t shopaholics by any means but this year we are spending more than usual.

Jobs have always been scarce here. Some businesses have closed and jobs were lost so we’re keenly aware that shopping locally helps maintain jobs in the community.  For every dollar spent for retail goods and services within the community there’s strong multiplier effect. Dollars spent in locally-owned business have up to three times the impact on the community as those spent in corporate chains.

Providing excellent customer service is the way local businesses set themsleves selves apart from chain stores.  Shopping at local stores and community halls makes them a destination for socializing. Local businesses help build strong communities by linking citizens and supporting local causes.  Small business people make significant donations to local non-profit groups, sports teams, cultural activities and other important causes. So encouraging  small businesses to stay in business is where we are at.

Local shops and art and craft sales are an opportunity to make purchases from those we know and gift them to those we love.  We are choosing small green gifts of appreciation like a “product gift” that can be worn, eaten, or enjoyed. Cards can be recycled and they can be handmade and, cards are less expensive than gifts. They are also fun to make.  I’m looking forward to Winter Solstice.  I like making evergreen wreaths but that I won’t be doing that for a couple of weeks yet.

The two months we spent working flat out were exhausting but satisfying. It’s good to have some time now to fill the house with the smells of baking and the air waves with good music.  Aside from getting the last shipments to market, we have no major obligations. There are some seasonal concerts and plays to attend that we’re looking forward to and some time to kick back and relax before the New Year.  It’s good to be blogging here again.

12 thoughts on “The Season of Good Cheer

  1. Hi TT!
    I now do my own Christmas Cards as I’m into crafts and art therapy. I’ve also started to learn Jewellery Making so a few extra handmade presents which helps the local shops as I buy my supplies from them.

    It’s cold here in England but I feel a very warmth time is approaching as the end of 2011 gets closer… I always found end of year/new year quite surreal. There’s a feeling of responsability, I don’t know…

    Anyway, I wish you and your loved ones a beautiful Christmas and a dreams come true 2012 year!

    Bless,
    Tree Spirit :)

    • Hi treespirit11 ,
      It’s cool to know we have this common ground. I love making cards and small crafts and have done so most of my life. Art therapy has been so beneficial for me and I hope it has been for you also.

      Unfortunately, the meteorologists predict this winter will be among the coldest in the last 20 years on the coast. Hopefully, there won’t be high winds because that’s what takes down the trees which in turn take down the power lines. We are equipped to deal with power outages but they are inconvenient and annoying.

      My New Year always begins on Winter Solstice. May your and yours experience a wonderful holiday season full of love and laughter.

      All my best,
      TiTi

  2. We’ve got three major hardware stores in town, but nothing compares to the local TrueValue, where everyone in the store knows everything in it and can always lead you to the right place.

    I hope you have a wonderful holiday. When money is tight, just make your hugs tighter. That’s what we do in our family!

    • Hi Janene,
      It’s the same here with our building supply store and with other local shops too. They have what we need. They can locate it in an instant and their service it outstanding. They are my neighbours and in tough times like these neighbours need to recognize that “community contribution” is an important value.

      I love your closing and wish you and yours a Huggy and Happy Christmas too.

  3. The Big Box stores have been pretty much taken over our town, and driven the smaller merchants out of business. So many empty storefronts downtown and more to come. So shopping locally here simply means padding the pockets of Walmart and Toys For Us. I don’t celebrate Christmas and never shop anyway, so I’m not personally affected. For me, it’s just life as usual, which is always simple, pleasant and good.

    • That’s sad to hear but not surprising. :( We don’t celebrate Christmas either and the only gifts we buy are for donation to various charities.

  4. It is so strange thinking of a winter Christmas. I spent last Christmas in Texas, but it was very mild – no snow!

    Sorry to hear of the local employment situation, but you are right, shopping locally helps your community.

    • We don’t usually get snow and if we do it comes much later on in the winter and melts away quickly. In winter this is a rainforest zone. The rest of the year temperatures are Mediterrean.

      We are focusing on shopping local and that’s not a departure from what we have been doing. The change has been in increasing shopping as we aren’t big consumers and we have to compel ourselves to purchase new things. lol :D

  5. This will be a well-deserved holiday for you and hubby. I don’ know about you, but I find if the weather is not too horrible, it is a wonderful contemplative time to wander around, visit and enjoy company and the great outdoors.

    Shopping locally is a great reminder and in your area, pertinent.

    Frankly in all these years of Christmases, I think I’ve only shopped once in my life across the border. Seems like the worse time of year to do it with everyone else clamouring for specials and dealing with international border traffic.

    Every Christmas holiday becomes more and more precious with the time shared with loved ones. We should make the very best of that time, like snowflakes before they melt away.

    • You are so right about how precious our time with loved ones is and I’m looking forward to that social time as well. We are outdoor wanderers. My partner bicycles the trails almost every day. I tend to walk closer to home or on our own property. I’m not going to make any particular plans but I do think I may be reading and painting during our rest and relaxation time.

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