By Karen Bowley, WATCH and Wooragee Landcare member
It is great that we can spend Christmas with family and/or friends again. But does that mean your Christmas will be exactly the same as before COVID?
Will we buy the same kinds of gifts and food for our festive feast? I would like to think that will do things a bit differently now.
For example, buying local will assist those local businesses who have been hit hard by lockdowns. We need to spend our money locally so that our communities can recover both financially and mentally. We are lucky in our region as we have so many wonderful local businesses that grow wonderful food and make quality products. And with the issues with Australia Post, it will definitely be quicker to buy local!
Do you now realise the futility of materialism and consumerism? Do you really need all that stuff? Do you have room for more stuff? So, you could consider gifts such as theatre passes, accommodation packages or gift certificates for an activity or experience, instead. Or if you kept yourself busy during lockdowns developing new hobbies, you could make gifts. For example, did you become a knitter, a potter, a mosaic artist or a cook? All have means of creating bespoke gifts to show your appreciation of friends and family.
In lockdowns we had to learn to slow down. Did you use that time to consider our environment and maybe what it takes for companies to be ethical? An ethical present could be cruelty free make-up, biodynamic wine or some Fairtrade goodies, like chocolate or coffee.
Did you start growing vegetables in lockdowns? If so, you should be able to grow a lot of your own Christmas feast food. Simple things like lettuce and carrots are a good start. You probably have lots of broad beans and onions to experiment with. Eating your own home-grown food is always very satisfying and healthy.
Christmas this year will be about socialising with family and friends as this small pleasure has been denied us for so long. Slow down and enjoy company, visit your neighbours or those who don’t have any family. A token of love or friendship can be simple and handmade.
Photo: Plasticwise Yackandandah Christmas Gift stall, by Jodie McClellan.