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i have 3 goals for this christmas.
1 – working 3 jobs, i don’t have a lot of spare time on my hands so i don’t want to spend hours standing in line ups for gifts. nor do i want to spend my free time hanging lights and decoarating.
2 – i am trying to avoid buying things made in china. a news story broke about 2 montha ago about the discovery of a ‘kiln’ where people (including many children) were being kept as slave labourers — kidnapped, beaten, starved and severely malnourished. since then i have been trying to reduce my consumption of products made in china (and india, as conditions there are not much better, if any).
3 – despite holding 3 jobs, i do not hold many assests available for liquidation, i.e. i’m po. (merry christmas, royal bank. i’m sure you and yours are eating well this holiday season.) so the gifts i buy have to be affordable.
as i proceed with my last minute preparations i keep these goals, and i have some time-tested techniques for meeting them. i encourage anyone who is still preparing to try these ideas out — i find they make for a more relaxed, enjoyable and heartfelt christmas:
home-made gifts — you don’t have to be super-crafty to make gifts. if you are not a painter of knitter, you can still purchase kits that provide you with materials and give you step-by-step directions. my favourite gifts are those that incorporate photos… they can be scrapbooked, put on mugs or t-shirts, or just printed and set in a nice frame… and voila, personal, affordable and easy presents.
hand-made gifts — many people ‘prepare’ for christmas by pacing through the mall or zipping from store to store in an industrial park, standing in long lines, arguing over who-picked-it-up-first and risking life and limb in congested parking lots. (and the products purchased at these stores are almost entirely made in china or india.) i prefer to head downtown and browse the shops of local artisans, giftshops and services. in st. john’s there are many shops like these. there is environmentally-friendly clothing with prints by local artists (living planet), paintings galore, and lots of crafts.
entertainment gifts — tickets for theatre productions, concerts, massages, spa days, sports events, meals. all great gifts.
happy holidays. i hope everyone enjoys time with friends and family, with nice meals and music. and some wine.
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