By Mariah McKenney
From September through October, the leaves change into their dazzling auburn, red and yellow colors. The beauty of nature allows time to stand still for a moment while we contemplate something other than work, school and obligations. Not only does the change signify a time to stop for a moment and embrace life, it also means the impending arrival of one cheerful time of year – Christmas!
Ah! Yes, Christmas – a time for family, music, traditions and all the trimmings. These last two Christmases however, have been out of the ordinary for my family. They have allowed me the time to reflect on the real meaning of Christmas, and how can we express this meaning in a way that is personal and meaningful.
One way is through our gifts. I’m not talking about the Black Friday gift sales but rather about gifts from the heart, that require spending little to no money at all.
Stores such as used bookstores, friperies, and boutiques around the Townships offer great ideas for thoughtful and unique gifts. For instance, antique shops and used bookstores in the area are great places to shop for someone who loves history and collecting antiques. Frelix, the used book store in Frelighsburg, Les bons débarras and Brocante chez Marcelle in Sutton and Sykes & McGee’s Antiques in West Brome are great places to look for something original and thoughtful. The whole experience of finding the right gift to give someone shows one’s kindness and determination to make their Christmas special.
Similarly, there are DIY gifts that prove a person’s intention to put extra time, care, and thought into a gift. With the all choices in the Townships, there are many ideas to make a nice ‘do-it-yourself’ gift like putting together a gift basket with chocolates from the Chocolaterie Belge Muriel in Sutton, or OUI! Desserts in Dunham. Or even better, a homemade gift. Last Christmas, I made small goodies bags for my family with homemade treats such as Christmas sugar cookies, fudge, and French macaroons, each accompanied by a Christmas card. As I baked these delicious treats, I listened to Christmas music and felt the Christmas spirit more than if I had shopped for gifts.
And, from the words of the Grinch, “Maybe Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas . . . perhaps . . . means a little bit more!” So, when the leaves have fallen, and Christmas lights cover the entire Townships, take a moment to enjoy the meaning of the holidays, and have yourself a merry little Christmas this year.