WEYBURN - There are many reminders that Christmas is right around the corner, now that we are officially in December. During this time of year, there is an extra focus on the commercialism aspect of our society, with increased Christmas shopping advertisements on TV, social media and YouTube.
It is important to remember that Christmas is not just about how much you can spend, and that there is no benefit to going into debt over luxury expenses. There are many families who are carefully watching their budget this time of year, and worry about putting a Christmas gift under the tree for their child. It can be a stressful time for many in our community.
I believe there are many affordable ways to express your love and appreciation for the people in your life, without having to spend a lot of money. The most valuable thing is the memories that are created and shared, and so maybe the biggest sacrifice you should be making is dedicating ‘tech-free time’ while socializing and visiting. Give your attention to your friends and family members, instead of your phone.
Donate your time. There are many organizations that could use an extra volunteer during the holiday season, and it is an excellent way to give back to others in the community. Volunteering is a great family activity that could be shared together.
One can find many great shopping deals by staying local. There are so many amazing businesses in our community who support local artists or entrepreneurs, and will display their products. There are many benefits by spending your Christmas budget at local businesses, as it will support their employees and their families, who are part of the community.
Another way to give back to the community is to remember those who might not have any family. There are many senior members of our community at care homes or long-term care centres who would love to receive a Christmas card, even from a stranger. It is important to check with the care home or long-term centre first, if you plan to visit in person.
The Canadian Department of National Defence offers a website to those who want to send a Christmas message to the men and women of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) who have demonstrated time and again that they will rise to any challenge. It only takes a few moments to let your Canadian Armed Forces members know you appreciate their service by sending a message using the monitored message board.
The holiday season can be hectic with additional community events on the calendar, and the desire to spend quality time with family and friends. It is important to remember to balance your schedule, and don’t be afraid to take some personal quiet time.
Christmas only comes once a year, and it remains important to keep it special and memorable.