’Tis the Season for Green Gifting
’Tis the season for giving green gifts for Christmas – and why not extend “the Greening” so it’s a New Year’s goal? What to offer? What to buy?
Time to help
Volunteer. Give the most precious gift you have in your possession: your time. Are there seniors or others in your life who have limited physical capabilities? Winter’s such a challenge... Consider offering to shovel snow or help shop for groceries. Think about their needs and how you and your family might offer to help – this is a thoughtful way to involve children from youngsters to teens.
We hear much about depression and isolation. Is there someone who might like you to prepare and share a meal with them, play cards, or share a cup of tea and conversation? Consider offering a gift of companionship.
Organizations need volunteers
From historical societies and art associations to naturalists’ groups, buy a membership for someone and then head out with that person on some of the organization’s outings or events.
Suggestions include this short list:
Friends of the Chats Falls/ Les amis de la Sault des chats (chatsfalls.ca); Ottawa Riverkeeper/ Sentinelle Outaouais (ottawariverkeeper.ca); Le Club des ornithologues de l’Outaouais (coo.qc.ca); (Macnamara Field Naturalists’ Club (mfnc.ca); Pontiac Historical Society/ Société historique du Pontiac (bit.ly/2zOzx2i); Gatineau Valley Historical Society/ Société historique de la valée de la Gatineau (gvhs.ca/); ArtPontiac (artpontiac.com); La Fab Centre des arts/Arts Centre (culturechelsea.ca).
Giving local products = supporting a local entrepreneur
Gifts purchased from local entrepreneurs keep dollars in our community and directly assist a local entrepreneur to continue their business.
For gardeners and folks who love wildlife, a gift certificate from Beaux Arbres (beauxarbres.ca), botanist Trish Murphy’s Bristol-based native plant nursery where she grows native plants for sale.
For bird lovers? Buy suet cakes and their cage containers, bird-feeding stations, and bird seed at Shawville’s M&R Feeds (bit.ly/2PB9lfE).
For anyone interested in herbal products, contact La Fée des Bois in Greermount (herboristerielafeedesbois.com) where Mariane Desjardins Roy grows organic plants from which she makes ointments, teas, and more.
For coffee lovers: head to Raymond Sander-Regier’s coffee roasterie, Art Brûlant, in Shawville (bit.ly/1HUTcMg) to buy a fragrant bag of beans roasted by an expert. Tea also available.
For wine-lovers: contact local wineries: Quyon’s Domaine de Pontiac Village (domainepontiac.com); Shawville’s Little Red Wagon Winery/ Vignoble petit chariot rouge (littleredwagonwinery.com); Luskville’s Lavender Ridge Farm/ Ferme lavender ridge (lavenderridge.ca).
For food lovers: Many local producers offer delicious, wholesome meats, where many farm sites ask you to call first to set up an appointment for purchasing meat. Andrew Simms Farm (bit.ly/2zYbBs7); Ferme Netherleigh Farm (netherleighfarm.ca). Or, head to Shawville’s Giant Tiger and ask to see their local frozen meats (bit.ly/2SQF7r5). As well, Joanne’s Valu-Mart in Shawville sells local apiarists’ honey (bit.ly/2GgRV8J) and Aylmer’s SOL Épicerie Santé (bit.ly/2QwdhUe/) sells local apiarists’ honey and fragrant natural beeswax candles.
Gifts of wellness
Give a gift of a massage, hot stone therapy, yoga & meditation sessions and more, offered at Shawville’s Pontiac Wellness Centre (facebook.com/PontiacWellnessCentre).
Talking about time and giving a gift of sharing with a friend, why not plan to go on a series of snowshoeing or cross-country skiing outings at Ski Pontiac (skipontiac.ca/), in Bristol? Founders Connie Renaud and Shirley Russell created this organization years ago and now there’s an easy trail network awaiting you for skiers and snowshoers. Because these trails really are easy, Ski Pontiac is a great destination for beginners or anyone wanting an easy-but-good heart-healthy workout. And consider joining the Friends of the Trails/Amis des sentiers because help in keeping trails open is always welcome.
Merry Christmas Everyone!
There’s so much going on in our community, isn’t there? In these last shopping days before Christmas (and into the New Year for birthdays and other occasions, don’t forget) let’s celebrate our local entrepreneurs.
Whether they’re artists or farmers, apiarists or masseurs – or whether you’re making a commitment to share time with someone, let’s each of us spread the authentic and very green spirit of Christmas by helping one another.
Katharine Fletcher is a freelance writer, author, and visual artist. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org and view her art at facebook.com/KatharineFletcherArtist/