There are many reasons to both curse and be thankful for the weather. Personally I thought this fall was one of the best in memory if for nothing else than the trees. Traditionally, with our mild temperatures and practically undistinguishable change from rainy fall to rainy winter, the leaves of the trees would simply go from green to slimy rotting brown. This year however with warm days and freezing nights we witnessed the stunning colors usually reserved for those out east.
Funny enough, there are also many benefits to the brutal face slapping transition into winter. Of course those who ski are enjoying downright flabbergasting powder runs before December which almost makes up for the last three drought years. As well, the dead of winter coming mid-November leaves far fewer people who will be taken aback by the sudden emergence of Santa and the most bankrupting of all holidays. Christmas is here and refreshingly, it actually ‘feels’ like Christmas with enough time to avert being one of those last minute Seven-11 Santas.
Sure there are some who have this holiday dialed and in whole-hog style have already mailed out the Christmas cards (lord help you if you reverted to spamming soulless e-greetings). Leaving the majority of us to only now notice the guilt ridden consumerism noose closing ever so tightly. But never fear, the early snow has kicked our brains into action with just enough time so that we might actually find a thoughtful gift not purchased under a thousand fluorescent bulbs.
As the sticker says, every dollar is a vote and for those who can see the obvious benefits to shopping local, it doesn’t get better than craft fairs, farmers markets and independent stores. The best part is knowing that the money you spend will no doubt be going to another person in the community and so on and so on until it inevitably gets into a store that takes the money out of town.
Luckily, Squamish still has it’s share of local merchants with a plethora of great gifts. The Hive, Funky Monkey, Trinity Romance, the skate shop’s, Gelato, Kids Place, Chaos Kids, Big Buddha and on and on. They don’t have everything, but chances are they have the right thing. Oh, like Xocolatl who sells perhaps the only fail safe guaranteed gift: award winning chocolate creations.
As for convenience, you can get everything done tomorrow or at least make a big ol dent in the list when you go to the winter wonderland downtown. Not only will there be a Christmas farmers market, your neighbors will also have their stores open, and there will be a Santa parade featuring, wait for it, a giant community Christmas tree. How cool is that? If the snow didn’t get you in the mood the giant tree downtown will surely warm the cockles of your heart. Looking back at the year we had I think we could all use a right neighborly chinwag with some co-co around the tree. Let the cockle warming begin.