There’s something very primal about celebrating in December. With winter coming on, humans have known for centuries that it’s time to light the candles, blaze the bonfires, feast, and laugh together as the shank end of the year shades into the new one’s beginning. Shortly, the longer days will be noticeable, as the sun makes its way back.
We’ve been conditioned into feeling that there is a “Right Way to Do the Holidays.” Well, there is. The right way is the way that makes you happy. Even the most rugged individualist may wish to partake of some of the season’s jollies, so here’s our guide to doing that without getting trampled in commercialism’s maw.
1.Go get your own fresh tree. Local tree farms are family places that will make your tree excursion convenient and memorable, and you’ll get a better look at the tree’s natural shape if you see it standing naturally, not leaning against a sawhorse after having been all bundled up. Look into eco-friendly disposal methods too—your tree farmer may have some ideas.
2. Invite folks over to help dress it. The combination of your crew’s various creative inspirations is sure to result in something stellar. And since you’re providing the decorations and raw materials, you can subtly ensure that the end result will suit your taste.
3.Make more memories than purchases. The fun of finding a special remembrance for someone you love is undeniable but can easily get lost if shopping becomes a lengthy list of obligations. Consider a pact with those you love to establish a Secret Santa or gift grab bag tradition that can be part of a get- together where you all enjoy the greatest gift gift: each other.
Shopping locally means helping your local economy, while getting goods crafted from the heart and hands of your neighbors.
1.Shop Main Street. Don’t fall into the “Big Box Trap.” The only thing you will find at the mall, besides overcrowded asphalt filled with people who have forgotten the basics of auto operation, is the same stuff people are finding at every other mall everywhere. Go to Main Street instead.
2.Visit Hudson Valley villages and towns where artisanal entrepreneurs and small-business owners have offerings as unique as fingerprints. Wearable art, wall art, great books, fine foods, toys: whatever you’re looking for, you’ll find it. The quality will likely be finer, the service incomparably so. Local shopkeepers are happy to help you find the perfect whatsis for a loved one and wrap it up with a smile. And when you factor in the gasoline you won’t be using and frustration you won’t be experiencing, shopping locally becomes a bargain.
1.Be on the lookout for community celebrations, when shop owners and restaurateu-
rs work together to enchant their turf with holiday glitter. You’ll find specials and parades, cookies and cocoa and Santa, and local families of all descriptions having a blast together. See our events section for ideas.
2.Make it fresh. Whether it’s eggnog or cookies, it’s not hard to outdo the preservative-laden offerings of the mass producers. An afternoon of cookie baking with the kids or making special gifts together (check out VISITvortex' rolling pin printing ideas) becomes a priceless memory.
3.Get some you time, some spirit time. Whether your cultural tradition involves a Nativity scene, a menorah, a Festivus pole or a Yule bonfire, indulge and enjoy—and take a minute to reflect on the singular resonance of the season of lights and giving.