A View from Sierra County

Small town life and politics, lots of knitting, and travels with and without my five burros

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Location: In the Sierra Nevadas, United States

I blog about rural living and social issues, and the creativity that comes from knitting, as well as post random pictures of the Sierras and my burros. "In order to be an artist, one must be deeply rooted in the society" - Simone de Beauvoir


Saturday, December 10, 2005

The Shopping Season

I am one who has always had a lot of trouble with the over-commercialization of Christmas, the crowded stores, the traffic snarls, the pressure to buy for "everyone on your list", however I have always loved surprising someone with a great gift, making festive holiday foods, wrapping presents, decorating the tree, even setting out candles or attending services.... all of which involve consuming SOMETHING, even if just a warm coat and the yarn for a hat to protect me while heading off to Midnight Mass (which occupied almost every Christmas of my youth and young adulthood).

Therefore, I joined the masses, heading over to Chico this morning with my DH, and youngest son, who came up to visit and "hang out" with us, as he put it. We really do have a few special people that we love and want to give presents to, and we also have several parties to attend in the next week, and a gathering of our own family on Christmas Eve, to prepare for. We picked up DD at her apartment, and grabbed some lunch, then we were on the run the rest of the afternoon.

On our list were several stops, including Heartstrings, to get a gift for my Better Pal (which, of course, I can't reveal the details - but it is a great match!), and Toys R' Us, to order an outdoor climbing structure.

You see, taking over as Director of The Good Years Children and Families Center last August, has turned out to be one of the most heart-opening events in my life. I had been on the Board of Directors for three years, and we had done a lot of fund-raising activity, but being the day-to-day person in charge has put me in much more direct contact with the huge amount of support our tiny community, with a steady year-round population of less than 300, has provided. At least once a month, I open an envelope with an unexpected contribution from an individual, and twice in as many months, these contributions have also been unexpectedly larger than I thought possible for our mainly working- and middle-class population. However, the fundraising efforts have allowed us to purchase a piece of outdoor play equipment.

This is what Santa is bringing to the Childrens Center for Christmas. Nikki, while she was at our center as Head Teacher, spearheaded a fundraiser last summer to go towards improving the outdoor play area, so I was pleased that she could help me pick something out, and take charge of picking it up when it arrives and bringing it to us. The kids will be delighted.

We also managed to get beer and chocolate at Cost Plus World Market, although not the gift for SIL Erika that we went there for, and to get a gift for Glenn's Dad at Home Depot, as well as an ornament for my Mountain Star Quilters Christmas party tomorrow.

The group there is ruthless, doing an ornament exchange based on the system of selecting a package under the tree, and enforced trading, until everyone has a gift... this has led to outdoing each other in decorating the packages. My methodology this year was to employ a Wrapsack, since they are more ecological than many forms of gift-wrapping, and the recipient can help send the sack around the world.

I discovered this great idea about a year and a half ago, but never pre-registered one before giving it before... now I can check in and see where the "Sierra Snowflake" has gone on its journey. You might want to check these out if you still need to come up with gift wrap options. The idea is that each sack is numbered, and can be registered online, then passed along to someone else, and you can check back later and see where your sack goes next.

Hope your holiday season is going well... rich with the love of family and friends and good, relaxing times.


Blogger Carole said...

That wrapsack thing is pretty cool. Things for telling me about it.

5:17 AM  
Blogger margene said...

What a great gift for the children! They are going to have so much fun playing on a contraption like that!
Wrapping is a sore point with me, too. I usually try to wrap in some thing reusable. Thanks for the link.
Sounds like you really had some Holiday seasonal fun;-)

6:07 AM  

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