Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way! The snow has slowly been falling, with large snowflakes landing on the frozen ground. Winter outings—tobogganing at the park, ice fishing, and building forts in the backyard—have become new favourite family activities! Rosy cheeks, lungs filled with fresh air, exhaustion taking down little winter warriors. Mom takes advantage of the kids’ nap time to shop to decorate the space under the tree with presents of every colour.
A fifteen-minute drive later, the young mother of the family finally arrives at the shopping centre. She circles the parking lot for several minutes, looking for a spot. In the distance, she sees a couple leaving the mall and decides to follow them. It’s her lucky day—she is able to get their spot, which is right in front of the children’s favourite superstore. The mother tries to create a path for herself through the herds of people in the store. They are all looking for toys on their children’s lists. After spending hours searching for them, it is now time to pay for their findings. The wait is long, as there are a lot of people in line.
Each year, we promise ourselves that we will do things ahead of time, so that we will no longer have to experience the chaos of last-minute shopping during the holiday season. Are we actually last-minute shoppers, I wonder, or do we just buy and give too much? For several years, I have found that children are so spoiled that they no longer get as much pleasure from opening their gifts. What if Christmas was “made in Quebec” this year?
- Change the way we consume, teach our children the value of things.
- DIYs (do-it-yourself projects) are very in right now, so make them a part of our traditions.
- Buy local. Yes, it is more expensive, but it often lasts longer and, more importantly, is more unique.
- Favour quality over quantity.
Gift Ideas for the Whole Family
I began to give my friends gifts of homemade sweets, caramel, cookies, and truffles. These gifts are inexpensive and much more pleasant to make than to have to head to the shopping centres at this time of the year. If you don’t have time to make your own homemade candy, I recommend that you try the products offered by Dinette Nationale. They are made in Montréal, and they are delicious! You’ll be happy to give their products as gifts. If you are looking for a gift card to a Montréal restaurant, I recommend the famous restaurant Chez Lévêque or Le Blind Pig resto-bar. For your vegetarian friends, Lola Rosa restaurant is a must! Your friends will discover new places, and it will give you a chance to spend quality time with them. Isn’t that the most important thing during the holiday season—having a good time with your loved ones?
Giving a gift of tickets to events featuring Quebec artists is also a must! Do you like to laugh? Les Grandes Crues will not disappoint. My nephew loves superheroes, so the “Tim” doll from Raplapla is perfect for him. My niece loves to colour, so why not support Rousskine, which sells dolls that can be coloured, and more! My mother never has enough jewelry, so I recommend Horace Jewelry. My sisters are foodies, so from Trois fois par jour, I get them homemade candy and subscriptions to Marilou’s wonderful magazine. My brother is a bit quirky, so Velvet Moustache’s creations work perfectly with his décor. Boutique May has beautiful products available for purchase; their pretty pillows will soon add pops of colour to my friends’ homes! Beards are popular this year, so if you know any bearded gentlemen, gift them something from Brave & Bearded. Diligences soaps will make others jealous! They make perfect stocking stuffers. Les Pétards products smell amazing, and their humorous packaging will spruce up your tree.
While you can do your shopping online for Quebec products, it is also always nice to go meet the people behind the products. Their stories are interesting, so tell them to your loved ones. Talk about Quebec business owners. Help them earn a living more easily. Help us by clearing out our living rooms of objects that are not being used. We have a resource that is not being sufficiently exploited. Focus on quality and originality.
Will you change your way of consuming this year? For me, it will be a “made-in-Quebec” Christmas! I am already looking forward to the smell of my little Christmas tree and to all of the Quebec treasures that will be placed underneath it.