Over the past few years, I have noticed a definite shift in the way I start to prepare for the holidays.
Instead of rushing to a big box store on Black Friday to stock up on more things for my loved ones, it’s become a habit to sit down with a pen and paper and start to brainstorm activities, events and more locally made products that could fill the space under the tree.
As a creative, I find so much joy in crafting things for other people but with a Christmas list thats nearing 40 people, tracking down things they will love makes life more manageable. My kids spend so much time at school, with friends and playing various sports, that gifts that include some quality time together are appreciated by all of us.
And that’s not to mention that as we try to pare down on the sheer amount of “stuff” we have floating around the house, a movie ticket or Western Canada Theatre pass is much easier to store.
This year, as you may know, we opened a small store downtown and suddenly shopping small and local has come to take on a whole new meaning for us.
We have regulars now who take the time to check in on us and pick up a few things here and there and the support has been invaluable.
In the spirit of continuing that, we have put together a short list of ideas for ways you can support the community over the holiday season.
When preparing dinner or bringing a dish to someone else’s home shopping in a small neighbourhood store like Chop n Block, 10-1415 Hillside Dr., or Nu Leaf Produce Market, 740 Fortune Dr., is a great way to add some local flavours and find something new to bring.
We have an amazing collection of wineries and breweries in town, so picking up some bottles from the local tasting room ensures those grapes will get grown again next year.
‘Tis the season for craft fairs to begin, so mark down some dates on your calendar for events as big as the RIH craft fair, to smaller events hosted at local elementary schools. It’s a great way to find some local makers and find a unique gift.
You should also explore new neighbourhoods. We have people wandering into our store daily who comment that they haven’t been downtown in a long time. This year, take some time to head to a spot out of your daily commute and find some treasures. From Flutter Buys Thrift Store, 14-1800 Tranqulle Rd., in Brock which supports the hospice for some pre-loved treasures, to Leon John’s Deli, 287 Tranquille Rd., for a quick lunch, to all the new shops that have opened downtown.
Keep in mind that activities also make for great gifts and make sure to grab some BC Wildlife Park passes for families, a punch card for Jump 360, 380-945 Columbia St., for the kids or All Around Gamerz, 101-1150 Hillside Dr., for the teens in your life.
When it comes time for holiday shopping, I really do hope you will consider supporting the local creative community and all of the amazing locally owned shops that we have in Kamloops.
Brianne Sheppard is co-owner of Makeshift Kamloops and Far and Wide. For more, go online to farandwidekamloops.com.