As we say goodbye to Halloween and hello to the holiday season, our thoughts turn to the joys and stresses that this time of year brings. For many of us, it’s an opportunity to spend time with our loved ones, but some people aren’t so lucky. The holidays can be a very lonely time of year if you don’t have loved ones to spend it with, and that can happen for a variety of reasons. If you’re fortunate enough to be able to spend the holidays with loved ones, other stressors can still weigh on you: travelling to visit them, buying them gifts, preparing decorations and a big meal. In the November issue, we focus on alternatives to the usual holiday chaos.
“Make it your damn self.” That’s our motto this month, so we’ve rounded up a bunch of DIY classes that might inspire some great handmade gifts this holiday season. If you want to make something a little techier, look no further than the Makerspace at Stanley A. Milner Library. Staff members can show you how to convert home videos from VHS tapes to DVDs, help you find a design for the perfect 3D-printed object, or set you up in a sound booth so you can record a holiday jingle. You can even print your own book for as little as $15! The possibilities are practically endless, and Virginia Dowdell will tell you more about them.
If you don’t feel like making something yourself, you can still buy handcrafted gifts. Kristine MacDonald is a MacEwan University design grad who makes copper jewelry inspired by local geography and themes. Check out our Q&A with her. But buying jewelry from a local craftsperson is just one way to “live local.” Anna McMillan explores the complexities of this lifestyle, from Cheetos withdrawals to finding local food without leaving campus.
Maybe instead of creating or buying something new, you’d rather reuse something that already exists. Don’t worry, because we’ve got you covered! Whether you’d like to get rid of some furniture, or you want some new-to-you clothes and books, we’ve got suggestions for how to get the job done responsibly — and, in many cases, without dropping a dime. Read about Find Edmonton, the Reuse Centre, clothes swaps and more.
Think letterpress printing has gone out of style? Think again. Ana Holleman learned more about SNAP (the Society of Northern Alberta Print-artists) and the group’s remarkable space on Jasper Avenue.
In keeping with the theme of doing it yourself, you can get out there and help your community by volunteering this holiday season. Jillanne Bowler, a student at MacEwan University, recently started Elf Anonymous, an initiative that she hopes will bring volunteers and seniors together this holiday season. Bowler will be teaming up with the Rosedale Developments assisted living home to organize visits from volunteers. Check out Kyle Muzyka’s interview with Bowler and our list of other holiday volunteer opportunities.
In closing, Marc Kitteringham shares his thoughts on why you should focus on people instead of gifts this holiday season.
Photo by Casey Pollon.