Three actions in the spirit of Christmas this holiday season

Thank you to sponsors and organizers of the Waterdown and Binbrook Christmas parades held recently.

Thousands lined the streets to see the show, and you could see the excitement in the children’s’ eyes. And the weather co-operated! It was a pleasure to be at both parades and hand out some Christmas treats to folks along the route.

As Christmas is just days away, there are three actions in the spirit of the Christmas season that Tracy and I will be continuing into January.

I invite and encourage you to do the same.

As you get your last few gifts, please shop local. The Waterdown Village BIA has been promoting great local deals for weeks. There are also amazing farm markets all across Flamborough-Glanbrook, and for your holiday cheer, try local cideries (West Avenue and Tall Post), the Shed Brewery in Dundas or our local winery at Ridge Road Winery.

Not only will you get unique gifts, but you will have an outsized impact on the local economy compared to shopping at chain stores.

A University of Toronto study calculated that if every Ontario household spent $10 more weekly on local businesses — versus online or big box — up to $2.4 billion could be added annually to the Ontario economy, creating 10,000 jobs.

Also, local businesses sponsor our community hockey, soccer, baseball and more. Let’s acknowledge that with our shopping habits.

Farmers put food on our tables at Christmas and all year round. They work incredibly hard and face many challenges each season. Your gratitude will give them a boost as they plan for the 2023 season.

And while there may be a short break from the fields and crops at this time of year, those with livestock have to tend to the cows, chickens, turkeys, beef cattle, pigs and other animals 365 days per year. There is no break at Christmas.

Greenhouse operations continue year round as well.

With food inflation taking a bite out of household budgets, please donate to local charities, if you are able. The need doesn’t stop at Christmas. In fact, the winter months are the toughest.

Merry Christmas and happy 2023! Peace, love and joy to you and your family.