Monday, November 04, 2013

How are you spending Christmas?

Christmas is coming, writes Brian Byrne. I know, we don't really want to think about it just now. Presents, spending, cleaning up the house, and all the stuff that goes along with 'celebration' of what actually might be better as a reflection of what we have instead of what we want ... or what we think others in our life want.

Nope, I'm not going to turn into the Grinch. I like a celebration of Christmas as much as everybody else in my life. But I have over the years really come to hate the pressure that's put on us, and that we put on ourselves, to spend a lot of money around the festival.

It is important that we spend a little, on ourselves and on family members and friends. Not just to show our appreciation for them, but also to keep some economic activity going in our community. That last part is worth thinking about.

Kilcullen is a small town. One grown bigger in recent years, true. But still a place where most of us can't walk down the town without meeting somebody we know and saying 'hi' or whatever. That now applies too to the new people in town, the residents of the several estates which have brought us from a village to where we are today (and who are the very welcome Kilcullen of tomorrow).

It's part of what makes us a community rather than a bunch of separate groups only belonging to themselves. However, we're still a community with a small number of local businesses. The supermarket and local convenience stores, butcher, florist, vegetable shop, various pubs and cafes, the discount store, the haberdashery, local services such as taxis, hairdressers and auto repairs.

Think local for Christmas shoppingThink about that last list. It's not that short. Add to it some of the lesser known craft enterprises that are dotted around and in various parts of Kilcullen, many of them one-person businesses run from their owners' homes in those same new estates. Without delving too deeply, there's a specialty candlemaker, a producer of fashionable hand knits, a skilled seamstress who offers very crafty individual gifts ideas which have already found their way as far as Australia and many other countries around the shrunken planet we call our global home, and other local offers ranging from yoga and massage and natural health-related products and services.

So, for that presents spend for Christmas 2013, is it not a good idea that this span of ideas is where we should first consider punting our austerity euros? Rather than going out of town or county to buy presents for family and friends, do it 'at home'.

The Diary will, over the next weeks, post local gift suggestions in the form of actual products and services available locally, or availability of gift certificates for them.

Keep coming back to find out what's here. And do give some thought to keeping your business at home by giving your business at home.