The last two months of the year seem to have devolved into an orgy of consumerism (okay, maybe it’s only slightly worse than the rest of the year). Thanksgiving, long an oasis of meaning and love, has even become a day (or night) for shopping. This year, take back your holidays as we celebrate God’s gifts, await the arrival of the Nativity, and celebrate One who owned nothing but the truth and presence of God.
The traditional Thanksgiving menu contains side dishes and desserts made from fresh fall fruits and vegetables, all of which should be available from local farms and orchards. If you don’t make your own breads and pies, consider buying them from local bakers. Turkeys are likely to be expensive and even hard to get this year, due to the depredations of avian flu and on-going supply chain issues. If you go with the
traditional bird, perhaps consider donating to an organization feeding those who go without. The adventurous among us may even consider a vegetarian meal this year! If you avoid shopping on the following weekend, you might go hiking, weather permitting, play board games with friends and family, and get a start on your holiday gifts and decorations. After all, that hike might provide materials for both.
You may not need to worry about shopping after the previous weekend, specifically November 19, which will highlight the ever-popular BHCC Flea Market! You can find gifts for all ages and interests, from toys and games to sporting goods, from jewelry and home decor, to useful items for the kitchen or workshop. Leave there and head to the Mt. Lebanon Library, which will be the site of the Book Cellar’s Holiday Shop. A project of the library’s used book store, the sale features holiday themed books and gifts, along with carefully curated beautiful gift quality books, covering a wide range of interests.
The book sale is part of the library’s celebration of Jolabokaflod. The Icelandic word is also the name of a popular tradition in Iceland. “Jolabokaflod” translates to “Yule Flood of Books,” and takes place on Christmas Eve, when friends and family shower each other with books. It’s a worthy tradition to begin in your own family, and many library staff members, patrons and volunteers have adopted it in recent years. It may also be your only opportunity for such a worthwhile sale, as the USC library is in the midst of
construction, and the Scott Township library had a sale in the spring and is not planning one now.
Let’s make this season one of gratitude and celebration for God’s creation and infinite love for us!