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Avoid box store line-ups by using your own two hands

Joanne Salé holds a hand made heart basket which will adorn a tree and hold Christmas goodies within.
November 21, 2013 - 4:50 AM

VERNON - Enduring the long lines of Walmart isn’t your only option for Christmas shopping this year. There’s another way.

It goes by many names: DIY, up-cycled, crafted, homemade. Your Christmas shopping might involve the purchase of a glue gun and some raffia, but chances are you have the rest of your materials sitting in your yard or recycling bin.

They say there’s nothing better than a handmade gift, so why are we all roaming the aisles of Superstore for presents? Maybe it’s a fear of the unknown—those lost arts of sewing, candle-making, weaving. But a Vernon group is here to connect you with the how-to’s of Christmas crafting.

Vernon in Transition, a group known for other events like the Repair Café, is putting on a Handmade Holiday this Saturday along with the Sustainable Environment Network Society. The event will feature various demonstration tables showing you how easy—and enjoyable—making gifts can be.

Joanne Salé, one of around 15 Vernon in Transition members, says the second annual event strengthens the community in a variety of ways.

“One of the things is re-skilling, remembering or having elders teach skills that may be getting lost, that maybe skipped a generation,” Salé says.

Sure you could check out online DIYs or the ever-popular Pinterest, but Salé says this event offers something the Internet does not.

“There’s the community connection. It’s a really friendly atmosphere. You could go online but here you can meet people, discover your neighbours,” Salé says.

Vernon in Transition is part of a global movement to build resiliency in communities. There are transitions happening around the world, Salé says.

“Building community resiliency can mean a lot of things. It can mean getting to know your neighbours better, supporting the local economy, eating local food, or less dependency on fossil fuels,” she says. “That’s the beautiful part, that it’s hard to define. It’s the people in the community directly addressing the needs of that community.”

It starts with events like Handmade Holiday. And after all, isn’t Christmas about community and bringing people together? If you can do that and give someone an awesome handmade gift, you’re sure to get on Santa’s nice list.

Handmade Holiday is this Saturday at the Schubert Centre from 1-3 p.m. Entry is free. Check out snow globe making demos (using repurposed glass jars), candle-making, homemade ornament how to’s, and edible gift ideas.

Check out Vernon in Transition’s Facebook page for some great holiday ideas.

To contact the reporter for this story, email Charlotte Helston at, call (250)309-5230 or tweet @charhelston.

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2013
InfoTel News Ltd

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