It’s the last month of the year, and I’m once again surprised by that. It’s an annual tradition! Time moves swiftly and eludes me. Is it seriously time to go to the store again? We were just there yesterday. It was a week ago. Didn’t we see Grace Jones at the Fox Theater last September? No, that was the year before. How is it that my friends’ kids are graduating high school—don’t they know we only graduated a few years ago?
And so on.
Add to this a generous heaping of disastrous world news, economic anxiety and continued pandemic(s), and we have a seasonal recipe for overwhelm and burnout. Thus begins this cycle of holiday family gatherings and gift-giving.
Amidst the angst and chaos, shopping locally solves a few problems. We know that spending money close to home helps sustain and grow our community. Luckily, our region features the best artisans, entrepreneurs, restaurateurs, craftspeople, collectors and so much more—as evidenced in these pages—who offer their wares to better our lives.
Other folks who can improve our lives—or the ends thereof—are hospice workers. We learn in this issue how vital it is to protect the people who care for our loved ones during their most vulnerable moments.
This time of year, when friends and families gather, also presents another problem for many of us: loneliness. We include here the ramifications of this national epidemic, with tips for overcoming feelings of isolation. One way to heal is by walking through nature and learning about our urban wildlife, with info on this also included in this issue.
Do you know what also helps? Finding a thoughtful token for a loved one by engaging with the community and connecting with our plethora of talented vendors—aka, shopping. That’s the spirit!