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Rekindle the Spirit of Christmas in Rossland

Photo courtesy of "Rekindle"

(UPDATED)  December 7, 2019, marks the 25th anniversary of Rossland’s “Rekindle the Spirit of Christmas” celebrations.  Started by a group of Rossland business people to support the local community, Rekindle truly represents the spirit of Christmas in focusing on the many benefits of local shopping – with the fun of community celebrations.

Today, the message of Rekindle is especially important and relevant – not only to our local community, but to the world at large.

Why shopping local is better and more fun

Many people shop before Christmas (or whatever winter holiday we celebrate) for gifts to give loved ones.  What’s not to like about local shopping?  We don’t have to drive somewhere else on slippery winter roads and waste carbon emissions.  We see and talk with actual people – people who know their stock and can give good advice -- instead of staring at a computer screen alone at home.  

Shopping locally not only helps our friends and  neighbours, but it also eases the burden of excessive packaging on the world’s recycling and landfills; if you aren’t already persuaded by the over-the-top packaging on some items you’re ordered online, check the links below on that topic.   Oh, and be prepared -- take a collection of your own cloth shopping bags to town with you for Rekindle!  

When we shop locally, we know that we are supporting our local community members, and NOT supporting unpleasant or even abusive treatment of employees in vast and distant warehouses.  Check the links provided below for some stories on that. 

For those of us who would rather not add to the amount of stuff in people’s closets and basements, or pay big shipping fees, or who just have a hard time thinking of gifts that might be welcome,  we can still give something local – gift certificates for local shops and eateries.  My stepson (he’s a fine man!) gave me a gift certificate for the Alpine Grind and I loved it – many times!  I’ve also enjoyed gift certificates for Mountain Nugget.  Yum.  Those are just two examples of what’s possible in Rossland in the way of gifts that don’t get tucked in a closet and remain unused.

Rekindle is a day of fun:   

It all starts at 10:00 am, when retailers and restaurants open their doors.  The Red Mountain Racers Christmas Tree market opens then, too. At Out of the Cellar, a "red lipstick bar" will honour the memory of Ardis Urquhart, who was one of the original planners of Rekindle.

At 11:00 am, the Santa Claus and Reindeer Prance Parade begins at the Fuel Gastropub parking lot.  Mary Martin will wear the "Christmas Cape" from Ardis Urquhart and march with Santa in memory of Ardis.  After the parade, Santa spends time at the Rossland Public Library to hear children’s wishes.  There’s a mailbox there too, for missives to Santa. You can do photos with Santa, too.

At 11:30, seniors can enjoy a luncheon at the Rossland Legion, hosted by the Legion and the Nelson and District Credit Union.

Ritchie Mann and the Golden City Fiddlers will be making festive music at the Rossland Legion.  And at the library, the Rossland Museum & Discovery Centre will be putting on some interesting activities.

At noon, get to the Miners Hall for the indoor Mountain Market, and in the holiday spirit of sharing and giving, put some food items in the Food Bank’s drop-off there.  The market runs until 4:00 pm, so don’t leave it too late.

At 4:30, we should all gather at Harry LeFevre Square to hear youngsters from Four Winds Daycare and Ecole des Sept-sommets raise their voices in song, then see City Council members draw for the Rekindle gift baskets. After that, the Rossland Light Opera Players will sing traditional Christmas carols, then  Mayor Kathy Moore will make the big tree light up.

At 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm, the Youth Action Network will host a party with free pizza at the YAN space on Washington Street, thanks to Rekindle. 

We can all thank the original group of business owners responsible for beginning this day of community celebration – they include Carol Bacon of Feather Your Nest and Janet Fraser of Out of the Cellar, Roseanne Chobanuk of Legacy Gift Room and Brew Shop, and a collection of other businesses who joined in to establish this Rossland tradition and keep it going year after year:  Powderhound,  Butch Boutry’s Ski Shop, and all the other businesses that have contributed offerings for the gift baskets, or have put their energy toward the day in other ways.  To all of you:  a big thanks.  We hope the whole community will give back by shopping locally.

To offer further evidence of why shopping locally is better, here are those links referred to above.    

 A big online retailer’s treatment of its employees:

https://time.com/5629233/amazon-warehouse-employee-treatment-robots/

https://www.businessinsider.com/amazon-employees-describe-peak-2019-2

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2019/apr/02/revealed-amazon-employees-suffer-after-workplace-injuries

https://nypost.com/2019/07/13/inside-the-hellish-workday-of-an-amazon-warehouse-employee/

https://www.thetriangle.org/opinion/amazon-has-a-history-of-mistreating-its-employees/

Overpackaging and waste with online shopping (these articles seem to target Amazon, but I’ve also ordered from other online retailers and found the same problem):

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2019/aug/20/amazon-under-fire-for-new-packaging-that-cant-be-recycled

https://www.forbes.com/sites/jonbird1/2018/07/29/what-a-waste-online-retails-big-packaging-problem/#3f6ed4cd371d

And, finally, more thanks to the other sponsors of this event: