It’s the crazy Christmas time of year when last minute sales, lists of presents and social events galore keep us hopping. There they are the endless requests for money from every good cause under the sun. If you are like me, sometimes you forget about the local stores and organizations that strive to make our area better every day.
When you shop for gifts, think about which stores have helped support the organizations you care about this year. Can you shop where you know the owner? When you dine out, can you choose one of the fantastic locally owned restaurants on our restaurant list? Perhaps your friends and family would appreciate a gift certificate for a wonderful, compassionate dinner instead of present. Or perhaps you can adapt an animal in their name with our local sanctuary SDA. How about taking the kids to pick strawberries instead of shopping? Or visit the farmer’s market together. Time together as a family in the presence of nature and animals is rare enough. For older folks, how about a yoga class together or sign up for a 5K to train for together.
Exposing young children to loving animals and delicious fruits and vegetables may be the greatest gift you can give them for long term health. Have a look at our resources and if you think of a local organization that is missing, please contact me on meet up so I can add them.
Local athlete and author Ellen Jaffe Jones has taught vegan cooking classes in the Anna Maria Island and Bradenton area for years. Her recent books include Eat Vegan on $4 a day, Paleo Vegan, and Kitchen Divided.
Tess Challis is an author, vegan chef, wellness coach, and speaker. She frequently organizes vegan events in the the Sarasota area.
Her books include Radiant Health, Inner Wealth, The Two-Week Wellness Solution; Radiance 4 Life, and Get Waisted: 100 Addictively Delicious Plant-Based Entrees (co-authored by Dr. Mary Wendt)