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Natural Awakenings Naples and Fort Myers

A New Holiday Story

Nov 27, 2020 10:57AM ● By Sharon Bruckman

Growing up, I was blessed with a great Santa. Somehow, my mother was able to create holiday magic under the tree for eight starry-eyed children every Christmas morning (Dad played his part, too). I know I’m not the only grownup still looking for that childlike holiday sparkle. In normal times there are plenty of ways to feel and sprinkle yuletide joy, but this pandemic season brings new challenges. Our editorial team kept all this in mind in preparing this month’s special holiday issue, filled with plenty of ideas to help you spread some love and ho-ho-ho. 


In “Reinvent the Holidays: More Meaning, Less Stuff, Ronica O’Hara points out that although holiday celebrations will likely be smaller, quieter and less opulent for many families, this unusual year offers parents an opportunity to step back from overspending on trendy stuff for their children and instead focus on gifts with deeper values. You’ll find lots of creative, low-cost and sustainable inspirations on page 46.


Nothing beats a handmade gift, especially if it’s something delightful to eat. Even better is a healthy homemade treat, such as a lentil and brown rice soup mix layered in a Mason jar, vegan energy bites made of oats and nut butters or a homemade Moroccan spice mix. Find recipes and more ideas in “The Gift of Yum” on page 22. Tasty, home-cooked treats can pep up the holiday for our pets, too. See page 48.


One thing we are learning in this pandemic is how important it is to support our local businesses. Not only is it nice when local store owners greet us by name, spending money locally generates two to four times more jobs, income and tax collections than money spent online or at big-box chains. Towns with thriving local economies are more resilient and self-reliant, research shows. See “Pay Where We Play” on page 26 and support our advertisers by shopping locally for holiday gifts on page 32. 


Editor Linda Sechrist’s feature, “Creating Community: A New Story for the World:, sums up what’s most important during these critical times as we leave 2020 behind and move into 2021. Humanity needs a new story; the old story of how the world works isn’t working for us anymore. This is our wake up call; let your imagination be inspired and uplifted on page 28. 


Although the world may seem dark now, we are undergoing a global, spiritual transformation in which we are collectively awakening to our true nature, says spiritual teacher and author Matt Kahn on page 42. Each of us has something unique to contribute through the gift of diversity, and together we can create tangible change for the world that we envision.


May you discover what’s most important to you this holiday season and find new ways to express it. 


Wishing you a magic-filled holiday and joyous new year from our Natural Awakenings team, 

Sharon Bruckman, publisher 


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