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Natural Awakenings Healthy Living Magazine

Making Spirits Brighter

The hustle and bustle of the holiday season can often overshadow the joy we’re seeking to celebrate, but amidst the commotion, we have an opportunity to reconnect with nature’s stillness and restore our own energy—the gift of self. By making conscious choices like being realistic with our finances, simplifying our obligations and holding firm to our authenticity, we can remain fully present in each moment. Part of what does that for me is honoring and celebrating the Earth, so this eco-friendly holiday edition, infused with themes on uplifting humanity, is very well-timed.

The environmental impact of traditional holiday celebrations is far-reaching, but look no further than this month’s Eco Tip offering practical suggestions for hosting an Earth-friendly holiday party. You can absolutely reduce your carbon footprint while ringing in the new year. Here are some small steps that I personally plan to do to help make a difference this season: use locally sourced and seasonal ingredients, send digital invitations/greetings, choose sustainable decorations like pine cones and repurposed items, give handmade gifts, plan a zero-waste menu and compost our food scraps.

Be sure to read this month’s Conscious Eating department article if you’re planning to host, because it is a true survival guide for planning a feast that fits any dietary need. You’ll be able to create a diverse and delicious spread prioritizing allergy awareness and embracing alternative ingredients. We’ve even included recipes that will help your gatherings to be inclusive, sustainable and truly memorable.

As the season of donations is also upon us, it’s important to understand the impact used clothing may have on the environment. Unfortunately, massive amounts of garments still end up in landfills every day, and many retail stores actually choose to discard unsold clothing instead of donating it. Our Green Living department helps map out which charities are the most ethical and explores the considerations for donating clothing of your own.

Along these lines, I am so excited to announce that I’ve been helping my daughter Cassidy open an upscale thrift store in the heart of Dexter next to the park. Cass & Co, Reuse Re-love Re-purpose carries hand-picked, upscale items including shoes and bags, vintage jewelry and designer clothing with many all-natural materials including wool, cotton, silk, cashmere and linen, The grand opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony will take place December 8 at 4 p.m.—the same day as Light Up Dexter. Be sure to stop by and say, “Hi!”

And, oh the joy of spoiling our beloved pets with toys, treats and accessories! Our Natural Pet department is a must-read because not only is making DIY gifts a fun and creative activity, it is also an environmentally conscious action. You can use recycled materials and avoid buying products with excessive packaging—another great way to simplify and green-up the season.

During this holiday season and beyond, we wish you the bliss, magic and wonder of new and natural awakenings. Let’s prioritize inner peace, generosity and hope as we create beautiful memories that nourish our spirits.

Sending blessings of peace, love and joy to each of you!

John and Trina Voell, Publishers