Christmas is the season for giving, but not all gifts have to come in a box, be surrounded by plastic, or need batteries. Instead, the Township of Langley suggests giving gifts that are good for you and the ones you love, presents that are easy on the earth, and experiences that will create lasting memories.
The gift of good health and an active lifestyle is one that will last for years to come. It is easy to give the gift of recreation with a Township of Langley gift certificate, which can be redeemed for everything from swimming and ice skating lessons, art and dance classes, to personal training sessions and birthday parties for little ones.
Available in any amount, gift certificates can be purchased at any Township community or recreation centre. As a bonus, purchasers will received a free family admission pass for every $50 spent on gift certificates until December 31. Visit tol.ca/giftofrec.
Gift certificates can also be used to purchase Go Active Passes, which can be used at all Township recreation and community centres for 10 or 20 visits, one or three months, or a year. Those who purchase a Go Active Pass from now until January 15 will receive a free Personal Orientation package.
“Giving the gift of recreation is a great option for families, as it gives them a fun experience to enjoy together and promotes active living,” said Senior Recreation Programmer Christine Helgason.
“Gift certificates can be redeemed for a variety of programs and activities, so they can help the young people on your list discover a new activity, hobby, or something they would like to try. And don’t forget to give the gift of health and well-being to yourself.”
This holiday season, the Township’s Engineering Division encourages residents to create memories, not garbage, and to give presents that create less waste.
“Spending quality time with family and friends is the greatest gift of all, whether you go to the theatre or a sporting event, work on a new skill or hobby, or enjoy an activity together,” said Solid Waste Coordinator Debbie Fleming.
“It’s a wonderful present for the people you care about, and for the environment.”
With so much to see, do, and enjoy in our own backyard, the Township’s Economic Development Department suggests making those experiences local.
Gift ideas include treating a friend to lunch or coffee at a local café and strolling along the Fort Langley waterfront, or taking a tour of the many wineries located in the Township of Langley. The Township is known as the Horse Capital of B.C., and a trail ride or riding lesson would make a unique gift for the equestrian enthusiast on your list.
A chance to enjoy quality time with your significant other and find a new favourite local spot can be achieved by giving a year of date nights. Create certificates for a date night for each month of 2018, and try a new restaurant or destination each time.
Other gift ideas that minimize packaging and are better for the environment include giving edible gifts, creating a recipe or memory book, or passing on an heirloom.
Do-it-yourself gifts such as ornaments or jewelry provide a personal touch, or you can borrow from nature to make homemade wreaths or centre pieces out of greenery and pine cones. Families may want to get their portrait taken, work on their family tree together, symbolically adopt a species, or consider sponsoring a family.
When wrapping your gifts, Fleming said, consider using options other than traditional gift wrap. “Try repurposing newspaper, images from old calendars, or maps,” she said.
“Reusable fabrics such as tablecloths, tea towels, pillowcases, and even socks make unique coverings and become part of the gift. When wrapping, use less plastic by forgoing the tape and using reusable ribbon or string to secure your packages.”
Other environmentally-friendly alternatives include gift bags and boxes that can be reused every year, and plain brown paper bags that can be coloured with felts or paint and turned into something unique with ribbon, twine, and greenery. As well, glass jars and coffee cans make great packaging for tasty treats.
Gifts can also help keep your loved ones safe. Consider making an emergency kit for the home or car. An escape ladder makes a practical gift for families in multi-storey homes, said Township of Langley Public Fire and Life Safety Educator Krista Barton, along with a reminder to practice home escape plans.
Other gifts that enhance safety include fire extinguishers and items that can help prevent fires and burns in the kitchen, such as oven mitts and frying pan lids to smother flames.
Smoke and carbon monoxide alarms make good stocking-stuffers, as do new batteries to go in the alarms, most of which require the 9-volt variety. With all the decorating and entertaining taking place during the holidays, tis also the season to check your home’s smoke and carbon monoxide alarms to make sure they are working properly and replace batteries if necessary, Barton added.