This issue started with the idea of stuff: how to celebrate with it, what to do with it when you’re done, how to enjoy it and how, at times, to separate yourself from it- as well as how to wrap it and pack it and sell it or move it.
But, as often happens when we put the magazine together, we let the stories lead us where they will. And this month they took us to a different place than we had anticipated.
We gave this issue the title of “Sparking Joy.” You may think we were referring to the KonMarie Method, but in fact, there’s a whole lot more to this issue than decluttering and organizing.
In essence, this issue has become a tribute to the joy we find in life when the gifts we receive or even give, are unexpected, or unusual.
Frank Baker gives us an update on Gold Star Peak. Perhaps you think we spend too much ink on it, but there’s a reason why. That mountain is a gift for people coping with the loss of a fallen soldier. And climbing it is a venture intended to honor those men and women who gave everything a person can give. And for the surviving families and friends, the pilgrimage to the top of Gold Star Peak opens incredible vistas for healing. It’s a journey that the hikers plan and prepare for, that lets their grieving souls breathe- and ultimately unburdens them. It affords the immeasurable gift of letting go.
Meghan Wotring gives us another Homeschool How-to, the Christmas Edition! She writes of making edible gifts and spending time in the kitchen with your family this season. She also makes suggestions for gift-giving outside of the usual “stuff.” Kaylene Johnson-Sullivan and Samantha Lamphier have similar sentiments to share: this time of year tends to revolve around things, things and more things, when maybe we just need to step back and take stock of what really counts.
This month, Daniel Shepard’s writing features two women who live in our community that might seem like opposites, but really have more in common than readily meets the eye. Becky Durst, proud owner of Whatnot Consignment Shop, and Teri Webster who recently launched Declutter to Move, in their own ways both help others who feel weighed down by their material possessions.
Considering going to the theatre? Check out Dru Stinson’s review of The Little Mermaid and perhaps think about giving an evening out to someone you love. The Nutcracker is coming! Dru also tells us about döstädning. Don’t know what that is? You’ll just have to go read and find out. A hint? Nope… no hints this close to Christmas.
Stephanie Blake has a perspective on stuff that deserves a read. There have been times in our history, before this decluttering fad, when people kept everything- in anticipation of future hardship. Now we have so much, but are we really investing in the right stuff?
And finally, the ECHO family here is ready and excited for Merry Merchant Munch. We plan to be in full swing on December 6th from noon-5pm and would love for you to join us. I promise it will be festive! There will be snacks and games and maybe a prize or two. I hope you’ll join us!
This December we hope to bring you good tidings and great joy through the reading you find here. We want you to have the Merriest of Christmases and the Happiest of New Year’s. We want you to celebrate with family and friends. They, too, are a gift. Be safe.
Publishing Editor, ECHO Magazine