'twas the week before Christmas...

… and all through the bush all the creatures were stirring, some giving a push. The rains have come, the soil is damp. There’s plenty to eat and many humans in camp. They’ve come in droves, vans in tow. Is it that time of year again? It seems so.

mistletoe and wine While a South African Christmas may be the polar opposite (quite literally) of that of the northern hemisphere, the themes of family time and togetherness are still strong. There may not be mistletoe and snow, but there is wine and biltong and festive cheer is shared among all. As 2019 comes to a close we all reflect on the year that was; some with nostalgia, others with gratitude that it is finally over but all hopeful that the upcoming year will bring prosperity. Holidaymakers flock to the coast in their thousands, desperate to get their toes into the sea, while nature lovers set up camp in our national parks so that they can spend some time in the bush and be closer to nature. I often wonder what the animals must think about this massive influx of two-legged invaders?

family time Regardless of how you spend these holidays, we can all agree that this is the time for family and friends; time to reconnect, share and live in the moment. It is also a time when we should observe our surroundings and be cognisant of those less fortunate than ourselves and remember that giving is better than receiving. Small gestures go a long way and giving doesn’t always have to have a monetary value.

give thanks for our first world problems Among other things, this is a great time to reflect on the things that we have in our lives which we can be grateful for. Sure, Eskom can’t keep the lights on but who needs electricity when we can travel 1 or 2 hours out of the city and visit some of the most incredible places on Earth? Load-shedding should be seen as an opportunity rather than an annoyance; even if you’re not able to escape the city, you can still spend time with your family when the lights go out. Play a board game, talk about your day and reconnect. When we truly put things into perspective, it’s easy to see that our daily bugbears are not a drop in the ocean compared to the struggles of others both within and beyond our borders. Be grateful.

keep it green There’s no avoiding the fact that this season comes hand in hand with overconsumption of food and beverages! This is the ideal opportunity to keep your carbon footprint low and recycle those glass bottles of beer and wine, avoid the temptation of single use plastics and keep things green.

Wherever you may find yourself during these holidays we wish you joyous celebrations and sustainable travels!

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