A beauty of life is that we design each day forward in our decisions, consumption, and investment of energy, time, and resources. With the holidays here, I can’t think of a better way to be more intentional with carving the forward future than with our spending investments. Time and money are two ways in which we invest our values. Luckily for us, we are all surrounded by many local artisans. The impact of supporting local creativity not only contributes to the freedom to dream, but also reflects the values of caring about the community in which you live, visit, etc., valuing entrepreneurship, and carving a path forward that continues to generate new innovation. Quality over quantity has a more meaningful impact on the future. Have you ever thought about how many trees are cut down to keep the flow of those Amazon packages with cheaper prices rolling in? The spirit of Christmas is the community that is built, felt, and shared along the journey. We’re lucky to live in such a beautiful community that offers plenty of markets that not only support artisans, but also provide charity to those in need. Our lifestyles are sometimes so far removed from the impact that we create that we forget about how significant our choices are daily. Being mindful about consciously constructing the future lays the bricks needed to solidify stable foundation to continue to build from.
When I visit a holiday market, I enjoy making it a social activity to charge my spirit by sharing the experience with a friend, supporting local artisans, and contributing to the generosity of others spending their time to positively impact those in need.
The first market that I usually hit up is Nataleperfile (December 2-4, 2022) (https://www.leniterapia.it/event/nataleperfile/), located in Palazzo Corsini. Apart from the sensational beauty of the Palazzo, I enjoy sitting in the grotto over lunch with people that I love or want to spend time with. Upon entrance, I usually always purchase a lottery ticket for the generous items that have been donated. I haven’t won an item to date, but I win with my choice of donating to a charitable cause and keep the dream alive that maybe one day my ticket will be called. There is a mix of used and new donations where 100% of the proceeds support the cause. There are also many other artisan selling their products. The Pandoro that they sell is the best I have ever had, so I always make sure to grab a couple on my way out.
At some point, I head to the Mercato di Natale in Santa Croce (https://www.feelflorence.it/it/node/27725 ), usually to grab a warm vin brûlé with friends before or after visiting the varied vendors. Some people enjoy purchasing a new ornament each year to add to their collection. Others enjoy the ability to grab a bite to eat in an open space. Have you ever thought about how lucky we are to enjoy these simplicities of life?
I usually attend the Amnesty International auction and invite friends to financially support the continued fight for human rights around the world. (https://m.facebook.com/events/1253197631904950) Usually, over a hundred items are generously donated by local businesses! Participants bid against one another for each item or collection of items. BE CAREful…sometimes the adrenaline rush from bidding keeps that hand raising at faster paces than able to process! We live privileged lives each day without often reflecting on it, so consciously contributing to support the rights of the often unheard is incredibly important.
Up next, is the American International League of Florence Christmas bazaar. (http://www.ailoflorence.org/ailos-annual-christmas-bazaar/ ) 100% of the proceeds go to , I believe, 10 local charities that members have proposed and voted to support. Most items are second-hand, so the sustainable impact is not only helpful to the charities, but to Mother Earth herself. (https://earth.org/fast-fashions-detrimental-effect-on-the-environment/) There is also a lottery each year of items (I actually won an IPAD one year!!!) generously donated including meals out, visits, etc.
Sometimes there is more value in sharing an experience with another, allowing table space for a focused conversation, instead of an actual gift. We’re gifts and receivers throughout the year, but the holidays allow us even more opportunities to be impactful and inclusive with our decisions. We make open commitments to the future that we construct actively and inactivity. Being more conscious and intentional with our impacts prove better results. The final charitable gathering that I enjoy attending is Open Day at Four Seasons. A 1€ donation at the entry allows you to access the gardens. Food is offered at a variety of stands and is based on donations and all goes to charity. There is also a lottery with items generously donated for lucky winners. I haven’t ever won, but a friend did, and shared the multi-liter wine bottle with all of us. (I love Italian WINe!) So, in closing, if you think about sharing a bottle of wine with friends or table space with someone, the more you share your impact, whether time or money, the more care trickles into life around us. I wish you all a wonderful holiday season! BE CARE, WIN-ladies!