Grinches not required

I don’t mean to be a Grinch, but there’s some things about the holidays you almost have to love to hate

I don’t mean to be a Grinch, but there’s some things about the holidays you almost have to love to hate: long lines at store checkouts, endless music reels pumping out Muzak versions of the Little Drummer Boy, the cost of shipping gifts to far-away relatives.

Then there’s the temptation of home-baked goods. It’s another love-hate thing. My tastebuds love the abundance of butter tarts, chocolate treats and assorted nummy-nums, but trying to remove said treats from my thighs come January is not half as much fun.

Each year, I vow to try and do the season differently, to shop in dribs and drabs all year long to avoid both the crush at the stores and on my December bank balance. And yet, each year, Christmas seems to creep up on me until, I’m blowing into shops like a freight train, desperate to fill a stocking or get a gift that needs to be delivered yesterday.

Clearly, I’m not alone. After all, nobody is forced to wait till December to buy gifts, yet every year, people do so in droves, forced to plunge with abandon into the holly-decorated hotbeds of consumer goods in search of just the right gift.

These are minor annoyances really. In reality, I am and should be grateful that I have these so-called problems. There are so many who do not have the wherewithal to eat with abandon or  enjoy abundance under the Christmas tree.

But there’s one thing about the holiday season that has irked me for a few years, and this time I need to vent about it.

For a bit of background, the Observer has, for a number of years, offered a promotion where readers bring in donations to the food bank and, in exchange, can pick a gift envelope off our Christmas tree.

In the envelopes are gift certificates from various participating businesses, who have generously donated these rewards for giving.

It’s a great promotion and we stockpile a tidy store of non-perishable goods for the food bank.

Now to the irk part.

To our surprise, there is a problem with some of the people who come in, bearing their requisite bags of food for donation. They receive their envelope and toddle on their merry way. It’s not until later that our staff discovers that their generously filled bags of food are actually filled with expired goods — frequently these items have been expired for many years.

To me, there can be no more Grinchy thing than to try and foist your potentially unsafe food in a supposed act of charitable goodwill.

The problem became so prevalent that this year we actually had to include a caveat in our advertising that people not bring expired food. And still we have found long-past-best-before items among this year’s collection.

In my mind, a charitable gift is more than foisting off your discards on those less fortunate.


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

RCMP report that suspect in North Shuswap threatened to kill neighbours

Police say man was arrested with loaded weapons inside vehicle and residence

High water levels on Shuswap Lake may close popular Canoe Beach

Salmon Arm city staff say rain predicted could flood tunnel, causing beach closure

Sandbagging continues for flood-prone areas around Shuswap, Mara lakes

Shuswap Emergency Program closely monitoring water levels

B.C. Hockey League prepping for 2020-21

League reviewing different scenarios and start times in compliance with provincial regulations

Shuswap caregiver a hero in husband’s eyes

Night and day shifts leave little time for Tracy and Rick Duncan

VIDEO: A Vancouver Island black bear takes weekend nap in eagle tree

Videos captured by Terry Eissfeldt shows the bear arriving Saturday night and sleeping in on Sunday

189 homes in Grand Forks area given evacuation orders

Homes are in the Nursery, Grand Forks Airport, Gilpin Rd., Johnson Flats and Granby Rd. areas

Summerland man rescued following ATV accident

Helicopters used to transport injured man to Kelowna for treatment

Mother bear and two cubs spotted in West Kelowna

Residents of Shannon Lake are urged to be on the look out for three bears in the area

Social justice advocate yells at Kelowna council, demands presence at Black Lives Matter rally

Heather Friesen has again taken to council chambers to make her opinion heard

Youth filmmakers tackle technology addiction, relationships, cyber-bullying

The Kelowna couple won a grant from Telus STORYHIVE

Vernon videographer captures thunderstorm

See the ‘best bits’ of Saturday’s storm

Dyer: I left my heart in the desert

Kristy Dyer is a columnist for Black Press Media who writes about the environment

Most Read