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Okanagan-Taste

Sing this Christmas carol

It has become a refrain during the last number of months, ingrained in our consciousness like the holiday carols that will soon take over the airwaves.

To paraphrase one of the most popular holiday choruses of the modern age: all I want for Christmas is you … to safely celebrate local this season.

As food-and-drink creators and producers had to figure out how to keep going back in the spring, many ramped up their online presence as ordering for curbside pickup or delivery became the norm before some of us emerged to go back out when we could.

Did your local restaurant go out of their way to get your favourite grilled cheese to your doorstep this year?

Leave them a good review online to say thanks, or buy a gift certificate if you haven’t yet. Better yet, get some gift cards from a local coffee shop and leave them by your mailbox for the numerous delivery people to pick up for a warm treat.

Wineries, breweries, cideries, and distilleries all had to switch to pickup only for a while. Did a one (or more) of them bring a case of wine to the trunk of your car for a contactless drop?

Give them five stars on Facebook, sign up for their club, or see if they are creating gift baskets or special holiday packages this year and order one for a friend.

Your local store likely had to invest in PPE for their staff, and hopefully looked into stocking their shelves with more locally produced goods.

Are they collecting donations for a worthy cause? Throw a donation their way the next time you safely shop.

Speaking of shopping, some establishments are offering safe shopping options: you can book a private shopping time online (typically for a small fee), and enjoy browsing for yourself or those on you list with a little less stress.

It’s a great way to spend a little extra on a small business, and don’t forget to take the time to book a reservation at a local winery.

Support a new business that had the guts to open this year.

Send a thank you note to your go-to bakery or veggie shop.

Book a staycation nearby for a little escape and send some love to a hotel or motel, even if it’s only a few blocks away.

One of my favourite ways to support local — and It doesn’t cost a dime — is to call a local business that has powered through 2020. Ask to speak to the manager or owner.

Simply say, “You’ve made it this far, thank you for doing a great job.”

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About the Author

A creative thinker with more than two decades of experience in communications, Allison is an early adopter of social and digital media, bringing years of work in traditional media to the new frontier of digital engagement marketing through her company, All She Wrote.

She is the winner of the Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association's 2011 and 2012 awards for Social Media Initiative, an International LERN award for marketing, and the 2014 Penticton Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Award for Hospitality/Tourism.

Allison has amassed a following on multiple social networks of more than 30,000, frequently writes and about social media, food and libations as well as travel and events, and through her networks, she led a successful bid to bring the Wine Bloggers Conference to Penticton in June 2013, one of the largest social media wine events in the world, generating 31 million social media impressions, $1 million in earned media, and an estimated ongoing economic impact of $2 million.

In 2014, she held the first Canadian Wine Tourism Summit to spark conversation about the potential for wine tourism in Canada as a year-round economic driver.

Allison contributes epicurean content to several publications, has been a judge for several wine and food competitions, and has earned her advanced certificate from the Wine and Spirit Education Trust.

In her spare time, she has deep, meaningful conversations with her cats.

She can be reached at [email protected]



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The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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