RESPECT: your elders.
We’re not saying you have to call that one uncle, but have you called your mom yet? As the nation experiences yet another surge of cases in Covid-19, many seniors may be isolated or advised to stay within their own homes again. Let older relatives, friends and advisers know you’re around. Maybe show up with a dinner delivery one day, help them weed their garden, or walk their dog for them. Consider volunteering for a senior-related cause. Meals on Wheels helps deliver food to hungry seniors who are mostly homebound. Alliance on Aging periodically accepts art supplies like watercolors and adult coloring books to keep seniors occupied while in isolation.
BUILD: a future for kids.
Kids can’t vote. Until the age of 18, every vote and every decision the adults in their lives make will affect their quality of life, their education and opportunities. There are small ways we can show up for our youth. Consider donating to cultural arts programs that have had to shift to the virtual world during the pandemic. Palenke Arts in Seaside is one option on the Monterey Peninsula, while the Greenfield Cultural Arts Center is one that serves South County kids. Youth Arts Collective continues its holiday show virtually and by appointment. It opens on Nov. 13. Haven’t seen the kids in your life in a bit because you’re in a different household? Set up a virtual bedtime story. Reading with kids is an effective way to build literacy and to move the kids away from screen time. Monterey County Free Libraries has a plethora of children’s books to borrow, for curbside pickup or as e-books.
Covid-19 is putting businesses under stress, including beloved cornerstones that have been open for decades. Show up for your local businesses and do some of your holiday shopping early. Many boutiques and galleries sell locally made goods, including the newly opened Franklin Street Collaborative in downtown Monterey. Other longtime local shops like On the Beach Surf Shop on Lighthouse Avenue or Joy-pers in Salinas have an inventory filled with mainstream brands. Of course, if you’re hungry, show some love to your favorite bakeries and confectioners for holiday treats. Think Lula’s for chocolates, Happy Girl Kitchen for jams and Lafayette Bakery for pastries.
The famous Parks and Recreation holiday “treat-yo-self” may not at first appear appropriate in a high-stress environment. But if Donna Meagle and Tom Haverford were your real-life friends, they’d say it’s exactly the right time. It doesn’t have to mean a shopping spree at high-end retailers. Treating yourself could be as simple as eating some CBD gummies from Monterey Bay Holistic Health to loosen that knot in your neck. Or heading down to Nielsen Brothers Market in Carmel or Star Market in Salinas to shop their stash of local wine. Whatever you do to prioritize yourself, even for a moment, checks this box.