About On Tuesday, December 8th I attended a Waterloo Region Environment Network event and ran into Jane Snyder, who I recognized from a previous job. She asked about the work that I was doing, and when I told her about this blog series she told me about work she had done creating gift ideas for The Community Edition. Conveniently, she already had blogs put together that had lots of local or “green” gift ideas. Instead of writing about them again, I’m just going to share the blogs that were already put together. Joseph Schneider Haus’ Christkindlsmarkt Every three years Joseph Schneider Haus’ Christkindlsmarkt sets up shop in the Gallery portion of this national historic site on the edge of Kitchener’s Victoria Park.  Creating the feel of a traditional 19th century German Christmas Market, the Christkindlsmarkt has been part of the Joseph Schneider Haus tradition since 1989. On now to Dec. 24 at 3 p.m., the Christkindlsmarkt  offers ornaments, beeswax candles, decorations and seasonal treats for sale.  Weekends feature additional festivities, including a shadow puppet making workshop Dec. 12, a shadow puppet performance Dec. 19; both events get underway at 2 p.m. Down the hall from the Christkindlsmarkt, in the historic Haus, the Schneiders are also preparing for Christmas, but, following 19thc entury Mennonite tradition, they eschew the Christmas ornaments found in the Christkindlsmarkt, choosing instead to celebrate the holidays with special treats. The public are invited to drop by for warm apple cider and nibble on freshly baked cookies during the Haus’Visiting with the Schneiders, Dec. 21 to the 24. “Who can resist homemade sweets? Our beautifully packaged Christkindlsmarkt goodies truly look good enough to eat. The candy canes alone are a whole new take on the store bought variety, and our traditional sugar plums are simply decadent” says Joseph Schneider Haus Supervisor Antoinette Duplessis. Site seeing: Joseph Schneider Haus: josephschneiderhaus.com/plan-your-visit/christkindlsmarkt/ “Rosemerry” Trees Thinking through ‘green’ decorating and gift-giving ideas this December?  The Working Centre’s Hacienda Market Garden’s team has spent the past several months growing good ideas to meet both of these needs.  “We planted 120 rosemary trees here at the Hacienda” says the Working Centre’s Adam Kramer.  Nicknamed the ‘rosemerry’ trees, the potted plants can take the place of a traditional, cut tree, and can be decorated and then planted outside in the spring. One of the Working Centre’s social enterprises, the Hacienda Market Garden sells shares in their local, organically-grown CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) each year.  CSA members can also add a ‘freshly roasted coffee share’, a ‘dinner share’ (dinners to go, available for weekly pick-up) and a ‘cookie share’ to their weekly orders.  “The rosemerry trees are a nice way for us to extend the CSA season” Adam says. The rosemerry trees join another seasonal offering from the Hacienda Market Garden: hand-made, fresh wreaths. “The wreaths are made by winding either grapevines or wire as a base, and then weaving pine or cedar boughs” explains the Working Centre’s Kim Knowles.  “Sometimes a bit of ivy or vinca is added to the base.  Finally, we top each wreath off with a bow or seasonal ornament. Each wreath is hand-made and therefore unique!” The Working Centre invites anyone who would like to help make wreaths, or to learn how to make a wreath by emailing hacienda@theworkingcentre.org to start the conversation. The rosemerry trees, fresh wreaths and other local, creative gift-giving ideas are available on the Working Centre’s online catalogue. https://catalogue.theworkingcentre.org