Our View: Season’s started but don’t panic

It seems a sense of guilt has become one of the cardinal emotions of the holiday.

We’ve barely dipped our toes into December and already many of us feel like we’re running late for Christmas. It seems a sense of guilt has become one of the cardinal emotions of the holiday.

In Oak Bay, where we’re used to seeing gestures that seem extravagant to other residents of the region, the town’s business community has purchased carbon offsets to mitigate the environmental damage caused by the exhaust fumes from Saturday’s lighted-truck parade.

It’s likely just a clever move by the Oak Bay Business Improvement Association to earn a little extra publicity. But the need to clean our conscience in a season of excess can make the next few weeks feel overwhelming.

Consumers are told they need to buy now while the deals are hot – and idea reinforced by the growing acceptance of the term Black Friday in Canada. It’s traditionally the busiest shopping day in the U.S. and falls the day after the holiday created by that country’s November Thanksgiving.

In Canada, the busiest day for consumers is usually one or two days before Christmas or on Boxing Day, which isn’t observed down south.

However, more and more Canadians are buying into the message that the pressure is on to shop lest you drop before getting something for everyone on your list. It might be great for retailers and everyone getting presents but feeling like you’re failing will just take the fun out of what should be a happy time.

So, before the madding crowds make you mad, relax, grab a hot cocoa and keep a healthy perspective. There are plenty of things to take in during these dark December nights. More importantly, this is a critical season for most charity organizations that count on the generosity and goodwill of the public to stay afloat. We encourage everyone to enjoy the light-ups and sail pasts and truck parades happening in communities around the region.

Now if only some kind of credits were available to offset the sense of envy many of us are feeling because our home’s Christmas light display seems so out matched by our neighbours’ technicolour wonderlands.