Cold weather hampered some of Christmas market activity in Carcross this past weekend, but not for the kids.
This year’s market in Carcross added a new twist. One room was set aside for “kids only.” It was a special market where kids could shop separate from their parents, so they could secretly buy gifts for others in their family.
“So they’re super excited going and they get really nice stuff for their parents or their siblings,” explained Rozlyn James, administrator at Haa Shagóon Hídi.
The idea came from Saskatchewan, where seniors organize an event for children where they can buy things for their family members, in secret. Seniors help solicit donations, help the kids make choices and help with the wrapping.
Leslie Grant incited others in her Carcross/Tagish First Nation community to adopt the practice.
“It’s a way for the littles ones to interact with the elders — because the elders are in there wrapping and stuff for them,” said Gatensby.
Shirley Lord and Grant helped kids make their purchases, and wrapped gifts. By early afternoon over 30 kids had been shopping in in the clan room, adjacent to the main market that was happening in the big room. Santa Claus wandered between the two markets.
Weather is typically warmer in Carcross than Whitehorse. Low temperatures thinned some of the expected vendors and crowds, but the kids were keen.
To stock the kids’ market, gifts had been solicited from Whitehorse businesses and around Carcross. Everything was $5 or less, so the kids had a great selection to find gifts for others and got some amazing deals, as well.
Everything left from this year will be rolled into next year, so the idea and the practice of connecting children and elders in a spirit of giving will continue on.
Lawrie Crawford, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Yukon News