December 4, 2021

Christmas gift giving has changed during the pandemic. From online shopping to in-person shopping, holiday crafts have become the new gifts of Christmas. Many groups and stores have made accommodations to encourage this change.

A group called Dollarama DIY Crafts and Hacks was created on Facebook to make life easier and bring more light into the Christmas spirit during the pandemic. The group takes cheap items that are found in Dollarama and creates small crafts and decorations.

“It’s wonderful to see incredible hauls and cool finds that folks discover at Dollarama, thrift stores and Winners,” said Danielle Howlett Nezed, administrator of the group, in a Facebook post. “But it’s not accessible or available for everyone across the country which makes it difficult or impossible for others to create their own version of something you created.”

Gnome created using craft items. (Fayth Paul/Spoke Online)

Affordability has become one of the top issues in the world as many have been laid off of work, turning to banks and Ontario’s Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) as an option for income.

According to the BDO Affordability Index 2020 website, just last year 67 per cent of Canadians experienced layoffs or reduced salary since the pandemic. This creates tight budget plans, leaving little income to spend on themselves or others.

“For the past three years, the BDO Affordability Index has shown that Canadians are struggling more and more with the cost of living,” said Doug Jones, President of BDO Canada Limited on their website.

“Faced with COVID-19, however, the perception of affordability has changed. Canadians are saving and cutting back on spending, but they are also finding it more difficult to keep up with debt. These factors will likely put long-term stress on families and the economy,” said Jones on their website.

Multiple Christmas night markets have also been introduced to help those with a tight budget to make the best of the Christmas season.

These night markets include:

The markets offer affordable hand-crafted items and various Christmas related activities. Entry is free for all events, but masks and proof of vaccination is required for those 12 and older.

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