This week is going to be a little wonky. Whether you celebrate Christmas or not, if you even so much as need to pick up a few groceries this week? It’s gonna be nuts.

Much of this hullabaloo comes pretty naturally for us. It’s the solstice season, after all, when midwinter feasts celebrate the gradual return of the sun and a faith that the tiny seeds of winter will become the bounty of next year’s harvest.

Engaging with this season means being present with it – traditionally these longer nights have been reserved for envisioning (sugar plums or otherwise), storytelling, and taking a much-needed rest. This slowing seems more impractical now than ever, and may actually be more necessary than ever before.

The ways to slow down are myriad and relatively uncomplicated:  go out and look at the full moon, talk to your oldest living relative, practice curiosity, attempt an old family recipe, ask your favourite farmer at the market what they’ll be serving on New Year’s Eve, take a social media break, find an outdoor skating rink.

It’s as simple and as complicated as breaking out of routine and opening up to the possibility of something new coming your way. 2018 was a big year for us at the good local, as we departed from the way things had always been done and planted new seeds, opened up our shop and launched a new format. We met folks who are spending their days tending to good food, and we shared their stories. In some ways, it was a slow year, as we deepened our understanding and expression of what it is we do best.

Practicing gratitude is, of course, another ancient staple of this season, and we’d like to thank the writers, photographers, food producers, makers and farmers who’ve shared their stories on our pages this year. Most of all, thanks to you, our readers, who know well the joy of a good meal and the meaning of a good story, and because of that are willing to slow down with us. We couldn’t do any of it without you.

Wishing you all the best through this season of slow. Let’s meet back here in 2019.