Holiday Boutique

I love church bazaars!  Shopping with the added benefit of giving to outreach programs and seeing old friends.

St. Peter’s Oakland had their Harvest Festival yesterday.  The church hall was laid out with tables covered in red cloths forming a long rectangle, and the sellers stood inside the space while the shoppers cruised around the outside.  We all paid as we left, having filled our baskets with goodies.  I liked the system, not having to pay individual vendors.

This bazaar was a real bargain for those who enjoy country crafts, but aren’t too crafty themselves (me).  I fell in love right away with the aprons and their handy pockets, the baked potato gloves to use in the microwave (do they really work?), the homemade jams.  Ah, yes, then there were the packets of “Outrageous Brownies,” incredible indeed, packed with chocolate chips and walnuts.  Oh my.  Then I found the wreathes.  The ladies of the church had made wonderful holiday wreathes from wine corks and I added one to my home collection as well as a most unique wreathe (”We’re trying this out for the first time.”) made from – you won’t believe this – men’s ties.  Into the basket immediately.

Next headed for the sale table and picked up Christmas ornaments – two quilted conical trees (Styrofoam peaked out beneath), two wine-cork hot pads.  One more round about the rectangle and saw wisteria ornaments made from the twisted pods which have a natural velvet when they dry (who’d guess?) and turn a sage green.  There were also lovely beaded organza bookmarks that jumped into my basket.

Feeling lightheaded from such exertion, I headed for the tea-and-sandwich counter and for $3.50 was handed a plate of sandwiches and cup of tea, but somehow I got there too late for the soup on offer as well.  Those who got there in time said it was amazing – next year I shall keep track of the time, or maybe they will make more.

Then I got to chat with friends, catch up on grandchildren, and listen for the raffle numbers being called every hour.  No luck there.

At 3:30 the grand prizes were drawn.  We all gathered around our hostess.  I won!  A lovely baby basket beautifully lined, containing a hand-knit receiving blanket, a picture frame, and a large pink and white quilt.  I’m still debating who’s going to be the recipient of these treasures… there are many possibilities.

Those were just the goodies I left with.  Many other items I painfully resisted – soup mixes, breads, kitchen handcrafts, and more… but I’m pleased that my home this Christmas will have a few additions, for very little expenditure, and for a good cause.

Oh, and did I mention I had a table too?  Yep, selling my trilogy of novels,Pilgrimage, Offerings, and Inheritance (with proceeds to the church’s outreach programs), signing as I sold, and thanking God for the fellowship of friendly church folk on a crisp sunny Saturday.

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