Every time I step into a holiday craft fair I think back to my childhood holiday memories and the Lockport Christmas Crossroads holiday craft fair. When I was little my mom, my grandmother, my sister and I would go to Christmas Crossroads. We were given a few dollars to spend and it was always so exciting to shop among the sparkling, magical displays. Each year my mom bought us kids personalized Christmas ornaments. I loved those ornaments and still do. I loved moving from booth to booth with my mom as we checked out different ornaments and she shopped for presents. Missy and I would eat popcorn and Christmas cookies as we shopped and my mom would find special gifts for people on her list. The Christmas Crossroads holiday craft fair was huge and I loved wandering the halls and packed rooms. It was always a magical day.
Last month, I was together with some of my St. Thecla mom friends and we were talking about holiday craft fairs. My friend, Kerry talked about going to the craft fairs with her family and friends and how much fun they had shopping together. We also talked about upcoming fairs and she talked about her impressive process of checking out the holiday craft booths, noting favorite items and then going back to purchase her top favorite picks. As we all chatted about holiday craft fairs special memories with family and friends were woven into each story. Makes my heart smile.
The second thing I love about holiday craft fairs is the people. Of course, I love the people we go to holiday craft fairs with but I am also intrigued by the people in the holiday booths. It is clear that these crafters are passionate about what they do and invest great time, creativity, and resources into creating special holiday treasures.
At the Resurrection craft fair, I bought a super cute crocheted hat at a booth that was piled high with darling hats, scarves and wraps. As I moved on, I smiled at the sweet nuns selling blankets, hand towels, and Christmas ornaments. I then decided I really needed to blog about how special holiday craft fairs are and turned back to my hat gal. I introduced myself and asked if I could take a picture of her for my blog. She graciously agreed and I asked her about her craft business. I asked how she got into crocheting and she explained that she and her friend crochet while their kids have skating practice. I smiled and shared that I knew other hockey moms that do the same. She laughed and continued on that crocheting was a great way to pass the time while they watched practiced and chatted away. She continued that she also crocheted in the evenings to decompress from work and wind down. She said that the counting and process was relaxing and a great stress reliever. I loved how she had used time during practices and in the evening to create a special business while also recharging and taking care of herself! Contact us for Stacy’s e-mail address!
Using Kerry’s trick, I then circled back to a booth that was swamped with buyers. Focaccia bread was piled high on the table and craft buyers were reaching over each other to snap up Margherita focaccia, veggie focaccia, tomato and basil focaccia and so many other kids. I picked up an artichoke and spinach focaccia and a 3-cheese focaccia. I waited a few minutes for the crowd to quiet down. I introduced myself to Mario and asked for a picture. He kindly agreed and I asked the business and if they used family recipes. Mario explained that he worked with his mom and dad and two sisters and used his mom’s recipes. He went on to share that his grandfather had a butcher shop for years and his mom did catering for his grandfather. People loved the recipes and they eventually opened their own family business in Roselle. I could hear the family pride in his voice and as he talked it was clear they loved working together. We had the focaccia for dinner that evening and it was amazing! I can see why their focaccia bread is in such high demand and that the family love goes into every recipe. Check out Elena’s Cucina at www.elenascucina.com.
The third thing I love about holiday craft fairs is the opportunity to by a gift that is unique for someone special on my list. I was drawn to a craft booth that was all the way in the cafeteria for the craft fair. I bought my twins, Stella and Sophia sweet Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer suckers. I introduced my self to Rebekah and asked if I could take her picture. I asked her how she got into her darling custom applique and monogramming business. She shared that she grew up sewing with her grandmother and mother and had such fond memories of sewing special things together. I smiled, as I have special memories of my mom teaching me to sew and sewing together. Rebekah told me last year, her husband, baby and her had moved to Indianapolis from our area. Sewing was a way for her to stay connected with her mom. She had been a teacher before she moved and was no longer teaching. Her business, Circle T Designs was a way for her to be creative. She also loved getting gifts that were personalized when she was young and it meant so much as people often spelled her name wrong. Rebekah loves creating something unique to help celebrate each special person on your gift list. Check out Rebekah’s facebook page and Instagram at @CircleTDesignsLLC to see her cute gifts!
I loved Rebekah’s story and that is what makes holiday craft fairs special. You can find something unique for the people on your list, can help support entrepreneurs, and can add some sparkle to the holidays.
As you prepare for Christmas I hope you cherish the memories of past holidays, shop with your family and friends and meet the people at the craft booths, and find unique gifts for all the people on your lists! Happy shopping!
Friday, November 17th Onahan Vendor and Craft Fair
Saturday, November 18th St. Thecla Women's Council Holiday Craft Show
Saturday, November 18th & Sunday, November 19th Christmas Crossroads at Lockport East High School
Friday, November 17th - Sunday, November 19th Chicago Autumn Festival in Villa Park
Sunday, November 19th Mount Prospect High School 9th Annual Holiday Gift & Craft Boutique
Winterfest December 10th and 11th Norwood Park Train Station