Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Southern Minnesota slides toward Christmas with snow, holiday sales & more November 16, 2022

Volunteers vend trees and more at the Christ Lutheran Christmas Market last weekend in Faribault. (Minnesota Prairie Roots copyrighted photo November 2022)

IT’S BEGINNING TO LOOK, and feel, a lot like Christmas in Minnesota. This week brought snow and cold to our state, a reality check for those of us hoping our stretch of gloriously warm autumn days would continue. Yet, as a life-long Minnesotan, I understood winter weather would arrive no matter my wishful thinking.

As I was out and about in Faribault in the biting wind and cold temps pre-snowfall, I hurried in and out of buildings. Temperature spirals to the 20s and lower always require acclimation, no matter how long I’ve lived in the North Star State (my entire life).

A shopper arrives at the Christmas Market. (Minnesota Prairie Roots copyrighted photo November 2022)

Throughout my community, the spirit of Christmas is emerging in holiday decorations and holiday boutiques/craft sales/marketplaces, whatever term is tagged to an event featuring handcrafted items, food and more.

This festively-decorated vintage pick-up truck set a holiday mood at the market. (Minnesota Prairie Roots copyrighted photo November 2022)

I attended my first of the season, a Christmas Market, at Christ Lutheran Church high atop a hill on Faribault’s east side last Saturday. Originally, the market was planned for outdoors. But then wind moved the sale indoors so vendors’ tents wouldn’t blow over. I felt a tad disappointed as I anticipated attending an outdoor market. But I fully understand given the wind and cold.

Holiday boutiques aren’t just about shopping. They are also about community, about connecting. (Minnesota Prairie Roots copyrighted photo November 2022)

Inside the church, vendors crammed into limited space under tent canopies and at open tables. There was lefse and jewelry and vintage finds and, oh, a whole lot of merch for sale. I focused my attention, though, on the scene outside the front doors of the church. Here a vintage red pick-up truck set the scene for the holiday market.

Smoke from a barrel drifts around the vintage pick-up truck outside the marketplace/church. (Minnesota Prairie Roots copyrighted photo November 2022)

Decked with bows, a wreath, a Christmas tree tossed in the bed, a porch pot aside, strung with unlit lights, the truck presented a postcard scene perfect for photo ops. And those were available for a fee.

Outside the Christmas Market entrance, fire flames. (Minnesota Prairie Roots copyrighted photo November 2022)

Near the truck, smoke billowed at times and flames danced from a barrel, adding ambiance and the feeling of warmth in the mid-November cold.

Trees & wreaths sold at the Christ Lutheran Christmas Market. (Minnesota Prairie Roots copyrighted photo November 2022)

To the side, porch pots, Christmas trees and wreaths leaned and hunkered, available for purchase by anyone wanting to get a jump on holiday decorating.

The City of Faribault has already put up holiday decorations in the downtown area, here looking toward the historic viaduct near Buckham Memorial Library. (Minnesota Prairie Roots copyrighted photo November 2022)

November sometimes feels too early for all of this—the Christmas decorations, the holiday sales. But, in reality, it’s not. Minnesotans understand that putting exterior lights and decorations up when the weather is warm is just plain smart. No frozen fingers. No dealing with snow. Too late now. Both are upon us. And so is this season of holidays markets.

Outside Buckham Library, a bold holiday banner marks the season. (Minnesota Prairie Roots copyrighted photo November 2022)

I suppose it’s smart also to get a jump on gift buying to ease the stress, to spread out the spending. There seem to be more local boutiques/craft sales/markets with an emphasis on local. I like that shift toward supporting creatives within our communities whether at church-based sales like those at Christ Lutheran, at art centers, at local shops… There’s a connection to those who use their hands—to stitch, to knit, to saw, to string beads, to roll potato-based dough into lefse rounds…


FYI: Here are a few upcoming holiday boutiques/craft sales/markets in my area:

Trinity Lutheran Church, Faribault, Boutique/Craft Sale from 9 am – 3 pm Saturday, November 19, in the auditorium.

Holly Days Sale, Paradise Center for the Arts, Faribault, November 17 (opening at 5 pm) – December 22, featuring one-of-a-kind art by local artists.

Holiday Boutique, Arts & Heritage Center of Montgomery, now until December 31

Christmas Pop Up Shoppe, Buckham West, Faribault, November 26, 28 & 29, hours vary.

For specifics on each listing, please click on links.

© Copyright 2022 Audrey Kletscher Helbling


20 Responses to “Southern Minnesota slides toward Christmas with snow, holiday sales & more”

  1. beth Says:

    oh, I love this and know what you mean about having to acclimate to the season. I was born in Chicago and have lived in Michigan since I was 2, so I know there is no avoiding the winter and all that comes with it. I do love winter, just don’t like commuting in the weather, and having to bundle up, but I do love the traditions and beauty of it. love the market, and the truck, and handmade gifts are my absolute favorite.

  2. “November sometimes feels too early for all of this…” That’s what my wife always says – no Christmas until after Thanksgiving! That was all well and good when we lived places where it wasn’t too cold by Black Friday. I think she’s going to have to bend a little on this and let me put the lights up when it’s still warmish – but don’t turn them on until after Thanksgiving! We’ll see how that goes… 😉

  3. It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

  4. Valerie Says:

    I love the red truck! Sounds like a lot is happening this month in SE MN…I’m sure the snow helps get you into the mood for Christmas. Thanks for the info.

    • I loved the red truck also. It was a nice extra touch and I’d highly-recommend this to any group hosting a holiday sale. An eye-attracting whatever can go a long way to draw people inside. I opted not to photography indoors given the lighting and minimal space. I just was not comfortable taking my camera out of the bag.

  5. Richard Baker Says:

    Plainview does their Olde Fashion Christmas on December 3. Three locations of crafts, wagon rides, a visit with Santa, carolers and more.

    • Richard, thank you for sharing this info about Plainview’s upcoming holiday celebration. It sounds like fun. I thoroughly enjoyed my visit to Plainview back in June. I hope you saw those posts. Readers, feel free to share about events in your communities in the comments section.

  6. Oh, those look so fun and inviting.I am not a big fan of the Christmas season but I do enjoy those markets with the cozy feelings that the World is at peace.

  7. Norma Says:

    I really envy you fortunate people that can enjoy the winter with snow and cold winters. So far, our weather has been in the 60’s. I was born and raised in the San Joaquin Valley, here in sunny California. I’m not bragging about it. Just stating a fact. I haven’t worn a heavy coat in several years. I got rid of them years ago because they took up space in my closet. I would like to experience a “real” winter, just once in my life. Enjoy!!!

  8. With mother nature taking a bead at Florida in the past few months it has been hard to do any exterior decorating. What you put up has to come down or becomes someone else’s and hopefully not their problem in having it break something. I will be finding the storage tote to decorate the table for Thanksgiving though. Then I may think about decking the halls until the end of the year. This is a busy time at work with month end, quarter end, year end – I will not bore you with any more details. Happy Day – Enjoy 🙂 Stay warm up there in the North Land/Frozen Tundra – brrrrr!

    • Whenever I hear about the storms pounding Florida, I think of you and wonder if you’re OK. Do take care and put up the holiday decor when you can. Enjoy the warmth of sunshine and temps. And remember to take time for fun in the busy season of your work.

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