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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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