The start of the Christmas season does seem to get a little earlier each year, with the transition from fall frolicking to Christmas cheer happening in a snap. For the women at St. Mary, Star of the Sea Catholic Church, that’s true this year as well.
The church held day one of its Christmas Bazaar, with handmade gifts and decorations, on Nov. 5, about a week and a half earlier than originally planned and earlier than it has been in recent years. Day two will follow on Nov. 12.
Women’s Guild President Sue DiNatale had to obtain permits from the town of Longboat Key to hold the event and worked with the town to determine a date that would work, so when they got their plan in place, the Christmas cheer was deployed.
“These ladies have been working on this stuff for four to five months, so any way we could have it, we wanted to,” DiNatale said. “We wanted to be safe and respectful.
Changes to the event were made, of course, starting with the requisite required masks, social distancing and hand sanitizing. There were fewer tables of goodies, the event will be open to parishioners only, it will be held over two days instead of one and organizers moved the event to a weekday instead of a weekend to try to cut down on the number of people descending upon the Father Edward Pick Parish Hall.
Cheery parishioners strolled through the hall, chatting with their friends and perusing well-priced decor and gifts.
“The most enjoyable part is to come here and be together, at least a little bit,” Theresa DiStefano said.