Christmas in November? How bizarre.
Or rather, bazaar, thanks to volunteers at St. Mary, Star of the Sea Catholic Church. The merry elves of Longboat Key are busy making gifts and decor items to be sold at the annual Christmas Bazaar on Nov. 13.
“If the elves came, they could just pick out everything they need to deliver,” co-chair Clara McGonigle said.
The Father Edward Pick Fellowship Hall has been populated every Tuesday morning for a couple months by a group of women whose efficiency at Christmas decor rivals Santa’s workshop.
Now, days before the bazaar, the tables are stacked with decorations, extra lights and ornaments left over from tree decorating, second-hand gifts for every member of the family, tree toppers, handmade decorations, stockings and knitted goods. Hanging on the walls are wreaths that have been beribboned over the months. McGonigle said there will even be a “Granny’s Attic” section stocked with Christmassy linens and household items.
The showstoppers are the trees, which were all decorated by volunteers and will be available for purchase, fully festooned. No matter if you want a full-size, six-foot evergreen or a condo-friendly tree that fits on a tabletop, there’s a fir for you.
“All the trees have been decorated by the ladies work group,” McGonigle said. “There are some young people who’ve been coming, so it’s breathed new life into the group.”
Last year, the Christmas Bazaar was only open to congregation members because of the COVID-19 pandemic and the need for social distancing, but it’s reopened to the public again this year. They’re bringing baked goods back and hoping to see as many holiday shoppers as possible. All the proceeds from the bazaar will go towards the annual St. Mary’s charity donations, as in past years.
“It’s a little bit larger than last year, but we won’t be back to full normal until next year,” McGonigle said.