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Posted by: catnip ( )
Date: December 01, 2019 02:27AM

I have always adored other people's handmade gifts, especially if they are well-made and clever.

At our ages, we don't need a lot of "stuff," but visits, with maybe homemade jams or jellies, or a touch of peanut brittle, or laid-back treats that won't kill diabetics...

Offers to come over and cheer at Seahawks game with me, or Green Bay - I'd be happy to make hot cocoa!

I want to shop local!

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Posted by: exminion ( )
Date: December 01, 2019 04:26AM

I miss the Mormon ward bazaar, from long ago.

Home-baked goodies aren't as popular anymore. Our local schools request packaged, store-bought treats, unopened, and won't allow anything home made. This includes donations for the cake-walk at the carnival. Everyone is afraid of poison in the cookies and razor blades in the apple (though probably the latter never happened).

People are more health conscious, so I like to bring fruit to my grandchildren, instead of sugary goodies. Every Christmas we get Harry and David pears, and "cutie" tangerines, and giant navel oranges. Neighbors bring home made hummus, garden-grown salsa, a cheese ball, home-seasoned olive oil with a loaf of sourdough bread, nuts, and bran muffins. Believe it or not, my family loves these!

I'm happy that my granddaughter wants to hand-make her gifts to her friends. It's her own idea. She is very crafty, artistic, and good with her hands. Most of her friends have everything they want, and a hand made gift is something unique and special. I hope she makes one for me! I mean, this is at the top of my Christmas wish list!

Every Thanksgiving, I use a tablecloth that a friend cross-stitched for me, and I think of her.

My mother used to make me beautiful clothes, and I much preferred them, though my snotty friends refused to wear anything that wasn't designer or from a boutique. Mom fitted things to me, perfectly. I had fewer clothes, but could change them up, so they would look different, every time I wore them. She also knit some great-looking sweaters, and when I was little, she would knit a matching sweater for my doll.

There's something about the care that the creator gives to what is made, and the respect for workmanship. It warms my heat that someone thought of me while making it.

I like to sew things for other people. It's a way of expressing love, it's creative, and it calms me down.

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Posted by: summer ( )
Date: December 01, 2019 07:24AM

Your mom sounds like she was really talented. My family often does hand-crafted gifts as well, particularly the younger generation.

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Posted by: summer ( )
Date: December 01, 2019 07:26AM

I haven't been to a bazaar or a craft fair in a while, but I do enjoy them. I've heard that a number of bazaars are being taken over by MLMs, which IMO is unfortunate. I much prefer the hand-crafted items.

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Posted by: Lethbridge Reprobate ( )
Date: December 01, 2019 02:21PM

My wife always hit the two big Christmas craft sales here. I sat in my truck patiently waiting listening to classic rock...or I went in search of a pint.

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Posted by: Dave the Atheist ( )
Date: December 01, 2019 02:26PM

Visiting a church would be totally bizarre.

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Posted by: Breeze ( )
Date: December 01, 2019 03:15PM

My grandchildren's schools in Salt Lake City don't sell hand-made stuff or baked goods, and they don't have fund-raising activities, like banquets with door-prizes, or picnics, a haunted house, carnivals with a cake-walk, etc. Back in the good old days, when my children went to the very same schools, this was how they raised funds. Maybe this has to do with the new generation of instant entertainment, cyber-relationships, Fakebook, and too many movies.

Nothing human-driven and people-centered is interesting enough to draw a crowd.

Most of the "volunteerism" that Utah brags about is service to the Mormon cult. Also, more mothers work outside the home, these days.

What do the schools do now? They have a magazine sales drive! Over 60% of the profits go to the magazine sales company. Kids are group-pressured into being in the sales contest, and into hitting up all their relatives. The kids are bribed by cheap China-made trinkets. My grandson was so proud of his plastic gnome, until it's hair fell out. Another ploy was selling outrageously over-priced wrapping paper and kitchen utensils. Another was selling frozen cookie dough.

I miss the socialization and enthusiasm of the school parents and relatives in California. Even our little beach town had an annual "street party", and they would block off part of the main street, and have live music, and game booths, and food, and citizens would donate and support the local businesses. Crime and over-crowding eventually stopped that.

Every time my grandchildren hit me up to support the magazine/wrapping paper/MLM stuff, I show them some cash, and tell them that I want to donate ALL of it to their school. I tell them I will buy them a toy troll, or whatever, but, yeah, I know, it's not the same as "winning a contest" and being a hero to your classmates. Anyway, I make my donations at the school front office. It's a matter of principle, to me.

LOL--a couple of friends got together and bought the magazines--the worst ones--and had them all sent to the PTA president's house.

I have the same objection to the way the Mormon cult coerces money out of people, and refuses to disclose how it is spent. When we moved to Utah, I discovered that the schools here are dominated by Mormons, so I volunteered only with teaching and helping in the classroom directly with the kids.

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Posted by: Mother Who Knows ( )
Date: December 01, 2019 05:14PM

Here are some of our family traditions, living in Salt Lake City:

The Festival of Trees is the closest thing to a fund-raising bazaar. I think it's going on right now. People donate fully decorated trees, which are bought by private households, or by businesses for their office lobbies. All of the proceeds go to the Primary Children's Hospital. The display is gorgeous, and gives you lots of ideas. There's also a gingerbread house display. There's a stage area, where various school choirs and groups perform, throughout the day.

Salt Lake used to have a Dickens Festival at the old State Fairgrounds, but it became overrun by the mass-produced souvenir hawkers and the MLMs. South Jordan and St. George have Dickens Festivals. In past years, people would set up booths, and sell everything from artwork to handmade knits and quilts to soup to roasted chestnuts. We would stock up on bags of fresh California nuts. My daughter had a booth one year, selling her hand-made wooden doll houses, and made some money to buy a car. She was the youngest person, ever, to have a booth there.

The Heber Creeper has train rides, and a special "Polar Express".

Every year, we go on a sleigh ride at The Homestead, in Midway. We try to get the real sled, in the deep snow, but often it's just a wagon on rubber tires--but the the horses are beautiful draft horses. There's an ice castle to see on the ride. The ice castle is so expensive, that we have never gone inside. The kids have been swimming the the hot-pot crater, there, just to say they did.

The kids TBM grandparents force them to go to Temple Square to see the lights, and I went along a few times, and it was awful. The kids were too cold, and weren't allowed to run around to keep warm, and the ordeal lasted way too long. Maybe my PTSD was triggered by the loud MoTab dirges blasting from speakers everywhere, perched on tall poles, out of the reach of people who might want to kick them and shut them off. (yeah, I thought about doing that.) It was always way too crowded, and the people seemed, well, angry! Maybe they had to yell at each other, to be heard above the drone of the music. Maybe they were cold, and had trouble parking and negotiating the crowds. Up close, they smelled like garlic. Seriously, a few times the littlest kids were actually knocked over, and in danger of being trammeled! No Christmas spirit there!

Go, instead, to "Zoo Lights" at Hoggle Zoo. The crowds are more merry. If you don't want to walk, just ride the little train.

Wheeler Farm in Murray has animals the kids can feed. There's something especially appealing about animals at Christmastime. My son got married at Wheeler Farm in the winter, and it was beautiful.

We have been to a few winter weddings at "Heritage Park", and the village there is cute. There's a fun train ride, also.

Gardner Village at 7800 S. 1100 West is appealing. There's a nice antique shop, where I sold some of parents' antiques, and an interesting old-fashioned candy store, and the decorations are very pretty.

One of our favorite traditions is to go skiing on Christmas Eve day. We usually go to Brighton or Alta, because they have a more local feel, and the slopes are not at all crowded on that day. Some skiers wear full-fledged Santa suits. Everyone is jovial, and my grandkids hum Christmas songs, as they ski. We all have hot cocoa in the cozy ski lodge, afterwards. It's definitely worth the extra dollars for watery ski-lodge hot chocolate.

One Christmas Eve, I had hurt my knee, but I rode the lift, anyway, for the scenery. I would recommend this for anyone. In the winter, there's sometimes an inversion, and the city is gray and dark for weeks--but you can drive out of it, up to the mountains, and find sunny skies!

Sorry to get carried away, and to ramble, but I love Christmas!

Oh, I forgot, the beautiful Cathedral of the Madeline has some free organ and choir concerts, that are very uplifting and spiritual.

Even when we were Mormons, we have always gone to the Methodist candlelight service on Christmas Eve. The Catholics, Lutherans, Presbyterians, Methodists, and probably most other Christian churches have Christmas Eve services. We go to the earlier service, and they have one again at midnight.

Old Fashioned tree lighting ceremonies at Draper and Holladay, and other towns on Monday night. We'll be there!

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