Crafts Dazzle Shoppers at St. Matthew Sale
A Country Christmas features handmade crafts, personalized ornaments, baked goods.
A November wonderland of holiday and seasonal décor greeted shoppers Saturday, Nov. 6 at St. Matthew Lutheran Church, where A Country Christmas Craft and Gift Show began its two-day run.
The sale, a benefit presented by the church's Ladies Aid organization. If you missed out on it today, don't worry, it continues from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Sunday, Nov. 7, in the church basement, 24500 N. Old McHenry Rd., Hawthorn Woods. There is no admission fee.
"I come every year," said shopper Chris Horn, of Vernon Hills, who paused while a volunteer sales associate personalized the decorations she'd selected from hundreds of displays.
Horn said her anticipation of the sale was evidenced Friday evening during a family discussion about weekend plans. When her child asked her about her plans, her husband chimed in.
"My husband said, "Your mother looks forward to this every year,' " she said, sifting through hand-painted wooden ornaments. "I love them for myself and I give them as gifts. It's great. The prices are decent. Plus, it goes to the church."
Holding a box full of Christmas ornaments she intended to buy, Horn said she had at least two more boxes of merchandise to pick up before she left.
"They have some great artists in this church," she said, pointing to an elaborate display of jewelry, photo frames and intricately decorated wall hangings and centerpieces. "Look how clever that is."
Cradling a box with lawn ornaments and cards in her hands, shopper Jayne Nordstrom of Waukegan said she was finding lots of great buys.
"I come shopping for gifts and at least half is for myself," she said. "The prices are really reasonable. It's amazing, all the work that goes into these."
Horn and Nordstrom weren't alone in their enthusiasm for the Christmas and autumn-themed goods.
"We had a line of people outside the door at 9 o'clock," said Helen Burnidge, a Ladies Aid member who was helping customers at the fall décor table.
Burnidge said Ladies Aid members meet every Wednesday morning from January through October to work on crafts and ready them for the sale.
"Almost all of it is made by the ladies here," she said, adding that her specialty is making fall flower arrangements.
Burnidge said Jennifer Ambrosi, one of two event chairwomen, is one of the most prolific crafters in the group.
"I made all these wooden things," said Ambrosi, as she stood by a display featuring her work. "I buy the wood when it's on sale and then I embellish."
Ambrosi said about 10 percent of sale proceeds will go to a mission cause, while the remainder will help fund the installation of an elevator in the church building.
"We have $44,000 collected already," Ambrosi said.
The sale also features gently used items in "Mrs. Claus' Closet" and baked goods made by members of the congregation.
For more information about the sale, call the church at 847-438-7709 and visit www.stmatts.net.