Crafting the Christmas spirit

The 30th annual Christ Craft market in Mission happens this weekend.

Heidi Zimmerling displays her environmentally friendly crafts

Heidi Zimmerling displays her environmentally friendly crafts

It may not feel like Christmas yet, but a weekend at the 30th annual Christmas Craft Market in Mission could change all that.

The event, which takes place at Heritage Park Secondary School Nov. 12-13, is the biggest in the Fraser Valley and first Christmas craft market before the ones in Chilliwack and Abbotsford, says one of the organizers, Nancy Arcand.

This year there will be 100 vendors that will be in the foyers, cafeteria and gymnasium of the school, and Arcand expects as many as 5,000 people to come through their doors.

She says this craft market, featuring handmade jewellery, bags, hats, clothing and more, really kick starts the Christmas spirit.

“Some of the vendors have their tables decorated with Christmas, the [venue] is completely decorated, there’s Christmas trees, there’s twinkle lights, there’s music, and there’s people going around singing Christmas carols.”

Although vendors are from all over the Fraser Valley, Mission mother of two, Heidi Zimmerling, will be appearing at the market for the first time.

Zimmerling began an earth-friendly birthday party business this year after realizing how much waste is associated with children’s parties.

Her business, Sweet Earth Celebrations, delivers party kits — plates and decorations and games — to people’s homes so they don’t have to buy any disposable items. Most of the items are made from felt.

“We have little felt crowns for girls and wands and pirate hats and purses, and for the Christmas fair we started to make a few felt ornaments and stockings,” she said.

Although her crafts are mainly for all-year round, she’ll be featuring some Christmas crafts as well.

She said her approach to birthday parties can be used for Christmas as well, such as reusing paper or cloth bags or even wrapping gifts in newspaper.

Another Missionite attending her first Christmas market as a vendor, Jayme Castle, has sold her crochet crafts at fairs around the Fraser Valley and online to Mary Maxim Crafts.

She makes crochet toques and scarves for children and adults. Castle says hats are good for craft fairs because they’re not high-priced and it gives the kids a chance to buy a gift in their price range.

Last year she was at a craft fair in Dewdney and a shy little boy come up to her table.

“How much is this hat?”

“Well, how much money do you have?”

“I only have $7,” the boy replied.

“Wow, that’s how much this hat is!'”

The Christmas Craft Market runs Saturday, Nov. 12 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday, Nov. 13 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Entry is by donation, a minimum of $1, which Arcand explains is solely to help in production of next year’s craft market.

There will also be basket raffles with gifts from vendors, baked goods, a 50/50 draw, live entertainment, a Christmas Cafe and more.