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Seeking Original Gifts and Supporting Local Craftspeople

The Carters have a packed schedule of Christmas bazaars



The Carters don their craft-sale Christmas aprons.

PHOTO: JOSHUA HUSTON

When Kate Carter was young, she remembers her mother sending away for a master calendar of Christmas bazaars. They would strategize a schedule and visit local events to buy handmade gifts. 

Now, Kate is carrying on the tradition with her three daughters, Addisyn, 8, Ireland, 11, and Raegan, 13. Since they were born, she’s taken them to anywhere from three to eight bazaars a year. The vendors are typically local small businesses or craftspeople, and the bazaars are sometimes fundraisers for schools or other causes. 

“I love the idea. I’m in service to others constantly, and I feel like it’s a way to continue that — to fortify the local economy and help support our community,” Kate says. She likened it to visiting farmers markets for produce in the summer. 

When the girls were little, she’d sometimes find hand-sewn fairy wings or whimsical kits for their stockings. She and her mom even bought sparkly Christmas aprons for everyone one year — and for many years, the girls would put the aprons on while decorating for the holidays. 

“My youngest daughter still wears it for fun. I can’t say my teenager would, though,” she says with a laugh. 

Kate currently loves to shop for stocking stuffers and gifts for her daughters’ teachers, coaches and friends. Some of their favorite items are soy candles, pins or earrings, local honey, small paintings and handmade cards. 

“I don’t always have a big budget,” she says, “but we come through to see what’s available and support local people and organizations.” 

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