Sunday, November 30, 2008

Christmas Craft Show

Yesterday, my good friend Diane and I went over to the Convention Center here in Jacksonville for their annual Christmas Made in the South Craft Show. This is the biggest craft show I've ever been to! There were literally hundreds of vendors with everything from clothing and jewelry to handmade ornaments and novelty items! Unfortunately, the one vendor that I was looking for was not there this year! Fiddlesticks!!! However, something wonderful happened to me today that is better than anything that vendor could have sold me!! I will share this with you in my post for tomorrow (you know...the whole "expectation and anticipation of advent....so you'll have to wait!!!).

Anyway, I only bought a couple of small items this year as we are trying to be careful with our spending. When you're at an event like this, it can be tempting to overspend because everything looks so festive!!! There is also the issue of "novelty"...I mean, so much of this stuff is handmade and you may never get the chance to purchase something like this again. But, at least I went with a mission this time (that darn fabric advent calendar!!). Since I couldn't find it...I did give myself permission to find something else that I could put in the kid's shoes for St. Nicholas Day!

Here is what I was able to purchase...and by the way...all of this was UNDER $25.00 (That didn't include the admission price or lunch though!!)

These items were made by a older couple living in Iowa. She uses old, vintage Christmas/Greeting card images and makes wooden puzzles with them!! I visited their booth at least 3 times before I actually purchased something. They seem to be very well made!. What drew me in were the images. They are classic photos and greetings and some of them are absolutely gorgeous! These were 3 very small ones. I got one for each of my kids. They are tied together with string so you can display them and to keep the pieces together. She told me not to untie the string but to pull it off while doing the puzzle...that way, you can just put the string back on afterwards and it stays together.

She had big ones, small ones, teeny-tiny ones, oval ones, round ones, etc...... It was really hard to choose. Here are more photos of them....

Don't you just love this guys eyes???? I also like seeing the very old tradition of putting candles on the tree!

This is one I took apart for you so you could see it! I apologize for the bad lighting in this picture...I am still learning how to use this camera. I just simply slipped of the string and took it apart. Then, when I had it all together again...I just slipped the string right back on!

I know that images of Santa Claus are not necessarily the images I want my children to see in their minds and hearts when they think about Christmas, but, let's face it....don't we all think of Christmas when we see Santa?? The couple did have Holy Family/Nativity images...and...I almost bought those, but like I said, I was just so drawn to these vintage photos.

Do you ever feel like you could have been born in the wrong era? I feel this way with Christmas music also. I'd rather listen to Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, Rosemary Clooney and Johnny Mathis when it comes to Christmas songs. I guess I'm just drawn to a simpler time....when kid's weren't bombarded with images of so much stuff to crowd their little brains. The enemy can grab hold of their little souls this way and take them down a road that is way too traveled...the road of greed. Sometimes, I truly long for the way things were back then. I think back to my grandmother's white flocked Christmas tree with the rotating colored lights that changed the snow and ornaments into different colors. I remember listening to Alvin and the Chipmunks Christmas record (yes....remember the old LP's that were played on a huge stereo system??) over and over again until my Nanie was ready to ship us back home.

Alas...even though I'm drawn to the simplicity and memories......I still live in 2008 and get caught up in all it's commercialism sometimes.

On an even more personal note....Christmas has truly changed for me this year. Since my diagnosis of breast cancer this July....I see things through new eyes. I'm all for keeping a positive attitude about my recovery, but, there is a part of me...deep down inside that asks the question.."What if this is my last Christmas?". I guess, no matter how simple or complicated it is...I just want to enjoy it. I want to create memories for my husband and my kids that will last their lifetimes. Most of all....I just want their memories to be happy. Even with all the chaos that went on in my childhood (my moms alcoholism, their divorce and all the issues that went with that)...absolutely ALL of my Christmas memories are wonderful and warming to my soul.
This is what I wish for my kids. Ok...enough of that.

One last thing, I bought this ornament. Ever since Dan and I have been married, I have purchased an ornament for our tree with the year on it. Since we've had kids...it's been more kid oriented. Anyway...here is the ornament I got yesterday.

***Two more last things....my last chemo (#4) is tomorrow at 8am. I'm really nervous about this one. The fatigue and such is really hitting me hard and I would appreciate your continued prayers. Also, I have developed this new problem on my lower legs called petechiae. It doesn't hurt but it could mean that my blood counts are not where they should be.

Ok...another last thing....my husband Dan is doing much better. We were able to go and get our Christmas tree last night (although it's still outside right now...getting rained on!). Thank you for your prayers.

3 comments:

Purpleflowerpatch said...

Nancy, those little puzzles are beautiful - and I agree about the eyes, so warm and gentle, just as I would imagine St Nicholas's to be. I am praying for your chemo...and sending this {{{{hug}}}}

Michele said...

Nancy you have been in my prayers, and I will continue to pray for you. For those I pray for with cancer I really like to send them something special to encourage them in their battle. I would really love to bless you with this. Can you e-mail back your address? If you don't feel comfortable doing this I completely understand.

Therese said...

Those puzzles are really cute!

More prayers coming your way!