December 5 was not officially named Craft Day, but it could have been.
From McArthur to Round Mountain a half dozen different events treated Intermountain residents to a celebration of local creativity and Christmas cheer. In McArthur, shoppers flocked to Santa’s Workshop and 12 Days of Christmas at the Inter-Mountain Fairgrounds. In Burney, The VFW Women’s Auxiliary Craft Show and the New Hope Evangelical Presbyterian Church Annual Christmas Bake Sale and Craft Show were taking place. In addition, the first annual Christmas Boutique at Hearthstone Health Foods also featured local crafters and artists.
Then as events in Burney and the Fall River Valley were winding down, the Mountain Community Center in Round Mountain hosted its 2015 Holiday Open House and Free Santa Store.
Events actually began on Wednesday December 2 with the 12 Days of Christmas at the Inter-Mountain Fairgrounds in McArthur. This is the first week of a three-week craft event. Each week from Wednesday through Saturday the holiday fair will be open. The 12 days of Christmas will culminate in a ginger bread contest on December 19.
On Saturday, Santa’s Workshop, was held from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. in Ingram’s Hall. This is a major annual holiday event. This year’s show featured local artists, a Wayside Garden Club Greens Boutique, and locally made Christmas decorations. Santa came at 12:00pm. Food was offered by the Fort Crook Historical Society.
Because Linda and I had a table at the VFW Christmas Craft Show, we weren’t able to get over to the fairgrounds in McArthur but we did meet shoppers who were making a day of it trying to hit all of the craft shows in Burney and Fall River. What a great day for visitors to tour the area and witness the creative output of the area.
In addition to hosting their craft fair, the Woman’s Auxiliary 5685 had a table selling tickets for gift baskets to be raffled of at the American Legion Ham Dinner on December 12th.
Amongst the vendors at the VFW Hall, Anita “Cricket” Allen, one of my favorite people, was selling some delicious baked goods and homemade jellies.
One of the things I like about Cricket, is that she is generally cheerful and kind and always seems to have good advice. My advice is that if you ever have a chance to get some of her breads or jellies seize the opportunity. I got a banana nut bread and some choke cherry jelly.
The McKay brothers were there too with items hand-crafted from wood and other natural products. They also have a booth at the 12 Days of Christmas. Their hand-made pens are very popular. While at the Vets Hall, they got a call from McArthur saying that they needed to bring in more pens because they were selling out.
Nancy Crafts and Collectibles had a beautiful display featuring dazzling crystals.
Linda was busy showing her hand made Christmas cards featuring beautiful pictures of wintry Burney Falls and Burney Mountain as well as gift items, framed and matted photos, and artwork.
There was also a large and lovely display of hand-made soaps and numerous other Christmas crafts and items. I actually didn’t have time to get around to all of it. While Linda manned the table, I snuck away to go over and check out the 87th Annual Holiday Gift Sale at New Hope Evangelical Presbyterian Church. They are in their new location behind Burney Valley Real Estate.
Everything was cozy and beautifully decorated. While there I ran into Sarah Clark and Barbara Watson. A few weeks earlier I had seen these gracious ladies doing folk dances at the Hope is Alive! Open Mic.
We talked about what a great event it was, hoping that there will be another one in a few months. They said that if there is they will invite more international folk dancers up from Redding.
I also had a chance to talk with Bobby and Ramona about how the church is doing since their transition. Actually, spirits are high and faith strengthened. It is still unclear what will become of the old Presbyterian church building where they formerly held services. I think that the Burney Presbyterian Church is the first church that I ever attended when I was child back in the 1950’s. (See Churches of Burney)
As I talked with Bobby and Ramona I felt the spirit of prayer in the church and I told them that I would try to come this month to visit one of their services.
When I got back to the Vet’s Hall it was time to pack things up. But the day was not yet over. Linda and I jumped into our sleigh (actually Jeep) and headed over Burney Mountain to attend the Mountain Community Center Holiday Bazaar. On the way, we stopped at the vista point to get some pictures of snow-covered Burney mountain.
When we arrived at the community center, we saw that the hall had been beautifully decorated with red table cloths and Christmas decorations. There were tables full of baked goods, tables of gift items, tables with items donated for a silent auction, and nicely decorated tables for people to sit down and enjoy. Most thrilling perhaps was the Santa Shop.
When youngsters entered they received tickets that enabled them to shop in Santa’s shop for gift items for family members. Then after selecting the gift items, they went to a table where Santa’s helpers dressed as elves helped them to wrap the presents.
There was also great music performed by the Mountain Messengers. I even got a chance to get up and sing a few Christmas songs.
A highlight of the evening came when some of the children got up to sing Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer, Jingle Bells, and other great Christmas songs backed up by the band.
Deb Klein was the main organizer for this year’s event. Kay Nichols, Elena Norman, Angela Bartolomei, and Sally Durrett also put in many hours of work to ensure success.
Deb was really excited by how much the community pitched in. She said that over 400 toys had been donated, plus the baked goods and auction items. In addition, many local folks volunteered their service during the function.
“This was really a big event for the community,” she said.
Everyone did an outstanding job. Everything was beautiful. The atmosphere glowed with the joy of community Christmas spirit.
Deb also made some delicious home-canned jellies for the occasion.
Just after 5 p.m., people gathered outside and sang more Christmas songs as the community Christmas tree’s lights went on.
Then the evening concluded with raffle prizes and the announcement of the winners of the silent auction.
What a full day of heart and creativity in Pit River Country. What a great way to usher in the holiday season. Feel the love. Joy to the world!
Let us pray for peace on earth. Amen.