It's the time of year again for markets and craft sales galore. The search for gifts and holiday cheer brought me out to two events this weekend - a) the Arboretum Holiday Sale and b) the Holiday Market at Union Depot.
Not so secret confession - I love the Arboretum sales. They have one every season with appropriately themed wreaths and flower arrangements, herb mixtures, and crafty items.
We hiked in for this one as the car entry fee is a little steep if you're only planning on shopping and not taking in the rest of the grounds. The unseasonable warmth for December and melting snow/ice made it a not unpleasant walk. (Though I have two large cracks in the soles of my shoes that have apparently negated their otherwise waterproof properties.)
Total haul: a fuzzy llama-deer wreath for D's mom and an assortment of things from the Herb Society including body jam, salt scrub, a stress-reliever eye pillow with chamomile, peppermint, and flax, and some sweet spice infused vinegar. I almost sprung for some adorable penguin cards from the photography sale, but balked at the price.
In an effort to combat sudden onset Grinch-ness this morning, I managed to drag myself out to the Union Depot. Their motto is 'your hub for the holidays' and they advertised a European-style Christmas market as well as musical entertainment and the North Pole Express.
While the tickets for the train were all sold out, we hoped to catch a glimpse of it on the tracks. No such luck, though we did spot some steam in the distance. The Holiday Market was similarly lackluster with about 8 stalls in total and a limited appeal. The music was a windup monkey with a reel of holiday songs.
I think my expectations were set a bit too high this year after seeing what other cities have to offer. There is still Holidazzle though. They removed the admission fee this year and moved it to a larger venue, so I'm hopeful that we can hold our own in the holiday celebrations game.
...and in the end...
On the way back from the Union Depot, I realized something important was missing in my annual holiday routine. No wonder I felt like such a Grinch.
I popped in my Trans Siberian Orchestra cd and everything was right again with December. Who needs holiday markets when they have Carol of the Bells?
What gets you in the holiday spirit?