Christmas on the Fox is a cure for Black Friday blues
Say "Bah Humbug" to Friday — this coming Friday — aka Black Friday. Flat out refuse to gobble down Thanksgiving dinner tailgate style in the parking lot of a big box store. Boycott fighting your way to the front of the line for the midnight mall opening. Stay home instead and snooze away that carb-laden meal.
A well-deserved nap will condition you for Christmas on the Fox Art and Craft Show. It's is the savvy consumer's cure for the Black Friday blues, when things begin to lose their luster and all the labels scream "off shore.''
The festive holiday market is 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 24, and Sunday, Nov. 25, at Kane County Fairgrounds Prairie Events Center in St. Charles.
Stroll among some 70 tempting booths well stocked with celebrated artisanal merchandise — all handmade in America, not available in retail stores and presented by the folks who create it. Parking is free.
Enjoy the reasonably priced, scrumptious catered lunch — a welcome respite from those ubiquitous holiday leftovers.
The juried market is produced by Art of the Heartland Inc. (www.artoftheheartlandinc.com), a family-owned enterprise that presents a number of prestigious Fox Valley shows including West Dundee's Heritage Fest arts and crafts and antique shows, Country Folk Art Festival, Autumn on the Fox and Christmas on the Fox.
"We believe successful art and craft shows need to offer a wide variety of top-quality merchandise and, just as importantly, be fun to attend, to make visitors walk out talking about their plans to attend next year,'' says Robin Reed, owner and founder of Art of the Heartland.
Under Reed's guidance, the two-day shopping opportunity — extravaganza, if you will — can be counted on to offer something destined to appeal to every name on your gift list. Exhibitors include:
Addison quilter Kay Ryan's fabric books and baby blankets for a favorite infant; wooden toys for her toddler brother handmade by South Elgin native Ross Joy; jewelry fashioned from recycled typewriter keys by Maria Gunderson of Evanston, such as cuff links for the family ecologist; whimsical seasonal folk art by Elmhurst artists Janet and Laura Ravenna that would have brought a smile to Scrooge's face.
Robert Sjostrom of Rockford turns heads with his distinctive ceramics that combine stoneware and black and white photography; Buffalo Grove potter Terry Shevelenko offers shapely contemporary ceramic and glass pieces; original fashion-forward custom knit apparel and accessories by Allyson Campbell of DeKalb will please your fussiest fashionista.
When you need a buyer's break, visit one of the event's complementary DIY holiday clinics. They are free with $3 show admission. Because of limited seating, reservations are suggested by calling (815) 772-3279 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Choose from:
• "It's A Wrap'' by interior designer Cledith Ruden offers insider tips to tap your talent creating memorable packages to set under the tree. Twenty-minute workshops are at 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Saturday.
• "It's a Set Up'' demonstrates strategies for creating holiday tables, at noon Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. Interior designer Karen Riordan leads Saturday's clinic, while Arlington Heights designer Linda Navara and her personal assistant, Maureen Willenborg, will present on Sunday.
• Aurora author Andrea Jones reads from and signs hardcover copies of two books in her "Hook & Jill" saga, both romantic adult interpretations of J.M. Barrie's classic "Peter and Wendy'' at 2 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. Sunday.
Still need help decking those halls? Rock Falls artisan Jamie Cady's vintage Santas (with hand molded faces and vintage costumes) will likely appeal to your inner child. Or select a thoughtfully designed, hand-sewn vintage fabric ornament by Sherry Thielgaard of Glen Ellyn.
Consider one of Waterman artist Linda Ekle's perky Santas or snowmen. And don't miss the lush, fragrant wreaths, garlands and other fresh seasonal greenery Heinz Brothers Greenhouse Garden Center brings to the show.
Sweeten up impromptu yuletide gatherings with nibbles from a wreath or mantle swag made entirely of candy by Carla Weeks of St. Charles. Pickles and other veggies by Lou Fideli of Des Plaines add edgy touches to your holiday buffet. For special holiday occasions, you'll want to decant your special EVOO to a chartreuse or hot pink ceramic container made by retired opera singer Donna Chung of Buffalo Grove.
Whittle down your gift list as you enjoy the seasonal atmosphere while browsing the handmade soaps and lotions, embroidered stocking to hang by the mantel with care, candles, wire-wrapped gemstone jewelry, shirts emblazoned with your favorite dog breed and so much more.
Chances are after quality time at Christmas on the Fox, you can forget about waking up on Cyber Monday (Nov. 26) and logging on to your computer to do a bit of online shopping. You're done.
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