Large crowds attend Christmas boutique

With Christmas just a month away, nearly 300 anxious shoppers attended the Nov. 22 Christ Church-Anglican Women’s Christmas Boutique and luncheon at the Evergreen Conference Center.

Shoppers snacked on a variety of homemade cookies, breads, and preserves while browsing through two rooms packed with hand knitted scarfs and mittens, Holiday cloth place mats and table runners, jewelry, children’s crayon bags, pine tree candle holders, bird houses, photography, and a variety of handcrafted wood products.

Nearly 100 cloth shopping bags, priced at $6.50 each, sold out during the first hour and a half of the boutique, and 100 people enjoyed the tri-tip stew and mashed potatoes lunch that was served.

Another popular item that was new this year was Martha’s Miracle hand and body cream created by Becky Smith.

“The cream was a big hit,” said CCW President Diane Van Deursen. “We sold out and have taken orders for a dozen more jars.”

Van Deursen’s husband, John, is a master woodworker and makes a variety of products for the boutique including Noah’s Ark, complete with 40 animals, for the boutique’s raffle.

“I returned home from Okinawa in 1979, and after a brief time on a bar stool, I bought a scroll saw from Sears, and that started a love of working with wood,” John said.

Over the years, a portion of the funds from the event have been donated to community causes including Helping Hands Pregnancy & Parenting Center, the Oakhurst Senior Society, Boys Scouts, Boys & Girls Club of Oakhurst, Children’s Museum of the Sierra, Eastern Madera County SPCA, and Toys for Tots.

Denise Delvin, of North Fork, bought a cloth pocket calendar holder, and a hand made cloth basket, along with a couple ‘surprise’ gifts for her husband.

“All the work everyone put into making these quality crafts is phenomenal,” Delvin said. “It’s obvious they all put their hearts into creating these great gift items because they love this community, and the children in it.”

Parishioners meet every Tuesday in the church basement year-round to prepare for the boutique.

“About 90% of the church members help with this event,” Diane Van Deursen said. “We are delighted that a lot of people from outside the church support this boutique which allows us to help the community.”