Christmas festival gives holiday season early start

November 13, 2019

Sofia Hernandez / Journal Contributor
A customer scans a display of crafts and gifts for sale

The Boston Christmas Festival took place at the World Trade Center on Nov. 8 to 10, giving families and friends a place to gather and get their Christmas shopping started before the holiday begins.

The event, which is the largest arts and crafts festival in New England, offered specialty foods, ornaments, headpieces, earrings, toys and beanies. It opens for three days every year. Kids under 14 could attend the event for free and regular tickets were bought at the door or online for $16.

Marie Foley, who works for Concord Head Designs, has been selling headpieces at this festival for almost seven years. Her sister, who suffers from post-polio syndrome, is only able to make enough headpieces for one show a year, and every year she chooses this one.

“We seem to be one of the number one booths, they always put us on the corner so we have lots of room for people to see the hats, try them on and enjoy themselves,” said Foley.

Foley’s sister begins to work on Jan. 2 for the show. She said her favorite part is getting to know her customers and seeing kids and families have fun with her unique and colorful headpieces.

Many sellers and loyal customers come to this festival annually. One of them is Carol Heiden from Methuen, who brings her family and friends with her to buy a headpiece, usually one with reindeer horns and a pair of earrings from Cheerful Earful.

Other customers are like John Smith from New Jersey, who only comes to buy the most unique items he can find.

“If it’s something I can buy at a store, I won’t get it. It has to be handmade and hard to find. My father started this tradition and now we have a collection of huge but funny Christmas ornaments that we hold dearly to our heart,” said Smith.

A seller named Christine Manns sells soy candles that turn into a liquid skin lotion you can use daily, that have fragrances with humorous names like Reindeer Poop or Monkey Farts.

They have more than 95 different scents such as apples, pears, eucalyptus, pine, vanilla, cinnamon, lemon and peach.

The Wick-It Cool Candles are a handmade product coming all the way from Hollis, New Hampshire. The candles are completely natural and Christine Manns has been making these candles for 10 years, and has been coming to this show for around eight years.

Manns and her father began making candles and realized that the materials were very expensive, so they changed the ingredients for natural ones and soy was the one ingredient that took the longest to burn.

The festival welcomed hundreds of people, including families, friends and tourists who all left with bags of fun Christmas handmade crafts to either decorate their homes with or to give as a gift to loved ones.

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