First Saturday of December: 40 Years of Memories
For me, the first Friday night in December for 4 decades was spent in a whirling frenzy of activity putting the last details of prep work into my annual holiday boutique. Our house was in complete upheaval because all the main living areas (including kitchen) were turned into a Christmas shopping venue filled with handmade goodies. That meant our furniture and all our “stuff” had to go somewhere else… and it was stuffed into every available space, including the decks outside the house. (There was a lot of praying going on at those times… prayers for no rain for 24 hours, please….)
I was usually up till 2:30 a.m. and up again at 5 – because, just like at Santa’s Workshop on Christmas Eve, there was always so much last-minute work to finish. Creations to put finishing touches on, price tags to add, displays to tweak. Then there was the check-out area to organize, cash to put in the cash box, stacks of tissue paper, bags and carry-out boxes at the checkout table, and so many other endless details no one else would believe.
And yet, although it was so crazy and overwhelming, every single bit was so worth it, because it turned into the biggest, happiest party every time! As my house filled up with eager shoppers and helpers (and a few patient husbands), wonderful friends and customers, the house filled to the rafters with laughter and festivity (along with some good-natured tugs-of-war over a one-of-a-kind Christmas creation that more than one person was determined to take home).
Year after year, my show was a wonderful party filled with joy and delight and celebration that Christmas had come around again and the tradition lived on. You may even have been there!
For all those years, it seemed like the same lovely people (and their friends) kept showing up for the event — and oh, how I love and appreciate them all! Some ladies would dress up because they were making a special “day of it” ~ while others dashed in and out on their way to soccer games or Christmas shopping. Over the decades, I watched these beautiful, enthusiastic women grow older. In the early days of the show, young moms came carrying babies, and later they started bringing their daughters in braces and pigtails, and as even more years passed, an occasional grandchild would come along for the fun.
Some wonderful, precious supporters eventually started coming with canes to lean on; a couple even in wheelchairs or walkers.
How blessed I have been to be a part of this magical experience!
But I could never have done it without so much help! From my family (including children who did not dare roll their eyes as they helped me with everything) to my friends who just showed up to pitch in, because they knew this undertaking was so huge that I couldn’t do it all myself, and that their deranged friend had, as always, gotten in WAY over her head! And of course, the other crafters and artists who became part of the family as we did this year upon year, and who contributed so much to the success of those shows….
All I can say on the 42nd anniversary of “Sydne’s Christmas Boutique” is this: Thank you all ~ more than I can ever express ~ for supporting me in this crazy creative adventure! It has truly been one of the happiest highlights of my life.