The traditional Wye Parish Christmas Bazaar, interrupted in 2020 and 2021 by Covid, returns this year on Saturday, November 5, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., to the Old Wye Church in Wye Mills, MD. Once again, Christmas shoppers will be able to find those bargain-priced, one-of-a-kind holiday gifts and decorations for which the Bazaar has been locally famous for more than half a century.
Generations of smart Christmas shoppers have taken advantage of the Bazaar’s wide variety of unique gift items offered in festive surroundings and accompanied by good food and good company. Some of the most sought-after items are those that have been hand-made by the Church’s gifted crafters. Over the past summer these talented women met specially to fashion an array of ornaments and other decorations worthy of a catalog and destined to become collectibles. The hand-made category also includes the scarves, mittens, purses that are always popular.
The one-of-a-kind theme continues with the Bazaar’s large selection of gently-used jewelry: bracelets, earrings, pins, necklaces – possible Christmas gifts for the right person. More ephemeral and a joy during the darkest time of the year are the blooms that will come from the Bazaar’s offering of amaryllis and paperwhite bulbs.
The Petite Boutique is another locale for unique gifts: it’s a roomful of collectible crystal, silver pieces, table linen, ceramics and other items both decorative and useful. Bargains prevail in the Boutique, and often can be found as well at the Silent Auction, with its themed baskets, weekend get-aways, gifts for that favorite dog.
The Bazaar’s Sweet ‘n’ Savory Shoppe has expanded this year. As always there will be the delicious pies, cakes and cookies, but new are soups, quiches, hard candies, fruit cake, and other delights of the kind that are synonymous with the Holiday Season.
Often a book is just the right present for someone special, child or adult. The Bazaar’s Christmas Book Shop, stocked and staffed in the Vestry Cottage by the Parish’s Books Café team, will offer an intriguing assortment of gift-quality books for all ages and interests and at bargain prices. In addition, the Book Shop will have a varied collection of “stocking-stuffer books” — Christmas-themed books by popular authors; cooking, entertaining and other holiday how-to books; the occasional old-and-rare item that might catch someone’s eye.
Dwellers on the Eastern Shore have returned to the Christmas Bazaar, for going on 57 years, not just for the unique gifts and bargain prices, but also for the festive holiday atmosphere. Throughout the morning and early afternoon home-cooked food is available, to be enjoyed while resting and visiting with old and new friends. Many visitors start with a ham biscuit and deviled-egg brunch, or they go straight for the popular Wye Chicken Salad and a cup of soup (Maryland Crab soup being one option). However they begin, many do not fail to miss the seasonal desserts, including Smith Island Cake.
While Santa will be back this year, the outdoors Attic Treasures tent that some will remember will not be part of the bazaar. Those wanting to spend time outside on the historic Church grounds can linger (and even take a turn) at the old-fashioned Cider Press where fresh apple cider will be produced on the spot for immediate enjoyment.
The Christmas Bazaar owes its long history and popular following to the efforts of the Wye Parish Episcopal Church Woman (ECW). The ECW uses the proceeds from the Bazaar to support the Parish’s outreach programs, a list of which is displayed in the Parish Hall.
The Bazaar cannot accept credit or debit cards, only cash or check. For further information, call the Parish Office at 410-827-8488.