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The second annual Elves in the Village Christmas Market overflowed to two days of shopping for one-of-a-kind treasures, and the craft fair set couldn’t have been happier. Outside, the trees may have been frosty (which made the food trucks gathered on RiverWalk look especially festive), but within the warm brick walls of the Simmons building, spirits were bright and shoppers were cozy. As they sipped hot chocolate and nibbled cookies, holiday treasure hunters marvelled at the stunning display of unique creations at the second annual market. Tables piled high with elegant vintage finery, hand-stitched leather bags and luxuriously soft knits nestled up to walls bedecked with fragrant fresh-cut wreaths, funky aprons and oh-so-clever purses made from shoes. “I haven't found any presents yet,” confessed one customer, “but I do keep finding things for myself!”
Even those not normally in the festive mood in early December found themselves swept up by the joie-de-vivre and the cheery holiday tunes wafting through the air. “I'm a guy; I don't usually get my shopping done until the 24th, but that may change this year,” admitted one convert. The packed house of crafters and artisans truly offered something for every taste, from organic body lotions to Poofs Potpourrie’s vintage Christmas ornaments to Make Cheese’s perennially popular cheese-making kits. The Mini-Maker Faire booth drew a steady crowd of onlookers, curious to watch the famous 3-D printer construct neon tree decorations and to enter a draw to win the definitively unique “useless machine”. “If I win this, I'm giving it to my sister - she who has everything,” announced one delighted shopper.
With all those extraordinary finds under one historic roof, EV's Elves in the Village Christmas Market was the event of the early holiday season. And with admission donations benefitting the Heartland Agency and Educational Services, everybody came away feeling merry and bright.