OLAH Christmas Shoppe showcases local arts and crafts

EVART — Shoppers who visit the Osceola League for Arts and Humanities Christmas Shoppe find distinctive gifts for everyone on their list — from infants and children to the most hard-to-please adults.

The Christmas Shoppe is open now through Saturday, Dec. 19, and has extended holiday shopping hours — from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

League volunteers have been busy for weeks creating a gala Christmas village atmosphere for the grand opening of the popular annual Christmas Shoppe.

The Shoppe provides a venue for two dozen local artists and craftsmen to exhibit their works. A portion of all sales is donated to the league for operating expenses and to sponsor activities and classes in drawing, painting and a variety of crafts.

"You can find so many unique gifts here," said Pat Ermatinger, league member. "I volunteer to work at the Shoppe and enjoy watching people find one-of-a-kind items they’ve been searching for. It supports the local economy and supports our local artists."

A fascinating array of gifts is displayed in vintage cupboards which add to the nostalgic small town ambience created with old-fashioned plank flooring, wainscoted walls and original tin ceiling.

Shoppers browse for vases, pottery, stained glass, mosaics, wood crafts, jewelry boxes, candle holders, handbags, quilts, photography, holiday cards, antiques and collectibles and a large selection of knitted, crocheted and embroidered creations including socks, sweaters, scarves, hats, mittens, doilies, towels and pot holders.

There are also many choices of handcrafted jewelry with styles to suit every taste from simple to classic to glitz and glamour — including earrings, necklaces and bracelets. Some are delicate, some are bold, some shine with crystals and others are set with colorful stones.

On display are bright touches to add to your holiday decor, including centerpieces, figurines, snowmen, angels, Christmas stockings, Santas, Christmas tree ornaments and wreaths. Among the ornaments are straw nests complete with songbirds and tiny eggs.

"Winter Warmth" is a colorful framed Persian wool yarn and embroidered scene by artist Karen Avery who has won awards for her designs.

Other unique items include figurines representing a vintage carousel, a turn-of-the-century fire station and holiday carolers displayed in glass bottles and vases.

New artists are always welcome to take part in the Christmas Shoppe. To learn more about the league, the Shoppe or other programs, call (231) 734-9900.

The Osceola League for Arts and Humanities Christmas Shoppe and studio are located at 207 N. Main St. in Evart.