KINGSPORT — The COVID-19 pandemic has affected a number of local events, and the annual Christmas Bazaar at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church is no exception.
The event, typically held in-person one day a year, has transformed into a two-week online shop this year because of the pandemic. But even though the bazaar has moved online, there’s no shortage of quality, handcrafted items.
Paige Kramer, “crafter-in-chief” and chairperson of the bazaar, said all the in-person aspects of the event, such as the lunch, have been canceled, but shoppers can still purchase many of the same types of items as in previous years, all from the comfort of their homes.
“We’ve just kind of tried to focus on what we can do and have something that is familiar, kind of in a different format,” Kramer said. “We do have a bake sale that’s been doing great, we still have our handmade items, our hand-knit stuff, our creative things that people make, and it’s just the in-person stuff that we’ve had to do differently.”
When and how can you shop?
The online store at www.stpaulsbazaar.com is open through Friday, Nov. 20, at midnight. Shoppers can purchase and pay online, then either choose curbside pickup or have their order shipped. Delivery is also an option for Kingsport residents who make a purchase of $100 or more.
Curbside pickup will take place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 21, at the church, located at 161 E. Ravine Road. Volunteers, wearing masks, will bring deliveries to buyers’ vehicles, keeping the process as contactless as possible.
What’s for sale?
Hundreds of holiday and non-holiday themed items are available online, including artisan crafts; jewelry; home and holiday décor; knitted, needlecraft and woodworking items; gifts for kids, family and pets; and hostess and teacher gifts.
The jewelry and bake sale items remain bestsellers, even online. The bazaar’s lead “resident artist,” Alice Pitchie, is a master of jewelry design and vintage style jewelry art, while the bake sale includes jams, jellies, pies, cakes, sweet breads and cookies. Frozen, homemade soups and ready-made soups in jars are also available.
Kramer said church volunteers have had to change the way they make their items this year. In-person workshops used to take place at the church every week after Labor Day, but this year, crafters received take-home kits to work on at home.
“We can’t be together, which is the part we love most, but we’re able to continue working,” Kramer said. “We’ve called it craft therapy.”
How will the proceeds be used?
Proceeds will benefit the shared church ministries of Kingsport Community Ministry Center (KCMC) and Laundry Love, along with St. Paul’s Day School and Kindergarten.
“They’re shopping with a purpose,” said Anne McGinty, bazaar volunteer. “That’s true of every year, because our proceeds do benefit outreach ministries.”
For more information or to make a purchase, visit www.stpaulsbazaar.com.