I live just outside the small town of Palisade, and every year in December they have an Olde Fashioned Christmas festival. They have gingerbread house competitions and other fun stuff, and they always have an outdoor market in the streets downtown. They set up wood burning stoves in the middle of the street and vendors offer free cups of hot chocolate and apple cider, and people are encouraged to dress in period costume from the late 1800s.
I have often considered hawking my wares there. Afterall, what better fit for a celebration of an 1800s Christmas than cards printed on an 1800s printing press, right? But the last three years that we've been here for it, it is has been cold. And miserable. And snowing. So I decided to pass on it this year.
But then Saturday rolled around and the sun was out and it was a glorious day. Figures...
So while the husband was busy entertaining Lachlan, I went down to the market to see if there were any last-minute gifts I couldn't live without. I stopped at the booth run by the local alpaca farmers and bought a few things. And I couldn't resist the raspberry blueberry bread sold by a nearby bakery.
And as I was on my way to buy a wreath from the Boy Scouts, I stopped in my tracks when I saw the most awesome collection of wood birdhouses.
A sign posted on the display said that all the money was going to support a local kid named Charlie who has been selected to travel to Greece and Italy this coming summer as part of the People to People Ambassador program. I overhead the vendor explaining to another woman that he was Charlie's dad, and that he is a "collector" of "stuff" and that he has always built these birdhouses as a hobby. And when people started showing an interest in them, he decided to build some to help raise money for his son's upcoming trip.
I remember my days in 4-H and showing horses as a youth when we were always trying to raise money to go on a trip somewhere. So I'm a real sucker for that kind of thing. Plus these houses were so cool and EXACTLY the kind of rustic and unique birdhouses I've been searching for to add some character to our property.
As I was making my selection, the man came over and told me that it was getting late in the day so everything was 20% off. So I picked out three of the houses and then gave him $20 more than the original price of them. I thought he was going to start crying. I told him I remember being in his kid's position and how hard my parents worked to help me raise money for various things I was involved in. And these days there are so many kids NOT doing good things, that when I come across one who is, well, I want to make sure that I help support them any way I can.
So now Charlie is that much closer to a summer abroad, and I have three of the coolest birdhouses this side of the Mississippi. I'm not sure who got the better deal.