Christkindl Market

Last year, my friend Jeanne  told about the Christkindl Market in Canandaigua and I somehow felt a bit cheated I didn’t go!  So, this year, I made a point of getting there during the little festival!

This market may be small,  but the vendors’ offerings were awesome!  I saw some beautiful paintings, photography, jewelry, woodcrafts, and even more!  The products I saw were so beautiful and inspiring! 

There were folks dressed in period clothing as well.  And, for children, there was “Elf School”.  I think this was a babysitting service for parents so they could shop and look around a bit more freely. 

Here are some photos….

granger homestead.small

The Granger Homestead is a museum located in Canandaigua.  It is a large property with a huge front yard. This is where the Christkindl Market was set up.

pretty decoration.small

Because the month of November can be warm, cold, or anything in between,  massive tents are provided to keep shoppers protected from the elements.  As I walked into the food tent,  I could hardly believe how cozy it was!  Even though it was enormous,  there were tables set up for folks to enjoy a meal and there were Christmas decorations everywhere. 

enormous food tent.small

There were also some food vendors located outside the tent.  They also had quite the draw!!

popular spot.small

mmmmm strudel.small

There was an Alpaca there as well…..

pretty alpaca.small

Iwanted so badly to just go and grab this sweet-looking animal!  Its coat was so fluffy and pretty….it reminded me of a teddy bear!

There was another huge tent set up that housed the vendors at the market.  This was the entrance….

entrance to market.small

This is the Elf School.  There was a lot of laughter coming from the building as well as children singing!

elf school.small

(how nice to see Santa’s helpers wearing Uggs as opposed to those silly pointy-toed shoes! hehehe)

Once inside the tent, I took just a few photos of some vendors that didn’t have so many people standing around I couldn’t get a photo!!!

yummy chocolates.small

photography.small

beautifully handpainted glass ornaments.small

Of course, my Ukrainian blood bubbled when I saw these stunning Pysanky eggs!!!

gorgeous pysanky eggs.small

I spent only about an hour wandering around this market.  The kids had gone to another concert down in Naples and Mark waited with the Scottie boys in the truck while I wandered about.  I was totally disappointed when I poised the camera to snap a horse and carriage giving folks rides around the property.  My camera flashed a message: Card Full! By the time I got a new card in the camera, said carriage was off and running!

Another disappointment was when I snapped a photo of some fantastic artwork.  The artist had some really pretty work on display but she came up to me and told me no photographs.  I obligingly deleted the photo. She explained last year someone photographed her work and there “were problems”.  Ah well……

The photos I took of Santa and Mrs. Claus were no good. Bummer.

Before heading back to the truck,  I visited the food tent once again, waiting in a long line to buy Mark a German takeout dinner.  I got him either Knockwurst or Bratwurst (don’t laugh,  I opted NOT to get him the pork tongue schnitzel!) served with German Potato Salad and Sauerkraut.  As I passed the Kettlecorn stand,  I bought a small bag of freshly-popped corn as well.

One of the pluses of this market was that I also met some “neighbors” who live in the same town as we do. They were vendors, selling Russian dolls. They had the beautiful Matryoshska dolls that I so love for their colorful designs!  I spoke to the husband who told me his wife travels to Russia to purchase the dolls, selling them stateside. As we talked, he pointed out some little girls whom he said he and his wife had adopted from Russia! 

All in all, this market wa a fun little diversion!

Thankful to be Free to be You and Me!

In being thankful,  one of the most awesome benefits we all share is freedom!  We are free to visit places we have never been,  speak our minds on what we think,  do what we would like, pursue interests, and even to eat pretty much what we would like!

We live in such an amazing period of time.  We can “travel” worldwide, via the internet and speak to people all the world over!  Just a few short years ago, the cost of calling a foreign country by telephone was quite prohibitive.  Now, people can speak with one another with services such as Skype,  using their computers and webcams!  We not only get to “speak”, but to “see” one another.  A small freedom?  Perhaps, but how exciting for families and friends separated by distance!

In many countries, we are free to worship as we would like.  There are a few countries that persecute people for their religious beliefs,  but this is certainly not the majority of the world.  We have heard of secret underground churches and even executions of those who stand steadfast in their faith.  Those who are Christians are called to pray for people in these nations on a regular basis.

And speaking of religious freedom,  I managed to capture a few photos of the Amish when I went for my ride in the country the other day!

amish buggy.small

I admire the Amish folks living in their very simple ways.  They have “come around” in many areas….most homes now have running water (although I am unsure how the water gets into their lines….perhaps gas-powered motors?) and many have propane refrigerators so they are able to keep food safely.  I still am awestruck by their means of transportation, though.  It is such a contrast to see horse and buggy traveling alongside modern cars…..

amish buggy on yauzty road.small

Most Amish (and many Mennonite) homes have a clothline that runs from their home to a barn or other tall building. I love seeing the laundry flapping in the breezes on washday!

lwash day.small

Even those living under oppression still have some very basic freedoms.  We have heard stories of those who survived the Halocaust and those who have escaped from countries where freedoms were being denied.  Many of the testimonies given by these survivors would indicate something welled up inside of them, causing them to be free in some manner that might have been their saving grace. 

Every day, we choose to be happy. Or sad.  To do the right thing. Or wrong.  We choose to serve others.  Or take advantage.  We choose to move ahead.  Or freeze in looking behind. 

Freedom.  It is awesome and comes with some awesome responsibilty!