a winter faire

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Last week we attended a craft fair. It’s a special one for my family, this Winter Faire.  At the end of the day I sat down, my feet tired, my eyes feeling heavy, I sat down for a while by myself, after eating dinner at home together, in the quiet of the night.   Boxes marked with their contents, piled high in the art studio.  The tables and boxes we used to display just left in the way, for now.

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Our living room and dining room area (all pretty much the same room, since it’s not a big house, this one of ours) looks like we are moving out.  Boxes, books, binders, and games all throughout the floor, pile after pile, because we used that shelf for displaying at the fair.

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As we finished our evening that day, at home in family, after another beautiful fair, I didn’t want to miss the chance to thank the person who organized this fair (again) this year, because this one, is a beautiful experience for my family.

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My family looks forward to this fair, each year. We talk about “the fair” all year long, coming up more often than not in conversations throughout our days.  There are days in March, June and September when my kids ask and comment: “when is the fair“; “I think I want to make this or that for the fair“; “Do you think the people would like if we make this?”; “what new balloon twisting should I learn for the fair?”  It seems that we are always talking about it.  We love it.

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This has been, year after year, a special treat for my family.  We learn from it each time.  We come filled with inspirations and desires on what to make next.  Mostly to fill our days in the weeks to come through the holiday season, remembering the day at the fair.

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Each year we meet new people, and we say hello to others we’ve seen years past.  My kids growing up, as all kids do, have changed their interests, and their abilities with time since we started selling at the fair four years ago.  Homeschooling, we thought this would be a great real-life learning experience for our kids, with challenges we thought as fun.  But we never thought it would turn into what it is now.

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This fair for us is a “family thing”.  We create together.  We brainstorm on what to make, the steps and materials it requires to make it.  We learn how to make it, or direct our kids where they can find out more about it. We brainstorm on what to call something, where to get the supplies… everybody is involved throughout the process, as much as each one of us wants. We do it together.  Because we like it.  We like creating together, being a part and helping each other’s dreams.

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We each do and make different things.  We each make what we like to make. Trying to bring new things to the fair, new ideas, but mostly, we make what we love, because we like it. For us, the main thing is the process of creating together, being together, having the conversations, seeing our kids develop the idea, designing it, seeing them complete their plan.  Whatever it might be.

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Bringing money home it’s a bonus, a great pay for sure.  Pay for the hard work in sticking with the idea, in making their idea work,  that creation we each took as a challenge.  But it’s not the main reason why we go to this fair.  We like seeing our kids faces when they realized they made money from what they took the time to create.  It paid off the materials, and their time, in a very precise way.  They usually just end up putting their money into their savings account anyways.

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And me… bringing one (or two!) of these home with me. Because they are just beautiful.  You should check out his website.  Beautiful work.

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Yes… there are so many beautiful handmade things there.  It is a treat to be part of it.

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One of the things I enjoy the most is to hear the comments from my kids after the fair.  When they share their thoughts and what they heard that day about our table and our things. They’ve said:  “Did you see that kid’s face when they saw this thing I made? She/He really wanted it.  I’m glad her/his mom bought one.” Or when they say “did you hear those kids saying they liked what we made?”

Or when my daughter hears the nice comments from her balloon twisting creatures.  And especially the one time an older girl told her “I am older than you and I can’t even twist a balloon!  Nice job!” Yup!  That comment is very important for this little girl of ours.  Well, for anybody really, right? It made her feel so proud. I was there, and I heard it, and I am so glad I did.  That girl was sweet and felt happy of being there and getting a cool balloon from another girl.  And then I saw my own little girl grow right in front of my eyes.  Her eyes sparkling, her heart warm.

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And do you see my little guy in this photo above?  He’s paying attention to his big sister.  He loves her and respects her.  He’s been learning and practicing some of the twisting, paying attention.  And he wants to do these balloon creatures too, so he can help Siena.  Because Siena’s fingers get sore half way the day from tying knots, he wants to help her.

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This special fair, we’ve gone for few years, marks the beginning of my family’s holiday season.  It is right after Lucas’s birthday.  And because we like celebrating each one separate, giving it all to each one, all of our attention and love.  Because they are different, and we like to celebrate and acknowledge wholeheartedly, both.  Each one deserves their own time and dedication, and love.  So we do.  Because we love it.

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The Pocket Fairy with his own little baby and Lucas wishing for something special.

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Seeing the musicians walk around, listening music throughout the day and throughout the building, seeing the kids on stilts, the winter fairies, the snowflakes decorating the entrance of the school, and of course, the pocket lady together with the making of candles, getting sprinkled with fairy dust…. Yes! All, all of this.  For my family at least, means for certain the beginning of The Magical Winter Wonderland.

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This school sets the fair once a year, and I know (because I used to do this in my ‘previous life’), I know how much time and planning it takes to organize an event like this.  They do an amazing job.  You see the parents and staff volunteering Friday night, setting all the decorations throughout the building.  Then volunteering at the event on Saturday, and then again at closing, cleaning everything up, leaving it just as they found it Friday.

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By the end of the day, my kids are exhausted, but we are filled with this magic. We are inspired, and happy, and have another beautiful experience in our lives.

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It is a real treat.  And it is also a treat and so much fun to have a peek at the school.

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And what a treat and surprise to see one of our math kits being used in their class.

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For my family, this fair is a dream come true.  Many months of talking and planning and dreaming of something new to make, to get ready for and finally finishing them up and getting them set up for it.

Now, winter has started, and we are decorating and making some more, but now, for those closer to us.  For our own family and friends.  Let the holidays begin.

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