Yuletide markets offer treats, handcrafted items, much more

We are well aware that folks were just strolling around two days ago in shorts in 70-degree weather. But the calendar will tell you in no uncertain terms that this is the holiday season, whether we all have yet to raise a feasting fork toward the stuffing or not.

Today marks a big segment of the opening of the area holiday market season, where ceramic Santas, twinkling trees and crafty creches and more make the shopping season bright among those looking for more original and distinct gifts and decor.

This includes those events presented by houses of worship and those organized by others.

The Annual Christmas Market at First Baptist Church, set for Nov. 19 this year, began as a festive gathering at Jerald Hatton’s large home, formerly in the Tipton Lakes area. In its early days, it even included a fine wine tasting in the Hatton kitchen.

But as the event grew, it was moved to the church Hatton attends, and now attracts several hundred people. But one thing more has changed for Hatton, a longtime glass artist.

“I now sell more Christmas toffee than I do glassware,” Hatton said.

For those keeping track, he has sold as much as maybe $900 worth of toffee in a solid, past year’s market — and sometimes has doubled sales from one year to the next.

“It’s easy to eat,” he said of the treat. “And it’s not hard on your teeth.”

Here’s an overview of the holiday season markets that organizers have told us about:

  • Open Hearth Craft Event, Flintwood Wesleyan Church, 5300 25th St., Columbus. 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. today. Kick off your holiday shopping with artisans from Bartholomew and surrounding counties. This is a handcraft only event. Free admission. Hot meals available for purchase.
  • 41st Annual 12 Dames of Christmas Craft and Art Market, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. today, Community Building at the Bartholomew County Fairgrounds, County Road 200 South in Garden City.
  • Annual Christmas Market, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Nov. 19, First Baptist Church Columbus, 3300 Fairlawn Drive, Columbus. Local artists and craftspeople will be working in a variety of mediums including glass, wood, fabric, and flowers. Sandwiches and desserts also available, plus Christmas toffee. Information: Jerald Hatton at 812-371-8937.
  • Holiday Market, Unitarian Universalist Congregation, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dec. 3, 7850 W. Goeller Boulevard in Columbus. Shop all morning with local artisans and nonprofit vendors for unique gifts. Then enjoy homemade soup and dessert for lunch. End by picking up home baked cookies and other treats to take home for your holiday events.
  • Brown County Christkindl Market, noon to 8 p.m. Dec 2, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Dec. 3 and 10 a.m to 4 p.m. Dec. 4, Brown County Visitors Center, 211 S. Van Buren St., Nashville.
  • Carmel Christkindlmarkt, 4 to 9 p.m. Thursdays and 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Fridays through Sundays, Nov. 19-Dec. 30, 10 Carter Green in Carmel. With the festive ambiance of an authentic German market, guests can peruse a vast variety of products sourced from Germany and other German-speaking European countries. A blend of traditional German foods, drinks and gifts are sold from small wooden huts, and an outdoor ice skating rink forms the center of the market.
  • Christmas Market at the Mercantile, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Nov. 19, Farm Girl Mercantile, 436 E Jefferson St., Franklin.