CHESTERFIELD, Ind. — It’s never too early for Christmas. Even the weekend after Halloween.
At least that’s how Jo Donaldson feels.
The longtime Anderson and Chesterfield resident offered friends and customers a chance to get a jump-start on winter holiday shopping and decorating by displaying her homemade wares out of her Chesterfield home garage at 424 W. Main St. She calls it the Christmas Bazaar, and she and friends have been doing it for decades.
“I’m just always making things for other people, and I decided to start selling them,” Donaldson said. “We wanted to get everything out now. We figured it would be the best time before the weather started getting really cold.”
On Saturday and Sunday, Donaldson’s garage was festooned with homemade wreaths, needlepoint decorations, kitchen towels and scarves designed by Donaldson, her daughter Sharon Beeman, and friends Esther Dodge, Marty Goodpaster and Debby Reasnor. Not all of the items were holiday-related, but everything was made by one of the women in the group. Donaldson said her signature item is a Christmas box, a glass ornament containing lights.
Beeman, who cooks up baked goods for the sale, said her mother has been creating various items for as long as she can remember. And the Christmas Bazaar isn’t the only home sale the group has. Donaldson said she will often have smaller sales during the summer as well. The preparation time for the bazaar was about two months, but Donaldson is constantly in motion. She estimated she’s been featuring items out of her Anderson then Chesterfield homes for more than 30 years. Her friends said Donaldson’s homemade items have defined her.
“I just love doing it,” Donaldson said.
According to the women, the bazaar had steady traffic while they were open on Saturday. Business was a little slower on Sunday morning, but Donaldson said she expected a little better showing in the afternoon after church services. One of the aspects of the bazaar the women enjoyed was the location of Donaldson’s home.
“It’s a good spot. It’s a central location, and an easy street to access,” Dodge said. “A lot of cars come through this road.”
Donaldson said whatever she doesn’t sell might go later this week, since she will go to an Indianapolis show with a few of her items. She also intends to sell a few things on Craigslist.
“It’s never too early to get ready,” Donaldson said.
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