I found Santa's workshop in Ormond Beach

  • By
  • | 2:05 a.m. November 2, 2015
  • Ormond Beach Observer
  • Opinion
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The illusive Christmas Crafters are easily one of the city’s best kept secrets. 

I’ve caught a few glimpses of the Christmas Crafters while attending The Casements on other Community Editor duties. In production since February, this team of 12 or so ladies can sometimes be found in one of the many historic rooms slaving away over vintage ornaments and a hot glue gun. However, my only interaction with these crafty gals was that one time I bought my granddad a handmade adult bib which, though he found middy offensive, is used regularly.

That changed when my city leisure services guru AJ Clemonts, pointed me in the correct direction one Thursday morning.

“Em, I’m warning you,” he said with his typical stern voice, “if you go in there, you might not come back out.”

My mind was racing with potential meanings behind AJ’s prophecy. Was it just going to be so much fun that I was never going to leave? Or were those hot glue guns meant for more than just decorating beach-themed wreaths?

All fears immediately disappeared the moment I opened the door and was greeted by at least 10 different cheery voices all at once.

“Welcome to Chaos City,” Benita Locke laughed. “It’s Santa’s Workshop.”

As I walked around and introduced myself, the ladies made it very clear that Beverly Taylor was the top dog. Beverly held the high honor of being craft chairperson, and wore the title with pride — even with her broken arm currently in a sling.

“When you craft, you forget all your aches and pains,” she said.

“She’s an example for everybody,” Anne Bennett pulled me aside to say. “A Christian lady, a leader, she’s just a wonderful person.”

Warmth and support for their fellow crafters was not uncommon with this group. When Carole Benson decided to craft a day after going to the hospital for a procedure, her ladies were nothing but supportive.

“You look great,” Kathie Liviccori said. “Everyone here comes in no matter what.”

So in the next few weeks when you’re Christmas shopping begins, instead of getting your uncle yet another yellow sweater (I may be talking to myself here), challenge yourself to think outside the box and visit the Christmas Crafter’s Gift Shop. It will be open during The Casements’ annual Christmas Gala, Dec. 4-6.

Your ‘handmade’ Christmas list

You may think you want something new and shiny, but after taking a peek at what the Christmas Crafters are currently whipping up, I can guarantee these unique items will be at the top of your wish list:

  • Cigar box purses
  • Reversible adult bibs
  • Recycled Christmas cards trees
  • Catnip cat scratching posts
  • Recycled soda can flower earrings

Do you have what it takes to be a Christmas Crafter? 

If so, stop by The Casements on any Thursday from 12:30 to 3 p.m. and join in the fun! No application required.

If so, stop by The Casements on any Thursday from 12:30 to 3 p.m. and join in the fun! No application required.


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