Christmas shoppers were able to find original and handmade items for those on their holiday lists — or even themselves — at the Christmas Arts and Crafts Bazaar on Saturday at the North Georgia Fairgrounds.
"Good products, homemade, and we love the atmosphere," said Michelle Vowell, who came to this market for the second year from Resaca alongside Ashley Jinright. It's "old-time Christmas."
"You can't buy this stuff in department stores," Vowell added. "The craftsmanship is what we appreciate."
Jennifer Grady and her daughter Reilly would've shopped at the Bazaar prior to Saturday, but "we were always tied up with hog shows," Jennifer said. However, after Reilly graduated from Southeast Whitfield High School earlier this year, they had this weekend free, so "we were coming this time, (and) we'll definitely be back."
"We love it," said Reilly, a decorated FFA member at Southeast, including being a catalyst on back-to-back state champion agriculture sales teams. "(I got) some very cute decorative Christmas cookies."
They also couldn't pass up "a few fried pies" from Nana's Homemade Goods, Jennifer Grady said. "They're homemade, and so good."
This was the second year Debbie Campbell brought her pies to the Bazaar and "we try to go to a lot of different events in Dalton and the surrounding areas," she said. Campbell launched Nana's Homemade Goods — pies can be ordered by calling her at (706) 270-1825 or Jasmine Madden at (706) 280-7592 — three years ago, and "the Lord is blessing us."
"People love the pies, and we have lots of return customers," she said. "There's a lot of love in these fried pies," the most popular of which is southern pecan, although "my favorite is cherry."
Jennifer and Reilly Grady made sure to shop well in advance of the start of Saturday's Southeastern Conference Championship football game between Georgia and Alabama, however, as Reilly is a freshman in Athens, and both are Bulldogs backers, Jennifer said. "In a few hours, we'll be in front of the TV watching."
At the Bazaar, products are "authentic," and the event provides a sense of "community," Vowell said. "It's likely to become a tradition for us."