Creative Christmas kicks off holiday shopping in Forest

By JILL WARE,

Creative Christmas was held November 16 at the Forest National Guard Armory. Going on for over 25 years, this annual holiday event is sponsored by the Mississippi State University Extension in Scott County, the Scott County Mississippi Homemaker Volunteers and Forest Community Arts.
“It started with the help of the Mississippi Homemaker Volunteers through the Extension to promote a lot of the homemaker crafts,” explained Anita Webb, County Coordinator of the Scott County Extension. They can showcase baked goods, quilts, crochet, decorations; just anything and everything they come up with to make.
Then they began inviting education exhibitors to participate. Health Care facilities like Lackey Hospital, Scott Regional, East Central and Sta-Home became involved. Master Gardeners and Forest Garden Club joined in and then they started inviting other vendors who had a personal interest in selling some of their trades, like ceramics, jewelry, and decorative arts and crafts. Additionally, it was decided that the American Legion should be included so they could use this as a fund raiser.
Webb added, “Of course, one of our key showcases is our Forest Community Arts sponsored artist. This year, Mary Jones, was selected. Sonya Sanders of FCA, said, “We chose Mary because we try to bring up varieties of stuff. We were looking for something different.”
Jones, of Forest, uses vinyl cutting and heat press to add pizazz to something as basic as a tee-shirt to anything you want to try. “This seems to be the rage right now,” Jones said, “Now that we have a place in Forest and now that you can buy local, you don’t have to go online or anything like that.”
The Scott County Times also caught up with Darlene Burton, Senator Terry C. Burton’s wife to ask her about Creative Christmas. It’s been at least 25 years and she’s been involved from when it first started. “It’s the only Health Fair that I really get to go to; especially where I get to buy the wonderful home-made goodies!” she said with a smile.
Eight guys with the American Legion were on hand and in high spirits. They all stood ready, willing and able to assist the ladies with anything needed to help Creative Christmas run smoothly. They sincerely expressed how thankful and impressed they were again this year by the early morning Veterans Day Program presented at the school by the Forest students and encourage even more folks to come and see the kids next year.
The Mississippi Homemaker Volunteer Cluster was represented by six outstanding ladies who not only make bright and colorful gowns and provide them to needful, hospitalized children; but also make beautiful dresses and send them abroad to clothe children in foreign countries who would otherwise go without.
The Mississippi Homemaker Volunteers at the Scott County Level are 68 strong. Shirley Sawyer, President, explained, “What the homemakers do is to try to find a need in the community and fill it. If anyone needs any help please call us and we will be there for them.” The Scott County MHV does volunteer food distribution, delivers meals, and any need that they find.
The ladies of the Lackey Hospital Auxiliary explained that their main function is to provide opportunity to the promising young people of the area through the award of a $1,000 Nursing Program Scholarship each year.
This describes just a sample of the goodness to be found at Creative Christmas. It’s not only a place to find people with sweets, it’s also a place to find some real sweet people too.