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A Country Christmas Gathering

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Shop & Tour

– 2021 –

 with lots of stops in Hastings County

We’ve all heard the warnings about supply chain issues and the need to shop early this year. And of course we know how important it is to shop local, especially now.

A Raggedy Ann doll holds the brochures for A Country Christmas Gathering

 The “Country Christmas Gathering Tour” takes place over two weekends in early November, and it’s the perfect opportunity to beat the weather, support local businesses and artisans, and find original, locally made gifts that will bring joy to those you love.

            Local businesses have been SO busy preparing for the tour and their stores are filled with gifts that are more than impressive. So, plan your route by checking out the sites below, or just make it an impromptu adventure.

There are several stops located outside Hastings County which can be viewed on the tour’s Facebook page. Note that this tour coincides date wise with the Heart of Hastings Christmas Tour, a similar driving event that offers more than thirteen stops in Marmora, Madoc, and Tweed (there’s a list of its stops below).

The Marmora Christmas Market will also be open on these dates. All locations will require a face mask and will have COVID safety precautions in place. It’s also a good idea to bring along some cash. Note, too, that several stops are only open for the tour.

COOL STOPS IN HASTINGS COUNTY

The interior of Simply Eclectic, a barn strung with fairy lights and full of antique goods.

            New to the tour, Artisans on 37, located just north of Trillium Golf on Highway 37, a home-based retail, consignment shop that is packed with everything from custom dog collars and fused glass creations to honey and art in a variety of mediums. They even promise a ‘surprise’ Christmas item only available during the tour.

Madoc’s little gem,  Fish & Co. , is the perfect place to find fishing accessories for the fishing enthusiast or cottager on your list. The store isn’t just about fishing tackle and bait -there’s lots of fish-themed décor, clothing, and hand-made items.

In Marysville, Simply Eclectic is an amazing barn space filled with one of a kind Christmas wreaths and arrangements made by Vintage & Bloom (Rachel de Wal), as well as handmade pillows, stained glass, antique furniture and giftware. Prepare to be awed!

There are FIVE stops in and around Stirling.

            At Cranberry Hollow, located at 65 Townsend Road, Stirling, prepare to be transported back in time. The 1863 carriage house is packed with new and vintage gift items, as well as handmade furniture and Christmas wood crafts. This stop also includes two different food vendors: Cupcakes by Jen is a home-based bakery that will have a selection of seasonal and classic favourites, and Pies and Pages will offer everything from mini pies, tarts, and cookies to handmade nuts and bolts.

Decorative items on display at Cranberry Hollow
Cute scarves and other items at Cranberry Hollow
Cozy blankets on display at The Studio in Stirling

The Studio in downtown Stirling has re-purposed furniture, Christmas themed and other home décor and gorgeous water colours by Jean McDonnell. It’s sure to be all decked out.

A red heart-shaped pendant made of resin containing metal cogs

Aura Studio is another not to be missed stop in downtown Stirling. Local artist, Barb Turner, makes and sells hundreds of artful items ranging from watercolours, oil and acrylic paintings to jewellery and resin art. There are lots of stocking stuffers and tree ornaments, too.

Joan Belanger, an independent beauty consultant for Mary Kay, located outside Stirling, will offer cosmetics and skin care items in ‘interesting Christmas packages’ – great gifts and stocking stuffers!

            Check out the unique wall art and ornaments at DW Metal Expressions, also located just outside Stirling. They also do custom orders from their home-based store.

If you’re looking for pottery, Fine Pottery Design, also located just outside the village of Stirling, has a “wide variety of functional and decorative pottery.”

Or, why not add something sweet to your sweetheart’s stocking? KR-Bee Honey & Beeswax Candles, located outside the village of Stirling, sell honey, beeswax candles and gift bags.

 In Tweed, two stops on the tour are show- stoppers.

You can find beautiful cutting boards, wooden games, baskets, and more at Generations Carpentry, located north of the village.

And a stop at the grain bin where Enright Cattle Company showcase handmade leather purses, wallets, and meat products is the perfect place to add style and panache to your shopping adventure. They also sell gift cards and food boxes that include produce from three local businesses.

Check out all the stops on the map and plan your route!

Christmas excitement begins in November!

This year there are all kinds of markets and tours to explore. See below for more ideas…

More Tours & Markets to Explore…

Check out the Heart of Hastings Christmas Tour

November 5, 6, 7th and 12, 13, 14th

Brochures are available at participating vendors 

Marmora Christmas Market

November 5, 6, 7th and 12, 13, 14th

Frost House Presents:

The annual Tweed one-of-a-kind Christmas market

Opening November 5

Featuring 20 local artists and artisans and a curated selection of holiday antiques and vintage.

Holiday Market in the Village

November 12

A Vendors Market full of local, handmade, handcrafted with LOVE items, along with food and drinks to as well as late night shopping in the downtown Stirling core.

Deseronto Waterside Market

November 13

It may not be called a Christmas Market, but it doesn’t mean you can’t find some lovely Christmas Gifts!

Maynooth Farmers’ Market 2021 Christmas Shows

November 27

December 4

December 11

Deseronto Waterside Market

December 4 & 5

For those of us who don’t start shopping until December!

MORE REASONS TO EXPLORE HASTINGS:

Ardith Racey

Ardith Racey is a retired English teacher who loves books, writing, kayaking, yoga, cooking, music, movies, art, and travelling. She enjoys just being home with her husband, living in their 160 year old post-and-beam house on a hundred acres of property near Tweed, Ontario.  Every night, through all kinds of weather, they walk their goldendoodle, Chief, through the fields and woods, or along the road.

Ardith co-authored a local history of Madoc Township, and since retiring has also published three pieces in The Globe & Mail and More of Our Canada..  Having a passion also for gardening and wood, Ardith recently started a small business called The North Fence which specializes in making wooden pens from hardwoods that grow locally. Check out the handcrafted pens at thenorthfence.com, and follow along her writing journey through her blog called ‘Ardith Writes’.

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