In the run up to December 25th jumble sales are replaced by Christmas Fayres. Don't be put off - it's not all Santa's grotto and tombola stalls. If you look beyond the hand-knitted tea cosies, luxury hamper raffle and soggy mince pies there's often a few goodies lurking on the white elephant stall.
China cake stand with bird design, 1950's etched glassware, 1950's linen cocktail napkins (part of a set of 12)
How do you find a Christmas Fayre?
- They are usually held on a Saturday morning or early afternoon.
- Check your local newpaper's classifieds section under "What's On". They are generally advertised in the Thursday and Friday edition of the week that they are held.
- Keep an eye on newagent's windows, church and community centre noticeboards.
- Look for banners and "A" boards outside churches and social centres when you're out and about.
- Shake the free paper before you recycle it, there's occasionally flyers advertising events popped inside.
1960's-era Avon bluebird pomander
What should you look out for?
- Fayres are a great source of unused toiletries and cosmetics as people make room in their bathrooms for yet more of the inevitable Christmas gift packs.
- A mostly elderly congregation means that church fairs often have a good selection of vintage scarves and costume jewellery donated to the cause.
- Baking trays, mixing bowls and pans.
- Pretty china, silver cutlery and cake stands.
- Vintage linen tablecloths, tea towels and napkins.
- Retro board games to play on Xmas day.
- On the handicrafts stall search for fabric-covered padded coathangers and lavender bags.
- Don't forget to check out the book stall for vintage volumes on handicrafts and baking or for cheap paperbacks.
Any other tips?
- A Christmas Fayre is a sedate affair, it's not considered good form to haggle.
- Nobody will be offended if you don't buy a raffle ticket.
- Go armed with plenty of change.
- Take a bag to carry all your bargains home in.
- Stay till the end and you'll often be able to purchase any remaining home-made cakes for pennies.
1980's clip-on earrings look fab clipped on your shoes - this selection cost me 5p