Regifting a good thing at St. Patrick’s Christmas fair

Posted:  Sunday, November 19, 2017 - 7:30am

As usual, Mary Lou Carroll made her haddock chowder for the cafe at St. Patrick Church’s annual Christmas fair Saturday, Nov. 18. And as usual, she and fellow St. Patrick Shamrocks Nancy Finnemore and Rita Stevens manned the regifting table.

On “Seinfeld,” regifting was a way to ditch an unwanted gift and save buying one. At the annual fair, a fundraiser for the Newcastle church, the humorous name sheds its negative connotation and instead is about donating, to benefit the church and help fair-goers find bargains.

The items have to be nice things, said Stevens. They may have been in a family or bought to donate to the sale, but they have to be things someone else would want, she said. And the regifting trio keeps the prices down for shoppers’ sake and theirs. They want to move the items so they don’t have to pack them up after the fair, Stevens added, with a smile.

New Harbor’s Sue LeChasseur bought a bagful of regifted finds including two small glass owls and other owl-themed items. Saturday was her fourth year attending the fair. So many people come to it that as soon as you see the parking lot, you know it’s a good fair, she said.

Finnemore said she, Carroll and Stevens have a good time. “This is a fun table. And you never know what’s going to be here.”

Pam Lutte of New Harbor felt like staying local for the morning and checking out the fair, so she would be visiting family that night, she said. Early on, she had made no buys. She likes to see all the tables first, she said.

At a children’s activity table, Jessica Leavitt of Friendship looked on as daughter Kristen Leavitt, 3, finishing decorating a wooden tree, held up her glittery hands for those manning the table to see.  One of the volunteers, St. Patrick member Cheyenne Gogolinski of Edgecomb, said she has a background working with children and enjoys spending time with them. At the table, children had multiple crafts to do including one that reused pictures from Christmas cards, she said.

A craft Pat Coffin did with granddaughters Bronwen Coffin, 10, and Rowan Coffin, 8, while babysitting them over the summer was the item for sale at a table trimmed with flashing Christmas lights. The girls made the pocketbooks on looms, their grandmother said. Bronwen, who turns 11 the day after Thanksgiving, said her favorite parts of making the pocketbooks were working with the colors and popping the woven pieces off the loom.

Stevens, from the regifting table, came along and asked the girls to point out pocketbooks each had made. She bought two, one of Bronwen’s and one of Rowan’s. Stevens said afterward, she hoped the purchases would inspire both girls to keep making crafts.

Wiscasset’s Bill Maloney was hoping to inspire donations to the church’s restoration. The table he helped man Saturday had information on the church’s history and ongoing work to find out what work is needed. So far, parishioners know the 1808 church needs a new roof and new cement, said Maloney, husband of Shamrocks treasurer Lynn Maloney.