Plymouth Churches Plan Alternative Gift Market
Christ Memorial Lutheran Church and St. Mary of the Lake Church invite shoppers to forgo the commercialism of the holiday and instead buy a sustainable gift. At the Alternative Gift Market that runs Dec. 6-8, shoppers can purchase food to feed refugees, a bike for an African pastor, or artisan crafts.
“My favorite slogan is Grandma doesn’t need another knick-knack and Uncle doesn’t need another tie,” said Gwenn Chriss, an organizer from St. Mary of the Lake Church. “Give something that will benefit the world and people who are impoverished.”
The Alternative Gift Market started in the 1990s as a way to encourage people to be more environmentally conscious, but it’s grown to center around social justice issues too. The two churches decided to merge their markets to increase impact.
Shoppers can receive inscribed gift cards to present to loved ones. The gifts vary from saving elephants, providing fresh drinking water, or giving food to the homeless. Organizers say they’ve benefited from this cause too.
“People here are learning to appreciate and have an awareness of conditions all around the world,” explained Kathy Weber, an organizer from Christ Memorial Lutheran Church. “It’s not just good for them that we give, but it’s good for us that we grow in our awareness and appreciation for other cultures.”
If you do want something tangible under the tree, there’s artisan crafts from Divas Fair Trade, Global Mamas and SERRV that includes handcrafted jewelry, alpaca knitwear, scarves, basketware, linens, brassware, toys, woodcarvings, and nativity sets.
Alternative Gift Market
Friday, December 6, 12 p.m. – 6 p.m.
Saturday, December 7, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Sunday, December 8 9 a.m. -12 p.m.
At Christ Memorial Lutheran Church, 13501 Sunset Trail in Plymouth.