A Valley-made Christmas for all
THE handmade stockings were hung from market stalls with care, and Santa roamed among the grass-head reindeer at the Valley-made Boutique Christmas Markets.
Held yesterday at the South Grafton Ex-Servicemen's Club, the last Valley-made markets for the year were a hit with both young and old.
Four-year-old Leah Hastings made the most of her chance to meet the jolly man in red, telling him exactly what she wanted to see under the tree this year - a Dalmatian puppy.
Santa told The Daily Examiner he had been on the job for a few years now, having taken the reins at Gilwinga State School in previous years.
"I went to Santa School and got all my qualifications," he said.
"I really like doing this."
For Little Badger stallholder Judy Atkinson, the last Valley-made market of the year is undoubtedly her favourite pick.
The Yamba grandmother, who is also the aunt of market co-ordinator Carly Mill, started selling kids' clothing and accessories five years ago.
She has been coming to the boutique market since the event was launched three years ago.
Her business is inspired by her grandchildren, she says, and her passion for creating new things.
"I can't get enough of it," she said. "My mind's running at 100 miles all the time thinking of all the things I could make."
This year, she has been making custom-orders for Christmas since August and is almost fully booked.
As well as newborn and children's clothes, she has also made children's stockings.
"Customers at this market and the Grafton market are very loyal and, now people know me, it's a lot busier," she said.
"This is definitely the friendliest market, and I love the Christmas vibe."