In the auditorium at Rose Hill Senior Center, tables are covered with various handmade gift possibilities.
There are decorative pillows, unpainted wooden trucks, knitted and crocheted hats, colorful bird houses, mittens and blankets, door hangers celebrating a favorite college football team, and wooden hammers decorated and designed to hold “honey-do” lists. There are rocking cradles for baby dolls, necklaces in the shapes of Christmas trees, writing pens topped with artificial flowers and pot holders. There’s even a wooden desk game that utilizes a plastic spoon to launch a small wooden ball through a round hole.
For 25 years, children ages 4 to 10 have shopped among the crafts ─ made by the senior adults at Rose Hill ─ searching for that perfect Christmas gift for their mom, dad, grandparent or even a teacher.
The crafts sold at the My Little Christmas Shoppe are priced anywhere from $1 to $10.
This year’s event will be held Thursday, Dec. 5, from 3 to 7 p.m. and Friday, Dec. 6, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
“These are handmade gifts,” said Debbie Reed, the Rose Hill Center manager for Dothan Leisure Services. “Where do you go to get handmade gifts? It’s all about electronics. It’s all about tangible things that kids can put their hands on. We need to get them away from electronics and back into the way that people used to do things, which was making things by hand.”
And while a few kids have bought gifts geared more to their likes than a family member’s likes, Reed said the young shoppers usually come in with lists of who to buy for and what they might like.
The senior adults work all year on items to be sold. An adult shopping room includes handmade purses and bags, quilts, afghan blankets and microwaveable potato sacks. Prices in the adult room vary from less than $1 for a small, decorated flower pot to $50 for a handmade quilt (although, the quilts run from $20 to $50).
Rose Hill consumer Mattie Ayers has been making crafts for the My Little Christmas Shoppe for two years. She enjoys seeing the kids’ reactions when they visit the different gift tables in the center’s auditorium.
“That’s what I get a kick out of, seeing them do that,” Ayers said. “And they have so many different things to look at and that makes it even better.”