Most churches have holiday bazaars on Saturday mornings throughout November. I make a point of visiting as many as possible. This is because I do a feature called Bazaar-o-Rama on my recipe blog, Caker Cooking, but also because church bazaars make me happy like few other things in this world.
I suppose it’s because I can be a nostalgic boob at the best of times. Or that churches remind me of how friendly the world can seem. Or that bazaars are charmingly kitschy to people of my generation. Or that I love discovering the architecture of these buildings. Or it could simply be that I see church bazaars for what they are: fleeting.
I often feel pretty young when I go a bazaar. That’s not to say there aren’t younger people there, but I can’t help but notice all the older people, working in the kitchen or staffing the book sale room or standing on the other side of the bake table. And the older people always make me a bit sad because I wonder what will happen to these bazaars in the years to come.
I remember being at a bazaar last year and passing a table piled high with knitted clothing – baby cardigans and Barbie doll dresses and multi-coloured slippers. I overheard an elderly woman behind the table say to another, “People today don’t want these sorts of things anymore.”
Bazaars can break your heart a little. But I’d sooner have my heart broken in that happy/sad kind of way than to not be here, breathing in the smell of percolated coffee as though it’s my first and last time. I’ll make small talk, buy a bran muffin made by a stranger and know that out of all the options open to me on a Saturday morning, this was by far the most valuable.