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Unique, cheerful, local crafts at Hale Park

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By Tim Hadac

Editor

Clear-Ridge Reporter & NewsHound

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I’ve never been one to decorate for Christmas, just for the sake of decorating.

And I’m not a fan of many of the things we see these days. I’ll take a pass on Christmas decorations that involve images of celebrities, pro sports logos, off-color jokes, things like that.

I have tastes for things that are a bit unique, a bit old-fashioned. That’s why, if I put up a tree this year, it will include a few ornaments from the 1950s and even a few from the 1930s—owned by my parents and grandparents.

Finally, I try to avoid decorations and knick-knacks manufactured in sweatshops abroad. I’ll take a locally crafted item any day, even though it inevitably means I’ll pay a bit more. But so what?

With that in mind, I recently ran across some interesting-looking Christmas decorations on pieces of slate, of all things.

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An example of the types of 5 x 7 slates that Clearing resident Judy Ollry will have available at the Dec. 16 event at Hale Park. –Supplied photo

The crafter is none other than Clearing resident Judy Ollry. You may know of her as president of the Clearing Night Force neighborhood watch group. But she’s an accomplished crafter, as well.

Judy’s offerings—as well as items from other crafters–will be on sale at the CNF’s holiday craft and vendor fair, set for 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 16 at Hale Park, 6258 W. 62nd St.

The event is of special interest to children. Santa Claus himself is expected to be there from 2 to 4 p.m. Also, children are invited to make crafts themselves at 3 p.m. But before that, from 2 to 3 p.m., children with special needs are invited to get a head start on craft making. That’s a nice idea, arranged by the CNF and the Midway Cool Kids Club. There will be a modest amount of refreshments for the wee ones.

Sounds like a nice little event. See you there?

Mark your calendar

  • Las Mañanitas to Our Lady of Guadalupe at St. Faustina Kowalska Parish will be Tuesday, Dec. 12 (tri-lingual: Spanish, English and Polish).

Mañanitas songs to Our Lady will be sung from 5 to 5:45 a.m. A trilingual Solemn Mass is scheduled for 6 to 7 a.m.—all at the church, 5252 S. Austin.

For details, call the parish office at (773) 767-2411. My thanks to Maria Schnoes for sharing this information.

  • The Ladies of the Rosary of St. Joseph Church invite all members and friends of their organization to their annual Christmas party, set for 6 to 10 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 14 at European Chalet, 5445 S. Harlem. Tickets are $35 for adults, $20 for children and include dinner, a cash bar and live entertainment by musician/vocalist Dennis Motyka, as well as basket raffles and split the pot. To purchase tickets, call Dee Kountis at (773) 586-8651. No tickets will be sold at the door. With St. Joseph Church now closed by the Archdiocese, this event will be—among other things—a nice chance to reminisce about years gone by. My thanks to Dee Kountis, a pleasant, wonderful woman who in my mind (as well as in the mind of my dear, late wife Joan) has long represented the very best of what made St. Joe’s a special place for so many years.
  • There will be no CAPS Beat 811/Garfield Ridge Neighborhood Watch meeting this month. So if you have something to say our local officers, please call the Chicago Lawn (8th) District CAPS Office at (312) 747-8724. Mark your 2024 calendar for 7 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 16, when the CAPS Beat 811/Garfield Ridge Neighborhood Watch will meet at Ward Hall, 5157 S. McVicker. Thanks, Marilyn Gilroy, for the reminder.
  • Want to have breakfast with Santa Claus? Well, round up the children (or grandchildren, as the case may be) and head over to Rhine VFW Post 2729, 5858 S. Archer, on Sunday, Dec. 10. The event is set for 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. Admission is $11 for adults, $5 for children age 3 and up, no charge for wee ones under 3. Breakfast consists of pancakes, sausages, scrambled eggs, juice, coffee, cake and cookies. There will be raffles, and every child will receive a gift. A tip of the cap to post members, as well as the Auxiliary, for organizing this fun event every year.
  • Though the neighborhood certainly has its share of storefront vacancies, seems to me like we may actually have more businesses than ever in Clearing and Garfield Ridge, if you count the explosion of home-based businesses in recent years. If you’re one of those small-business owners, the time to think about your company’s taxes is not January 2024, but right now. That’s the gist of a newsletter I recently received from Zen McHugh at Chicago EA, 6515 W. Archer, a tax and financial services company with two decades of experience providing smart advice to businesses near and far. Interested in seeing the newsletter? Just send an email to office@chicagoea.com.

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