A Kernersville Christmas Tradition

by Chris Gaugler

When autumn rolls around in the Triad, most of us are thinking about the colorful leaves, a trip to the mountains, and decorating for the harvest season. But the members of the Kernersville Arts and Crafts Guild (KACG) are busy planning the design and creation of thousands of beautiful holiday items to display at its annual Christmas Store. Every year, the KACG Christmas Store opens the Friday after Thanksgiving and remains open throughout the month of December. But this year is especially important to the Guild because it is celebrating the store’s 30th Anniversary.

The Kernersville Arts and Crafts Guild was founded in 1974 in an effort to encourage local crafters to engage in the love and camaraderie for the arts and to assist them in finding a way to showcase their hand-made items. Most importantly, the Guild promotes the cultural, educational and recreational enrichment of the community through arts and crafts.

The first KACG show for the community was held in the summer of 1975 with only 20 Guild members. Since then, the Guild has expanded its community events to include the Kernersville Spring Folly Arts and Crafts Show, with artisans from far and wide taking part in the annual May show, and the Home Grown Arts Festival which is held on the grounds of Kernersville’s Historic Körner’s Folly the last Saturday of August. Additionally, the Guild’s membership has now expanded to over 40 members. But the highlight of the Guild’s showcase events is definitely the annual Christmas Store.

The first annual Christmas Store was opened in 1987 and was a 4 week-long event at which KACG members could showcase Christmas Wish List items. Over 40 Guild members, many of whom live right in Kernersville, work tirelessly not only showcasing their items throughout the holidays but also staffing the store on a volunteer basis. Because the store workers are all Guild members, they are uniquely qualified to advise shoppers on how the crafts are designed and processed. Each crafter brings a different and unique line of products, and our members restock daily so there is always something new in the store. Also, our crafters are owners of small businesses so the Saturday after Thanksgiving which is recognized as small business day is also celebrated at the Christmas Store.

What can you expect when you come to the store? There are so many types of gifts to look at and from which to choose. Although our theme is Christmas, there are plenty of gifts that do not carry a Christmas theme, especially our jewelry and clothing items. Of course, we also have a wide array of soft sculpture designs of snow-people, trees, Santas, Angels, and ornaments. If you are looking for cosmetics, our crafters carry a line of bath salts, lotions, and healing creams. If you are looking for small gifts to give to neighbors, friends, teachers or coworkers, there are plenty of those as well, especially if they have a sweet tooth. There are fused glass and stained glass items and warm hand sewn quilts to cuddle in. And, if you are looking for a Moravian themed item, the Guild produces those as well.

Over the years, we have met so many wonderful customers who have become repeat supporters of the store and our showcase events. Our store represents the love and kindness of the season and the Guild members strive to bring a shopping experience that is fun and joyful.

Finally, one of the many challenges the Guild has is locating and setting up the store. Because it is short term in nature, the store changes from year to year; so we stay in touch with our patrons through social media and email to let them know where we are for the current year. You can get more information about the store’s location and hours by checking our website, www.TheKACG.com or on Facebook. So, after you have carved the turkey on Thanksgiving and you are looking for some fun, carve out some time on Friday, November 23 to join us for the opening of the KACG Christmas Store. And as our saying goes, shop early and stop in often!

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