Chaves County Extension Clubs present their Christmas Showcase
By Christina Stock
This year’s Chaves County Extension Clubs Christmas Showcase has the theme Christmas Wishes — Mistletoe Kisses and takes place at Eastern New Mexico State Fairgrounds, 2500 Southeast Main St., on Nov. 19 at 1:30 and 6:30 p.m.
The purpose of the Chaves County Extension Clubs is to strengthen, develop, coordinate and extend youth and adult education in home economics, agriculture and related subjects in conjunction with the Cooperative Extension Service of New Mexico State University. Its Christmas Showcase offers an insight into easy do-it-yourself gift ideas, which includes sewing projects, gifts from the kitchen and new this year, wood craft projects. Attendees will be able to recreate making porch light and street mailbox swag, outdoor lighted Christmas boxes, cement Santas and teddy bears, no-sew Christmas tree skirts and Christmas rag quilts, as well as recipes for waffled cinnamon rolls and cookies, to name a few.
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Sharrie Hargrove and Kayla George are members of one of the five clubs within the Chaves County Extension Office, the Make It Take It Extension Club and both are part of the Christmas showcase committee.
Hargrove said the event shows that not everything has to be bought, “It’s a great opportunity,” she said. “You can make it yourself and take a little more pride in what you do. We have some cool new things as far as wood projects, ornaments — just something that the everyday person can do themselves.”
“We hope that our stuff becomes family heirlooms,” George said.
The committee members get together every year to find new projects, priding themselves to never repeat projects.
“We try to stay with current trends, go with that, so we are staying on top of it,” George said. “Things that are popular on Pinterest, or if you see something at the store. Stuff that is trendy right now along with some of the traditional things like cooking.”
Asked what the new trends are, Hargrove said, “We have some beaded garlands that are super-in. That’s something you’ll see in the store, and we also show that you can take that and improvise it into different strands, something that fits your own design.
“Kayla is making some really cool tabletop and large chalkboard signs. You can go to the store and buy them, but they can be expensive. So we have some budget-friendly options that people will be able to see, the steps how to make them and how to make it more affordable.”
A favorite among fans who attend the showcase every year is the food. This year, they have an around-the-world theme, representing desserts and other food items from Italy, Sweden, Germany and Mexico.
This is Shannon Wooton’s 10th year altogether, Wooton is the Chaves County Extension Office program director and family and consumer sciences agent. She said that last year, the showcase welcomed about 400 visitors.
“I notice the multi-generational women coming,” Hargrove said. “If the mom comes, then the daughter comes and sometimes the granddaughter comes, too. The multi-generational women see the importance of the values in the community and show their kids and grandkids that they can do that, too.”
Wooton donates a quilt she made each year. “The proceeds are for the Extension Clubs scholarships,” she said. “We give three scholarships a year, one to a freshman just entering college and they have to go to a New Mexico University. And then we give one which is a sophomore, junior and senior at New Mexico State and then we give one to a homemaker, or a person who is returning back to school.”
A collector’s item is the booklet of the Christmas showcase. “Everybody who purchases a ticket at the door to get in to the event receives a book that has all the instructions for all the items made, including the activities,” Hargrove said. “With the purchase of $5 to get in the door, you’re not only provided with the experience to get into the Christmas Showcase, but you’re also provided with the step-by-step instructions and recipes. I know a lot of people from Roswell who have been here a long time — they have a collection of them from year to year.”
Wooton invites any adult to join one of the five clubs of the Chaves County Extension Offices. Each one meets at a different time throughout the year. “We’ve got Quilt Squat which focuses on quilting, then we have Make It Take It which takes a craft idea or some kind of idea and have it or the concept at their meeting. Then we have three others where I present leader training — five a year — and they take that information and present it to other club members,” Wooton said.
For more information, visit the Chaves County Extension Office, 200 E. Chisum St., or call 575-622-3210.