Feel-good holiday shopping benefits Africa
I have the same nightmare every holiday season: It's Christmas Eve. My family Christmas party is in less than an hour. Suddenly, I realize I have no gifts for anyone. I find myself pulling into a Walgreens parking lot so I can spend my hard-earned money on tins of cashews, Suave body wash and vibrating slippers. And then I wake up.
This year, I vow to start looking for gifts early to ease the anxiety. One of the most fun places to do early shopping are crafts markets, and it seems like there's one somewhere in town every weekend. This one in particular caught my eye:
It's an an African martketplace hosted for a second year by One City Ministries at Tampa Covenant Church, with 100 percent of proceeds going back to the villages where the artists who made the gifts and artwork live.
This Thursday night at the north Tampa church, people can browse unique gifts such as handmade jewelry, hand-woven baskets, clothing and cutlery while they listen to African music and sample regional cuisine. It's $15 in advance and $20 at the door, which seems reasonable for food, entertainment and the chance to buy cool things like banana fiber dolls and funky necklaces that you can say came from a Uganda, not the 24-hour CVS.
The Tampa Covenant Church is at 13320 Lake Magdalene Blvd., and the event goes on until 9 p.m. For more information, or to buy tickets in advance, go to www.onecity.ws.
Deal Diva Emily