Children shop during Santa’s Workshop in Wilton

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WILTON — A special time for Christmas shopping Saturday at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church is for children only.

Parents are welcome to enjoy coffee and doughnuts in the church kitchen while the youngsters shop in an adjoining room, organizer Justy Nazar said.

Santa’s Workshop, an annual event for local children, takes place from 9 to 11:30 a.m. in the church at 59 High St.

It is a community service prepared by church members that helps children purchase gifts for adults — parents, grandparents — for $1 or less, church secretary Lisa Lindsay said.

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The gifts are donated, and church members help the children shop and then wrap their gifts. It is a quite popular event, she said, advising early arrival.

As many as 80 children could come to find a gift, Nazar said. They also bring a list of others they want to shop for.

Most items are new, priced at 25, 50 or 75 cents, and some better items, each valued at over $5, are sold for $1. There is also a table with free items, she said.

While the event is designed to help youngsters struggling to purchase presents, it is also intended as a teaching tool.

“It is about teaching them to give,” Nazar said. “Christmas is not just about getting gifts from Santa.”

The church has provided Christmas shopping in a safe environment for about 10 years, she said.

Some people donate items all year for the event. Both church members and people from the community give, she said.

“We ask them to give something they would like to receive as a present,” she said.

Any funds raised from the sale go to buy items for next year’s event. Shopping during after-Christmas sales takes on a new meaning for those involved in the event, she said. The items for Saturday’s sale are mostly new ones with a few gently used items such as jewelry.

Gift bags are a godsend for those who wrap for the children, she said. It takes a lot of volunteers on Saturday to help.

abryant@sunjournal.com

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