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A sweet Shelter Island start to the season: St. Nick’s at St. Mary’s for cookies and more

The official beginning of the Christmas shopping season may be Black Friday, but on Shelter Island it was Saturday, Dec. 2, at the traditional Saint Nicholas Day Craft Fair and Cookie Walk hosted by St. Mary’s Episcopal Church.

When the doors opened at 9 a.m., shoppers streamed in for the local crafts, handmade Christmas decorations, but judging from the satisfied customers who emerged, the cookies were the real draw.

Kim Reilly.

Kim Reilly hoisted a bag of circular, crispy and chewy baked goods that she collected from an astounding range of options.

Kathy Gooding’s bag of cookies required the support of two hands.

Two hands for Kathy.

Natali and Valeri Leon, each had a large bag of cookies meant, no doubt, as surprise gifts for their mother, Emily Needham. Whether the cookies serve a motivational purpose before they can be gifted remains to be seen.

Amy Zavatto, cookies and candles are ready for wrapping.

Amy Zavatto opted for something sweet-smelling, a Shelter Island-scented candle from By Way of the Farm candlemaker, Kim Curko.

“These candles are not like some other — non-local — candles I’ve seen for sale.”  she said. “They smell great. ”

A seasoned, St. Nick’s shopper, Kirsten Lewis went for general shopping purposes, but approached the Cookie Walk with a strategy. She claims that she only purchases cookies that she doesn’t know how to make herself, and she gives them all away as gifts. Ms. Lewis left with a handmade decorative item and a large bag of cookies.

May we all be on Santa’s cookie list.

Kirsten Lewis with cookies and the Christmas spirit.