Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way; oh what fun we had today…

I remember writing a few hints about how to sell at open-air markets. We have just done a Christmas outdoor market and, while we do still have all our toes, it was a close run thing.

Image of Rainbows stall
The stall

So, it was -6°C when we were setting up at 9am. We had packed the car the night before and this was (unusually) not the best plan – the metal stands I needed to assemble were so cold that I couldn’t touch them.

Image of Santa on a sleigh pulled by reindeer
The stall, the husband and the reindeer

So there we were – layers, ski trousers, hats, fleeces, thermos flask of hot coffee (actually it was so cold that I can only describe it as lukewarm coffee in an ice-covered container). Sales were good, lots of people to talk to (our stall neighbour from Madderty Gin was great company, despite his troubles with frozen mixers!), time passed well and with much cheer.

While I admit that most of me was toasty warm, my toes were so cold they hurt – jumping up and down; side-stepping; pacing; nothing seemed to work. I spotted a stallholder three down who didn’t seem to be suffering at all – over I trotted to investigate why he was not hunched up, swaying and shivering like the rest of us.

Image of Heather with gift bag by stall
The wife with the prize (pre-chilled wine)

And lo, the angels sang out a very important hint for surviving an outdoor winter market – bring a thick rubber mat, a door mat if possible, to stand on. Apparently, it makes all the difference for the feet. Definitely being added to our outdoor market checklist! Might be useful on wet grass as well, to stop it turning to mud.

At the beginning of the day, a passing friend commented on the “motley display” of our stall – I laughed along but was a little hurt (surely, variety is the spice of life?), only to have it all made better at the end of the day when we won the prize for best-dressed market stall – a bottle of white wine that was well and truly chilled (needing to be defrosted more like). Very cheering and such a lovely festive thought. Thank you Aberfeldy Festive Committee, and Santa and his reindeer, of course!

Image of frosty heather stems
The f-f-f-frost that remained all day

Packing up was a teeny problem – it had not got above -4°C all day and as the sun sank at 4pm, temperatures dropped further. We found that the boxes and even packing papers were all covered in frost! On returning home, everything needed to be dried out before being stored away. Not sure how we could have prevented this, but ho, ho, ho, as someone says at this time of year.

Have a lovely festive time and may all your sales be warm and plentiful!

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