Scenes from the 2015 Christmas Gift & Hobby Show


My wife and her grandmother hanging with their old pal Mr. C.

Each November my wife and I take her grandmother to Indianapolis’ own Christmas Gift & Hobby Show at the Indiana State Fairgrounds. Last Saturday when we dropped by, the event was on its 66th year; Mamaw is on her 90th. Most months, she leaves the house only when family or friends take her to church or the grocery, but the two of us enjoy driving her to two major events, where her brother works security and scores us free tickets. The Indiana Flower and Patio Show in March is her Super Bowl; the Christmas Gift and Hobby Show is her San Diego Comic Con.

Gift + Hobby Show!

The overcrowded aisles hosted approximately 99% of all middle-aged Hoosier wives in a single Saturday.

The Show provides a variety of vendors selling Christmas decor, Christmas gift ideas, handcrafted works, licensed character merchandise, irrelevant industrial-arts services, off-brand Sham-Wows, telemarketing schemes, DirecTV, and more. The show has something for virtually everyone who likes buying random objects, remembered to bring money, and agrees not to complain about commercialism or the fact that Christmas was several weeks away. We call it “the Christmas truce”.

Dick Wolfsie!

For a change of pace, several self-published authors were on hand to ply their wares to would-be readers. The one I recognized was local TV personality Dick Wolfsie, who brought a friend.

Christmas Sweatshirts!

Looking to dress better for the occasion? A few booths offer a wide range of Christmas Sweatshirts, a perennial fallback option every time flannel goes out of style again.

Mamaw's Heart!

…and God blessed us with the discovery of the perfect sweatshirt for Mamaw. She looks forward to spending a little of her own money at the show (gift-cash she saves up from her birthday and other previous occasions), but this was Anne’s treat to her.


Kids are welcome to walk around with their parents, latch onto stuff they want, and never ever let go. The vendors know this and market accordingly.


Men are a minority but no less welcome. You can find sports products, weird As Rejected From TV tools, and manly morsels such as summer sausage.


Snack fans always look forward to the multitudinous candies of the South Bend Chocolate Company, but this year I held out for baked goods instead. (Between you and me, we still have a metric ton of Halloween candy left over that we’ll be passing on to my son the next time we see him. I am super-sick of candy just now.)

Santa's Cornholes!

I’m not sure if this product endorsement came from the real Santa, or if this is like those Facebook memes where people paste random quotes and thoughts on a photo of Morgan Freeman and try to pass it off as holy writ.

Stroller Doggie!

DOGGIE! Riding around the Show in a stroller like a boss.


This giant shea butter head welcomes you either to carve off pieces of his flesh and serve them on brioche, or to slam your face against his repeatedly until you’re magically de-aged and look 15 again.

Santa Bear!

Animatronic musical Santa Bear greets passersby and invites them to adopt his stuffed kin into new homes. Won’t someone please think of the teddies?

Christmas Minion!

Of course someone made a Christmas Minion. 2015 has been very good to them.

What do you, The Viewers at Home, think?

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