Although some may think it is too early to start decking the halls, Lexington Christian Academy and its fleet of jolly shoppers say it is never too early to get into the holiday spirit.
Held on the first Thursday and Friday in November, the Peppermint and Pearls Holiday Shopping Boutique at Lexington Christian Academy is quickly becoming a Christmas tradition for many families. After paying an entrance fee of $10, guests are immersed into a shopaholic’s dream with everything from food to clothing to dishes. Those already gearing up for Christmas will find their happy place among the myriad of Christmas items available for purchase, including trees, stockings and tinsel.
By encouraging local businesses to set up shop in the Lexington Christian Academy gym, Peppermint and Pearls promotes commerce and a sense of community within the Lexington area.
“We just wanted to give people the opportunity to let them know more about us and to get to know more about the community,” said Lily Peel, employee at The Gift Box of Lexington, a Lexington-based shop that specializes in clothing and accessories.
But Peppermint and Pearls’ original purpose was not to simply spread holiday cheer, although it certainly does. The boutique was created in 2015 with the intention of helping raise money to fund teacher bonuses at Lexington Christian Academy.
Faith Hacker, founder and organizer of Peppermint and Pearls, said it was "one of the first initiatives we had for the purpose of benefiting our teachers.”
Little did Hacker know that in just four short years, the event would grow to include 70 booths and host hundreds of shoppers each holiday season. Peppermint and Pearls is helping to bridge the gap between the community and the school system by encouraging Kentucky-based stores– both online and physical– to attend. Because many of the owners of the stores are present at the booths, guests are encouraged to peruse the local offerings while getting to know those who worked so hard to create them.
“We’ve been here since the start, since its conception. We love it,” said Peggy Queen, founder of Peggy’s Gifts, when asked about the holiday boutique. “We do it to see our customers, and we do it to support the schools.”
In addition to the booths, Peppermint and Pearls also offers holiday staples like hot chocolate and sugar cookies.
“It’s festive,” Hacker said. “Peppermints and Pearls, what’s not festive about that?”