Author Archive Suzanne Hull

BySuzanne Hull

Silent Auction Tree Blog Feature: Italian American Women of Iowa

“Belle E Forti Le Donne Italo Americane” (Beautiful Strong Italian American Women)

This is the motto of the Italian American Women of Iowa. They work to revive, promote and preserve the Italian heritage of its members. The club is made up of 97 women from ages 18-102 and give back to the community by volunteering or collecting items for other charitable organizations.

Lisa Cruchelow, a member of the Italian American Women, explained different ways they have been able to lend a hand. “Our group gives 90% of the money we raise back to the community like: Orchard Place, Ronald McDonald, YESS, Ken Eaton Foundation, Northern Warren Fire Dept., Wounded Warriors, Variety Club, St. Catherine’s, make dinners for Drake students, and in the past, we helped 5 families have a Merry Christmas.”

The Italian Women of Iowa are excited to bring some Italian flair to Christkindlmarket Des Moines’ 2nd Annual Silent Tree Auction.  If you are interested in bidding on their tree and supporting the work done by Italian American Women of Iowa, come to Christkindlmarket Des Moines 2017 December 1st-3rd.

BySuzanne Hull

Silent Auction Tree Blog Feature: Veterans In Agriculture (VIA)

Veterans In Agriculture (VIA) are farmers, veterans, agri-business professional, educators, and other service providers dedicated to empowering veterans to thrive in Iowa agriculture. They provide three main programs/resources to help fulfill their mission statement: The Veterans in Agriculture Network, VIA Resource Guide, Rural America Hiring Heroes, and Find a Farmer Veteran.

“Most people are not aware that 46% of our military comes from rural America, while only about 15% of our overall population is from that same demographic. Many of those that are from rural areas have some type of agricultural background,” explained Beth Grabau, former board member. “VIA empowers veterans to thrive in agriculture by either connecting them to the needed resources to be successful in farm businesses, or by linking veterans to agricultural employers for successful careers. This is done through workshops, mentoring, and other classes.”

“Given the work VIA does helping returning military, this year the theme of our tree will be a reference to ‘all roads lead home,’” shares Grabau. They will also use red, silver, and blue ornaments and include “Welcome Home” ornaments featuring each branch of the military.

“All roads lead home and we welcome all those that are returning.”

Veterans In Agriculture are a returning participant to our Silent Tree Auction. Please come to Christkindlmarket Des Moines December 1st-3rd to make your bid and support this organization.

For more information on Veterans In Agriculture, please visit their website.

BySuzanne Hull

Silent Auction Tree Blog Feature: Waukee High School German Department

The Waukee High School German Department aids in creating well-rounded and cultured students. “We are dedicated to optimizing each individual’s learning and potential for success in a global community by providing students with opportunities to immerse in the culture and language of their choice of foreign language study,” explained Tia Anissa Pezzetti, a representative for the department.

“This organization supports students enrolled in a foreign language the opportunity to travel and study abroad while enhancing their language and cultural experiences through immersion and interaction with host families through a fifteen year partnership with a German school in Dortmund.”  Waukee High School German Department Waukee High School German DepartmentWaukee

Come to the 2nd Annual Silent Tree Auction at Christkindlmarket Des Moines December 1st-3rd to bid on the Waukee High School German Department’s festive tree. One hundred percent of the proceeds from the auction goes back to the participating organizations.

BySuzanne Hull

Silent Auction Tree Blog Feature: The Pet Project Midwest

The Pet Project Midwest began in 2009 with a mission to keep pets in their loving homes and out of shelters. The run four main programs: Pet Pantry, AniMeals, Paws for Life, and Iowa Pet Alert.

“Our first program,” explained Kim Hanlon, a member of the Board, “was Iowa Pet Alert, which continues to reunite lost pets throughout the state of Iowa. Soon after, the Pantry was born. The Pantry has been providing food and supplies to Metro families since 2010. The Pantry was designed as a temporary program to assist families who found themselves dealing with a loss of income due to job loss, illness, under employment or whatever situation put their family at risk of surrendering their family pet to one of the many shelters in the community. The Pantry gives those folks 6 months of breathing room to get things back on track while keeping the family whole.”

“In just 8 years, The Pet Project Midwest has helped thousands of families stay together. What’s more remarkable is The Pet Project Midwest has done so with 100% volunteer help and a working Board of Directors. The Pet Project Midwest is funded by grants and community donations. In fact, over 70% of our funding has come from people in the community who share our passion for pets but who also know a pets’ importance to the family.”

They are always looking for ways to add to their mission including: aiding people with veterinary care and assistance with spay/neuter. Unfortunately, current funding has prohibited this type of support. They are currently partnering with other animal organizations in the area to help families find assistance.

“Because our mission is to keep families together, our tree theme will be the family,” said Hanlon. “We will incorporate all aspects of the family including those with fur, feathers or in some cases scales.

To bid on this tree and support the work of The Pet Project Midwest, please visit our 2nd Annual Silent Tree Auction at Christkindlmarket Des Moines December 1st-3rd.

For more information on The Pet Project Midwest, please visit their website.

BySuzanne Hull

Silent Auction Tree Blog Feature: Sons of Norway

The Sons of Norway Marsteinen Lodge was started in 1984 to promote and preserve the heritage and culture of Norway. According to their mission statement, they celebrate relationships with other Nordic countries and provide quality insurance and financial products to members. They fulfill their mission “… by meeting monthly, with a program that highlights some aspect of Norwegian life and culture both past and present. Also, we eat a lot,” explained Wayne Almlie, current lodge president.



The Sons of Norway are set to decorate their Christkindlmarket Silent Auction tree with a Norwegian theme, including: straw ornaments, Norwegian colors, Vikings, Nisse, and other decorations usually associated with Norway.

If you are interested in bidding on this tree and supporting the Sons of Norway, come to Christkindlmarket Des Moines 2017 December 1st-3rd.

For more information on the Sons of Norway Marsteinen Lodge, please visit their website.

Des Moines European Heritage Association connects Iowans with European traditions, language education and cultural experiences; and it provides resources and tools to other cultural heritage organizations.


BySuzanne Hull

Follow Us On Instagram And Twitter!

Are you on Instagram and Twitter? That’s a good thing, because we are now, too!

Follow us @christmasdesmoines on Instagram and @christmasdsm on Twitter for all of the fun photos and up-to-date news on Christkindlmarket Des Moines.Des Moines European Heritage Association connects Iowans with European traditions, language education and cultural experiences; and it provides resources and tools to other cultural heritage organizations.


BySuzanne Hull

Christkindlmarket DSM Beer Release!

Join us as we debut Confluence Brewing Company’s special Christkindlmarket spiced beer just in time for Christkindlmarket Des Moines 2017.

$1 of every pint purchased will be donated to Des Moines European Heritage Association, the 501c3 non-profit that produces Christkindlmarket Des Moines. $2 off growler refills!

Make a donation of $25 on site to reserve your Christkindlmarket Des Moines 2017 commemorative mug.

Date: Friday, November 24, 2017

Time: 5pm-11pm

Location: Confluence Brewing Company, 1235 Thomas Beck Rd, Des Moines, IA 50315


Des Moines European Heritage Association connects Iowans with European traditions, language education and cultural experiences; and it provides resources and tools to other cultural heritage organizations.


BySuzanne Hull

Amana Woolen Mill | #CDM2017 Vendor

Tell us about your business

Amana Woolen Mill, built in 1857, is the oldest business in the Colony and the only remaining Woolen Mill in the state of Iowa. Our textiles express the heritage, value and essence of the originating Amana community with timeless quality design and craftsmanship. We weave beautiful wool, cotton and recycled yarn products on our Sulzer looms in an array of widths ranging from crib-sized baby blankets to king-sized bed blankets. The weaving mill produces cloth for Amana Woolen Mill’s accessory department, where our talented seamstresses develop and hand-sew elegant home goods including table runners, placemats, napkins and pillows. Our line of personal items, consisting of large and small totes, cosmetic bags, wine totes and aprons, have received rave reviews for their beauty and quality craftsmanship.

What inspired you to get involved as a vendor at Christkindlmarket Des Moines 2017?

Christkindlmarket Des Moines would be a perfect fit for Amana Woolen Mill’s textiles. German culture and heritage is woven into everything we do. Our community was founded in 1855 by a small group of German immigrants seeking religious freedom. Its members lived simply, without vanity, and dedicated themselves to living sustainably. Through dedication to hard work, progress, and innovation, our businesses have operated continuously for more than 160 years. It may be a struggle to adapt our historic buildings in order to work efficiently, but we believe it’s the right thing to do. We’re constantly working to preserve the methods, talents and ideals passed down by our German forefathers and continue to produce a wide variety of heritage inspired, hand-crafted goods. We are thankful for the opportunity and excited to share these products with you.

What products will you be selling at Christkindlmarket Des Moines 2017 and why did you choose them?

The Amana Woolen Mill will be bringing a variety of wool and cotton blankets a long with an array of accessories perfect for holiday gift giving.

Our Wool Tartans, Houndstooth, Civil War Stripe and Alpine Blanket collections are classic patterns that fit and flow with the atmosphere of Christkindlmarket Des Moines. The Herringbone and Lily cotton throws are some of our most sought-after weaves. We plan on bringing our top selling colors to share.

From the Accessories Department, the ever popular Doliver tote, made from recycled cotton and yarn with stunning leather handles and superb durability. Our small cosmetic/utility bags are always a hit. With a zipper closure to store smaller items and beautiful assortment of colors and weaves, these cute little bags won’t last long.

We’ll be bringing a variety of 4-pack coaster sets (they make perfect stocking stuffers) and wine totes that pair perfectly with a couple bottles of vino and make a thoughtful gift for the host and hostess at holiday gatherings.

Our cotton chef aprons are large enough to shield your holiday apparel from harm, yet stylish enough that you may not want to take it off before the festivities begin! With a generous front pocket and sturdy hand-sewn construction, these aprons make the perfect gift for anyone who loves to cook.

Amana scarves are a practical and thoughtful gift for both men and women. Our line features a stunning assortment of colors and patterns sure to please even your most particular loved one. The scarves are weaved on our looms in both Merino wool and cotton yarns, then hand finished by our talented seamstresses.

We have hand-selected beautiful wood cutting boards in a variety of species and shapes, classic rolling pins, and our ever-popular noodle cutters from The Amana Furniture Shop to round out our Christkindlemarket Des Moines collection. These products are well known for their superior quality and finish. Amana Furniture Craftsmen are both designers and builders, and put experience, passion and know-how into every piece they create.


Des Moines European Heritage Association connects Iowans with European traditions, language education and cultural experiences; and it provides resources and tools to other cultural heritage organizations.


BySuzanne Hull

Vendor Demonstration Schedule Announced!

With the production of Christkindlmarket Des Moines, we hope to show attendees how the items they purchase are made. To that end, we have five vendors who will also be demonstrating their craft. We hope you’re inspired!

Andy Klindt – Chainsaw Carvings, Des Moines, IA | DEMONSTRATION

Andy Klindt is an Iowa artisan specializing in chainsaw sculpture and metal design. Fanciful, functional, or a fusion of each…watching Andy craft original pieces is sure to delight people of all ages!

Offering: Chainsaw carvings, hand-forged metal items, and mixed metal and wood items

Price Range: $20 – $2000


Friday, December 1: 11:30am, 2:30pm, 4:30pm, 7:30pm

Saturday, December 2: 11:30am, 2:30pm, 4:30pm, 7:30pm

Sunday, December 3: 11:30am, 1:30pm, 3:30pm

Indianola Glass Creations, Indianola, IA | DEMONSTRATION

Come in and enjoy the world of glass. Indianola Glass Creations designs and creates colorful Stained and Fused Glass ornaments, suncatchers, jewelry and home decor. They will be demonstrating blown glass ornaments.

Offering: Stained Glass, Fused Glass & Blown Glass ornaments and suncatchers. Fused glass and china jewelry. Fused & Stained Glass clocks and home decor art pieces. Wine bottle tealights.

Price Range: $12 – $150


Friday, December 1: 3:30pm, 6pm

Saturday, December 2: 11:45am, 3pm, 6pm

Sunday, December 3: 12:30pm, 3:30pm, 4:15pm

Dakota Tinworks, Estelline, SD | DEMONSTRATION

Dakota Tinworks is a family-owned business dedicated to making and selling traditional tinwares and ornaments, hand-made exclusively by tinsmith Karl-Josef Schmidt, using primarily antique, 19th century tinsmith’s tools.

Offering: Handmade tinware of all kinds: tin Christmas ornaments, tin tree tinsel, tin tree toppers, tin cookie cutters, tin biscuit cutters, tin candle holders, tin candle sconces, tin cups, and tin candle lanterns.

Price Range: $5 – $150


Friday, December 1: 12:30pm (Making tinsel), 1:45pm (Making tin ornaments), 3pm (Making a small candle holder), 4:15pm (Making tinsel), 5:30pm (Making tin ornaments), 6:45pm (Making a small candle holder), 8pm (Making tinsel)

Saturday, December 2: 12pm (Making tinsel), 1:15pm (Making tin ornaments), 2:30pm (Making a small candle holder), 3:45pm (Making tinsel), 5pm (Making tin ornaments), 6:15pm (Making a small candle holder), 7:30pm (Making tinsel)

Sunday, December 3: 12pm (Making tinsel), 1pm (Making tin ornaments), 2pm (Making a small candle holder), 3pm (Making tinsel), 4pm (Making tin ornaments)

Quilted Gardens & Nursery, Des Moines, IA | DEMONSTRATION

Quilted Gardens & Nursery is an independent nursery specializing in unusual and collector perennials, hostas, trees, shrubs and conifers.

Offering: Hand made wreaths, swags, kissing balls and wood, straw and glass ornaments, table top trees, garland holiday optical glasses.

Price Range: $5 – $150


Friday, December 1: 1pm, 6:15pm

Saturday, December 2: 1pm, 4pm

Sunday, December 3: 1pm

Wild Cherry Spoon Co, Rock Island, IL | DEMONSTRATION

Wild Cherry Spoon Co. handcarves unique, one of a kind, pieces of wooden kitchenware along the banks of the Mississippi, in Rock Island, IL.

Offering: Handcarved wooden: spoons, spatulas, kitchen utensils, rice paddles, chopsticks, cutting/cheese boards, baby spoons, cheese spreaders, pizza paddles and pizza cutters, coffee and ice cream scoops.

Price Range: $5 – $75

Times: To Be Determined

BySuzanne Hull

Silent Auction Tree Participants Announced!

As a part of Christkindlmarket Des Moines 2017, we’ve invited non-profit organizations to decorate a Christmas tree that will be offered during a silent auction at the event.

The following organizations will be decorating 6′-8′ trees on site that will be sold during the market and via a silent auction. The organization that decorates the tree will receive 100% of the funds earned from the auction from Des Moines European Heritage Association following the event, and minimum bids will start at $50. All items used on the tree (including the tree) will be given to the winning bidder.

Please plan to support your favorite local non-profit by visiting the Information Area at Christkindlmarket Des Moines and placing the winning bid!