Franciscan Life Center (203) 237-8084

Welcome to the Franciscan Christmas Fair

Time to make your shopping list!
Countdown to the Christmas Fair

Thank you to all who made the 32nd Franciscan Christmas Fair a big success! 

Here you will find everything you need to know about the upcoming Franciscan Christmas Fair to benefit the services of Franciscan Life Center and Franciscan Home Care and Hospice Care in Meriden, Connecticut.

Years of Christmas Fairs
Shopping stations at the Fair
Kinds of food to eat or take home
Baskets in the basket raffle
Volunteers who help the Sisters
Fair-goers who go home smiling!

Highlights of What You’ll Find at the Fair


Click for Order Form!










Click for Order Form





Click for Order Form






Click for Order Form






Vintage postcard from an earlier Franciscan Christmas Fair.


Frequently Asked Questions

When and where is the Franciscan Christmas Fair?2023-09-27T15:56:37-05:00

The 31st Annual Franciscan Christmas Fair begins at 9:30 a.m. and ends at 2:30 p.m. on November 18, 2023. The fair is held annually the Saturday before Thanksgiving.

The fair is scattered around the Franciscan Life Center Campus (271 Finch Ave., Meriden, CT 06451).


Is there a parking fee? Where can I park?2022-10-24T20:20:31-05:00

Parking is free. Parking is available around the campus of the Franciscan Life Center.  The main parking will be located on the grass field adjacent to the campus so long as the weather cooperates.  Otherwise and in addition, there will be parking across the street on Beverly Drive in Meriden, Connecticut.  There will be parking attendants that will guide you both in the field and on Beverly Drive as well as a police officer directing street and pedestrian traffic.  We ask to avoid parking on Finch Ave. directly as the road is narrow and traffic will be heavy. There is handicapped parking available on the campus.  Please make mention to parking attendant upon your arrival if special requests.  For those who are not able to walk from their car there will be volunteers driving golf carts who can assist you to get around the campus. Traffic can get heavy at times but please be patient as there will be space for everyone.

Is there an admission fee to enter the fair?2022-10-24T16:02:27-05:00

No, there is no admission fee to enter the fair.

Will the fair operate during inclement weather? Is the fair indoors or outdoors?2022-10-24T15:51:21-05:00

The fair operates rain (snow) or shine so please wear comfortable clothing and footwear for the season and occasion. The fair operates both indoors and outdoors throughout the Franciscan Life Center campus. Most booths are located either within buildings or heated tents outside. The Living Crèche presentations take place solely outside on a grass field.

Is the fair handicapped accessible?2022-10-24T15:50:22-05:00

Since the Christmas fair takes place on the campus there can be distances between booths and events. Should assistance be needed there will be golf cart transportation available for guests to take a ride to their campus destination or to their car. The campus is located in the rolling hills of Cheshire/Meriden town line so the grounds can be uneven and require movement up and down hills; however, all of the booths are accessible and on ground level.

What types of items are for sale at the fair?2022-10-24T15:49:29-05:00

This question cannot be fully answered without a visit to see for yourself! There are options for everyone. For a more in depth view of some of the highlighted items available for purchase, please visit the “Highlights” on the home page or view the “Booths” tab.

What are some of the most popular items at the fair? Do items sell out?2022-10-24T15:47:54-05:00

Most items at the fair are in demand but some have a heavier demand. Many times “edible” items such as Franciscan bread, rolls, cookies, fudge, honey and candy usually sell out so be sure to be mindful of this demand. Non-edible items such as pottery, candles, wooden reindeer, and Franciscan booth items are also very popular. Most items are sold on a first-come-basis and sell out once the full demand has been met. Christmas trees, wreaths, and centerpieces are the only items that do have order forms and can be filled at a later date and customized per your order.

What are the accepted payment methods for the fair?2022-10-24T15:46:14-05:00

Payments can be made by either cash, personal check, or credit cards (Visa, Mastercard, Discover, American Express accepted). Each booth conducts their own payment transactions so please be mindful when deciding your preferred payment of choice.

Can you identify which items are handmade or homemade?2022-10-24T15:45:28-05:00

It is difficult to list every item that the fair offers but many of the “edibles” at the fair are homemade and non-edibles are handmade in some part of the process. The booth attendants will be happy to tell you about the origins of the products and any care instructions for them.

Is everything at the fair made by a Franciscan Sister of the Eucharist?2022-10-24T15:44:40-05:00

The fair comprises a harmonious combination of items produced by both members of the laity as well as Franciscan Sisters of the Eucharist (FSE) and Franciscan Brothers of the Eucharist (FBE). The Franciscan booth is sure to cover this question for you. Some of the “edibles” as the Franciscan bread/rolls and cookies come from great FSE recipes. The Franciscan pottery booth also produces beautiful pieces from both FSE and FBE members. It takes a great community of lay and religious to produce the many items at the Christmas fair.

Can purchased items be delivered or shipped?2022-10-24T15:42:45-05:00

Items are only sold on the day of the fair and there is no delivery or shipping available. Items like Christmas trees, wreaths, and centerpieces can be ordered in advance or on the day of the fair. In either circumstance, the item(s) must be picked up at the campus of the Franciscan Life Center.

Can I purchase items the day before or after the fair? Are there order forms?2022-10-27T13:27:18-05:00

Purchases are not available the day before or after the fair.  All sales are final and no returns can be made. All items must be purchased on the day of the fair and only in person, not online. The exception to this is for Christmas Trees, wreaths, and centerpieces which can be purchased by order form. Order forms will be available soon in the “Booths” section of the website under the “Christmas Trees” and “Wreaths and Centerpieces” sections.

How does the general raffle work? Do I have to be present to win?2022-10-26T21:04:35-05:00

The general raffle is located in the San Damiano Room in the Chiara Center building.  Tickets will be sold for $2.00 per ticket ($20.00 per booklet/10 tickets).  For a listing of prizes please see the “Raffle” tab on this webpage.  The drawing will take place at 2:30 p.m. in the same location where tickets are sold.  You do not need to be present to win the item.  Tickets will require phone numbers to contact winner should you not be present.  Prizes can only be picked up at the Franciscan Life Center campus.  No shipping or delivery available for winners.

If I purchase a wreath, Christmas tree, or green centerpiece can I have my items held for me at the day of the fair?2022-10-24T15:41:26-05:00

Yes, if you make a purchase(s) for Christmas trees, wreaths, or centerpieces you may have your order placed in a holding area and be available for pickup later at the time of your departure. All items must be claimed by the end of the fair at 2:30 p.m. if placed in the holding area.


Does the fair run more than one day?2022-10-24T20:31:52-05:00

No, the Christmas fair is a one-day-only event (rain or shine!)

What activities are available for children?2022-10-24T20:31:29-05:00

The Christmas fair is proud to host a very family-friendly event. In addition to participating and viewing the Living Crèche and all the sights, sounds, and “tastes” there are some booths that are directly child centric. There is a children’s grab bag booth and a children’s activities booth where Christmas crafts are made. Also, it goes without saying that Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus will also be on site to meet and greet with families.

What time can I meet and greet with Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus? Can I take my own photographs? Is there a fee?2022-10-27T13:28:04-05:00

Santa and Mrs. Claus will be present throughout the day to meet and greet families. Santa will be located on the patio of the Franciscan Life Center for the opportunity to be with Santa and take photographs. Families are free to take photos on their own devices with no charge or fee. Santa will need to take some breaks during the day so please be patient. He does make an appearance at the Living Crèche for the two performances too. You may catch him wandering the campus as well.

What are the times and location for the Living Crèche presentations? Can my child(ren) participate? If so, how?2022-10-24T20:30:24-05:00

There will be two processions of the Living Crèche.  10:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. The presentations last approximately 15-20 minutes. The procession starts from the Franciscan Home Care and Hospice Care building and moves down to the crèche setting in the grass field. Best viewing can be in front of the crèche display on the field. The procession includes angels, shepherds, kings, and the Holy Family. The story of the Nativity will be narrated along with Christmas carols sung. Children can participate to be either angels or shepherds. If interested they should visit the Franciscan Home Care and Hospice Care building fifteen minutes prior to a procession. Costumes will be provided. If any questions please see any Franciscan Sister or Franciscan Brother on the day of the fair and they will be happy to assist you.

Will there be live animals present? If so, can my child pet them?2022-10-24T20:29:54-05:00

Yes, there will be live animals present. Sheep and goats specifically. They will be available to pet with the exception of during the Living Crèche performances as they partake in the living nativity themselves.

Do I need to purchase food tickets and if so for what items?2022-10-24T20:29:24-05:00

Yes, food tickets require purchase at the food ticket booth for specific food items. For a menu list please visit the “Food” tab on the webpage.

What is the basket bazaar raffle and how is it different from the general raffle? How does the basket raffle work? Do I have to be present to win?2022-10-24T14:25:27-05:00

Located in the heated tent outside the Chiara Center building will be dozens of themed baskets for the chance to win. Past basket themes, include pet, family fun, coffee, Vera Bradley, Franciscan, kitchen, the famous large “wooden reindeer”, and many more. Raffle tickets are sold only during the operation hours of the fair for $1.00 per ticket. Tickets will require phone numbers to contact winners should you not be present at the time of the drawing. The drawing will take place in the San Damiano room at the location where the general raffle tickets are sold.  Drawing will be following the general raffle winner announcements after 2:30 p.m. The difference between the two raffles is the basket bazaar allows you to choose which baskets you wish to enter for a chance to win rather than the general raffle which winners will be selected from one large pool and designated to the certain prize. Prizes can only be picked up at the Franciscan Life Center campus. No shipping or delivery available for winners.

Does the fair need volunteers? If so, how can I signup to help?2022-10-24T14:24:10-05:00

The fair has a couple hundred volunteers in order to plan and operate the day’s major event. The Franciscan Sisters of the Eucharist are always open to anyone willing to help with the many different facets of the fair.  Volunteering to a specific booth, parking attendant, and helping decorate the campus the day prior are just some of the tasks available.  To learn more information please email Gretchen at


Are outside vendors allowed on the campus for the fair?2022-10-24T14:23:19-05:00

The fair is entirely planned and operated internally by the Franciscan Sisters of the Eucharist and their lay volunteers with all proceeds to benefit the Franciscan Life Center and Franciscan Home Care and Hospice Care programs and services. Unfortunately, no outside vendors participate at the fair.

What programs and services do the proceeds of the fair benefit?2022-10-24T14:22:35-05:00

The most special part of your participation and purchases at the Christmas fair is the ability to know that all proceeds go to benefit programs and services for the Franciscan Life Center and Franciscan Home Care and Hospice Care.  The Franciscan Life Center is a licensed outpatient mental health facility with focus on marriage and family counseling.  Franciscan Home Care and Hospice Care is a licensed home health and hospice agency providing clients nursing, therapy, social work, and home health aide services allowing them the ability to be cared for within their own homes.

Welcome to the 32nd Annual Franciscan Christmas Fair!

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