‘Tis the Season for Holiday Craft Fairs!

‘Tis the season to start our holiday shopping! We can turn on our phones and computers and peruse online mega stores such as Amazon or browse Walmart’s shelves from bed. Many department stores now have free site-to-store delivery options that make it hard for local mom and pop stores and artisans to compete. The one thing the big box stores or online malls rarely offer, though, is unique, locally made gifts made by human hands.

In the past year, local crafters and artisans were hit with a double-whammy because most craft fairs were cancelled due to the pandemic. This year, however, many fairs are a go!

I’ve been to a few fairs already this year. I’ve been very impressed with the variety of items, quality and prices. While some products were expensive due to the extraordinary work that goes into each piece, most items were very reasonable.

Lily of the Valley Glass Art

A good friend of mine loves lily of the valley and I happened upon a one-of-a-kind beautiful piece depicting the flower made from pieces of glass. Maybe the planets were aligned, because the price was right and I just knew it would be the perfect custom gift for her. I purchased it knowing I will not find a duplicate at any large department store. I guess it won’t be much of a surprise if she reads this article!

I also purchased hand-made candles that smelled absolutely divine, a few Christmas tree ornaments, a hand turned wooden bowl and a roll of re-usable paper towels. The re-usable paper towels are hand sewn cloths that you can roll up and take one just like the disposable paper towels. I now feel like I’m doing my duty to save the planet and supporting the buy local movement to boot.

Jewelry is not in short supply at craft fairs and the artisans create beautiful pieces. The craftsmanship is amazing and the silversmiths just blow you away with their work. You’ll even find unique jewelry made from wood or even old silverware!

There are arrangements, wreaths and other seasonal décor. I wanted to adopt all the gnomes, reindeer and Santas that I saw. The woolen fairy ornaments seemed to bring life to the Christmas tree displays. The hand-made stockings far exceeded the quality of the cheap felted ones found at the local five-and-dime.

hand-crafted purses

Oh and move over Prada! The one-of-a-kind handmade purses were stunning and put those manufactured $800 purses to shame. Most of the hand-crafted purses run anywhere from $30-$100, a steal even if you compare them to bags found at discount retailers like TJ Maxx. I bought a small crossbody that I just adore for $20. It even has genuine leather stitched in the corners! And I won’t see anyone else walking down the street with the same purse.

Crossbody purse

If you’ve missed out on these fairs, have no fear! You still have time to stop by the Annual Keene Holiday Craft Show at KHS in Keene on Saturday, November 27 and the Winter Fair at the American Legion in Jaffrey on Saturday, December 4. Find more fairs and events in our online calendar at www.monadnockcalendar.com.

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