Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday are already history. We survived, but it’s not over yet. For the next few weeks, people will flock to malls and big box stores to find the perfect Christmas or Chanukah gifts for their families and friends. People are already complaining that they are getting exhausted and can’t wait until it’s all over.
Perhaps we wouldn’t be so excited for the holiday season to be over if we took a step back and focused on what is really important about this time of year, and then planned accordingly so we can avoid exhaustion and weariness.
There are things we can do to take some control back from our culture which tells us to buy, consume and shop ’til you drop. How about shopping someplace where the experience is more about the joy of the season rather than the shop ‘til you drop philosophy?
I’m talking about the kind of shopping that, when you leave, you have a smile on your face, some unique gifts and stocking stuffers in your bags, and a lightness in your heart that reflects the real spirit of this season.
I’m talking about Christmas craft fairs in the greater Westerly/Pawcatuck area that offer more than just unique gifts; they offer experiences that are down-home, wholesome, simple, community-oriented. They offer a shopping experience that is much more relaxed and cheerful.
You can probably find something for everyone on your list at our local craft fairs, plus you can enjoy a budget-friendly lunch. For a few extra bucks you can purchase raffle tickets for baskets filled with creative and fun gifts all while supporting worthy causes in the process. Craft fairs are great places to meet up with neighbors and enjoy a relaxing cup of hot cocoa, tea, or coffee.
Bring your child or grandchild for a leisurely visit or photo with Santa (the real one of course!). It is the perfect venue for children to spend their allowance money on small and meaningful gifts for their grandparents and teachers.
Savor the freedom we have in this country to celebrate the holidays. Cherish all of it – even the craziness of the malls, but also enjoy the hometown feel of a craft fair or two. Someday you may look back and remember how you once wished that the holiday season was all over, but you may also wish that you had these days back again, so enjoy them to the fullest. Merry Christmas and Happy Chanukah to all!
Below is a list of local craft fairs. Here’s our suggestion: print it out and plug the dates into your calendar. The fairs start this weekend so don’t delay.
Craft Fairs during the first week of December
- Central Baptist Church of Westerly, 16 Elm St. Westerly, RI – Saturday, December 2 – 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Variety of crafts and homemade items. Luncheon served 11:30 – 1:00. Purchase luncheon tickets at the door. Free admission to craft fair. For info: 401-596-4929.
- Masonic Lodge, 20 Elm St., Westerly, RI – Saturday, December 2 – 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Fifteen vendors. Tote bags, jewelry, fleece blankets, among other items. Enter through the back of the building. Free admission. For info: 401-742-9069.
- North Stonington Baptist Church, 5 Rocky Hollow Rd., N. Stonington, CT – Saturday, Dec. 2, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Homemade crafts, Granny’s attic (flea market), baked goods, crafts, soup for lunch. Park on Main Street. Free admission. For info: 860-535-0208
- St. Pius X Roman Catholic Church, 44 Elm St., Westerly, RI – Friday, Dec. 1 – 5 to 8 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 2 – 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Fair is held in church basement. Entrance is on the front/side of the church. Variety of handmade crafts, raffle baskets, food, children’s table, story reading, photos with Santa Claus. Free admission. For info: 401-596-2535
- United Congregational Church, 9 Castle Hill Rd., Pawcatuck, CT – Saturday, Dec. 2, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Silent auction, wreaths, baskets, bake sale, nostalgia boutique (vintage items), gift baskets, homemade crafts. Traditional tea at 10:30 with china, English tea, and Christmas cookies, quick breads, sandwiches. Tickets for tea available at the door. Craft fair admission is free. For info: 860-599-1226
Craft Fairs in the second week of December
- Christ Episcopal Church, 7 Elm St., Westerly, RI – Saturday, Dec. 9 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Fine crafts, hand-knitted items, visit with Santa Claus, Poinsettias, boxwood trees, attic treasures, book room, tag sale, jewelry, children’s room, Fairtrade items, RADA Knives, homemade baked items, homemade casseroles, soups and meatballs. Luncheon served 11:00 AM – 1:00 PM. A modest fee for luncheon. For info: 401-596-6529
- Calvary Church Nursery School, 27 Church St., Stonington, CT – Sunday, Dec. 10 – 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Wreaths, homemade crafts, dwarf trees, basket raffle, children’s crafts, bake sale. Free admission. Soup luncheon available. For info: 860-535-0398
Mystic Museum of Art Holiday Gift Show
9 Water St., Mystic, CT
Began November 18 through December 23 – 11 a.m. – 5 p.m., seven days a week.
Fine art and artisan wares. Photography, paintings, vendor tables, jewelry, soaps, cards, etc. Free admission. For info: 860-536-7601