I love the winter holidays. When the North Market is decked out with its traditional pine swags and wreaths and the Market building and surrounding trees are aglow with the twinkle of thousands of extra white string lights, I couldn’t be merrier. Attending the gatherings of friends and family and planning holiday party menus is one of the more fun aspects of the fourth quarter (for me). But it is with no small amount of apprehension that I anticipate the gift-giving time of the year…or more specifically the acquisition of gifts for giving portion of it. Don’t get me wrong, I love both making and buying stuff for people and the happiness that a well-chosen or homemade present can bestow, but the whole holiday shopping process still gives me some anxiety.
It wasn’t always this way. When I was a kid growing up in Cleveland I was giddy with the excitement of heading downtown on the RTA with my parents, pockets padded with my saved-up allowance cash. They would deliver me to the “Twigbee Shop,” a kids-only venue within the Higbee’s department store with gift items priced for my meager adolescent budget. Things were neatly categorized for “Mom,” “Dad,” “Sister,” etc. and my list was so much shorter than it is these days.
Luckily for me the North Market’s Holiday Open House and Craft Extravaganza delivers a one-two punch to my holiday party planning and gift-giving undertakings (not to mention it’s conveniently located at my place of employment). The “Open House” portion of the weekend consists of holiday music and entertainment while our merchants offer samples of some of their favorite holiday items to give customers meal and party planning ideas. In the farmers’ market plaza, Short Stop Youth Center will be roasting chestnuts and pretzel sticks to inspire you while you pick out a proper live Christmas tree for your home. Between Market Blooms and visiting vendor Pine-ing Away, you will have a plethora of wreath options for your front door.
The “Craft Extravaganza” overtakes the mezzanine level of the North Market with 45 local artisans and crafters featuring their handmade wares. I’ll make short work of my holiday shopping list starting with fragrant soaps by Moon Garden, Genoa or Honeyrun Farm (sister gifts, check). A beautiful bird house from Backyard Living will be much enjoyed by my mother and her outdoor menagerie. And as she always appreciates jewelry, I’ll have plenty of options to choose from between Kristin Ellis, Once Lost Jewelry, Jennifer Sadler Designs, and many more.
My little brother’s new apartment will look swanky adorned by a Clinton Reno rock poster. My dad now counts on me to revitalize his bbq and hot sauce stock with a gift pack from CaJohns Flavor & Fire. My young nephews will love the unique creatures at Little Critters Plushies, while my adolescent nieces will find hair adornments from Beaniestalk suitably cool enough to wear. Cindy Yeager’s stained glass starbursts will look lovely on my co-workers windows. And as one should never overlook the furry members of the family, Paws Up! stocks pet collars, bandanas and treats. Now that I think about it…I don’t know what I was so worried about after all!
Enjoy unique holiday shopping during the North Market Holiday Open House & Craft Extravaganza. Event hours are Saturday, December 1 from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Sunday, December 2 from 12 – 5 p.m. Admission is free. For more information including a full list of participating artisans and activities, please visit northmarket.com.
GCAC Presents is a bi-weekly column brought to you by the Greater Columbus Arts Council – supporting art and advancing culture in Columbus – in partnership with the Columbus Arts Marketing Association, a professional development and networking association of arts marketers. Each column will be written by a different local arts organization to give you an insiders look at the arts in Columbus.