Alternative Holiday Shopping: Buying Handmade

Alternative Holiday Shopping Buying Handmade

Holiday. Shopping. Two small words that conjure memories of late night trips to department stores, panicked brainstorming to find something for the last person on your list, and anxiously watching the mail carrier arrive without the packages you ordered weeks ago.

This year, Northwestern Washington artists and crafters offer an alternative definition. Craft markets, holiday bazaars, and art shows provide a shopping environment that’s friendly to your sanity and your community.

Handmade and locally crafted items are “so much more personal,” explains Katy Borden of Allied Arts of Whatcom County. “Knowing that an artist created that item with love, and that the giver picked out that unique one-of-a-kind item especially for someone, makes that gift very meaningful.”

Local holiday markets often benefit charities and community organizations. As Reverend Tamalyn L. Kralman of Bellingham’s Alternative Holiday Market describes, “Many people have become aware that large corporations may not be the way they want to spend their holiday dollars. They want to shop in more responsible ways, buying gifts that will not only delight the gift recipient, but will, perhaps, save a life.”

Ebba Krarup

All of the Alternative Holiday Market’s proceeds go directly to local and international charities and non-profits such as Amnesty International, the Whatcom Dispute Resolution Center, and Whatcom PFLAG. Your gifts could “save a threatened whale or bison or support a woman starting her own business in Chile. Whatever the shopper chooses, he or she will know that the money is changing the world in a dramatic way,” Kralman says. To enter the multi-faith market, shoppers need only bring a new and clean pair of socks for those in need in Whatcom County. Adding a little fun to the shopping experience, Animals for Natural Therapy will bring ponies and chickens to play and interact with shoppers.

If you want your holiday shopping to directly benefit local art and artists, look no further than the 35th Annual Allied Arts Holiday Festival of the Arts. Katy Borden of Artist Services explains, “Allied Arts of Whatcom County’s vision is to enliven and promote the artistic identity within our community and make our region an arts destination and creative, vibrant place to live….[The Holiday Festival] gives our artists a place to exhibit and sell their work, by being a free event it makes the arts accessible to everyone in our community and it fosters the buy local mentality of our community.”

Terry Kaye

For animal enthusiasts, The Northwest Equine Stewardship Center’s Fourth Holiday Bazaar in Monroe puts their proceeds towards rehabilitative care and finding permanent homes for neglected and abused horses. “You can feel good about buying something great and feel good about helping the horses!” says the NWESC’s president Jennifer Warmke. To top off the horse-themed event, children can also take pictures with Santa the Pony.

Fun activities like Santa the Pony turn holiday shopping into a family experience. At The Lights of Christmas in Stanwood, shoppers can listen to carolers, watch the nativity and visit Santa Claus and Bruce the Spruce. The festival offers live music, storytelling, a petting farm, pony rides, and train rides. You can sit at The Starry Night Coffeehouse to plan your gifting and shopping strategies. The festival’s activities draw “families together as an experience people of all ages can enjoy, it also allows families to shop for Christmas gifts together, to bounce ideas off each other and to collaborate for gift purchases,” explains Linda Schmitt of the festival’s bookstore.

Trilbys

For a true shopping getaway, you can book an overnight stay at The Lights of Christmas and attend live dinner theater. Schmitt notes that, “the lights, music, food and activities create an inspirational setting for a holiday shopping experience.”

Shoppers seeking holiday ambience will also enjoy the Home for the Holidays gift show held in the Bellingham Cruise Terminal on Bellingham Bay. “The Port goes out of their way to decorate this building for the holidays,” describes the show’s organizer Joyce Hill. A “huge fresh decorated Christmas tree in the lobby, lights everywhere, beautiful wreaths,” adorn the venue. Hill adds, “Customers often comment that they wait all year for this event. Several gift shops have closed over the years in Bellingham and local residents have found they can buy very special, different gifts at Home for the Holidays.”

Creative and philanthropic energy thrives at Northwest holiday markets and bazaars, inviting you to redefine holiday shopping this season. Indeed, with the wide variety of holiday markets, you are guaranteed to find something for everyone on your list. Use the following list of community holiday markets, and replace the stress and anxiety of conventional shopping with a unique holiday experience that supports artists and community.

The Alternative Holiday Market

The Alternative Holiday Market


Millcreek Lions Club Holiday Bazaar, Everett

Date: November 15

Time: 9:00 am – 5:00 pm

Where: Penny Creek Elementary School 4117 132nd St. SE, Everett, WA 98208

Admission: Free

Detailswww.millcreeklions.org/CraftBazaar.htm


35th Annual Allied Arts Holiday Festival of the Arts, Bellingham

Date: November 14 – December 24 (Closed on Thanksgiving)

Time: Wednesday – Sunday 10:00 am – 6:00 pm (Closes at 3:00 Christmas Eve)

Where: 4145 Meridian Street, Bellingham, WA 98226

Benefits: Direct sales, directly to local artisans

Admission: Donations appreciated for musicians and kids activities

Accessible: Yes

Details: www.alliedarts.org/holiday-festival-2014/


2nd Annual Legion Riders Arts & Craft Bazaar,  Bellingham

Date: November 15

Time: 9:00 am – 3:00 pm

Where: American Legion Post 7, 1688 W Bakerview Rd, Bellingham 98225

Benefits: Proceeds from bake sale, table rental, and silent auction go to John Fassett Scholarship Fund for Graduating Seniors and Royal Family Kids Camp

Admission: Free

Accessible: Yes

Details: www.legionriderspost7.com/events


Cascade Music Department Fall Gift Fair/Bazaar, Everett

Date: November 15

Time: 9:00 am – 4:00 pm

Where: Cascade High School 801 E Casino Rd, Everett, WA 98203

Benefits: Cascade High School Music programs

Admission: Free

Accessible: Most areas are wheelchair accessible

Details: www.cascadebands.com/2014-gift-fair


Alternative Holiday Market, Bellingham

Date: November 16

Time: 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Where: Assumption Catholic Church (Gymnasium), 2116 Cornwall Avenue, Bellingham, WA 98225

Benefits: All proceeds go to local and international non-profits

Admission: Bring a new/clean pair of socks for the cold, needy feet of Whatcom County.

Accessible: Yes

Details: www.alternativemarket.org


Homespun Holiday Bazaar, Blaine

Date: November 21 & 22

Time: 9:00 am – 4:00 pm

Where: 2355 Burk Road, Blaine, WA 98230

Benefits: Donations go to Starfish Ministries

Admission: Free

Accessible: No


Home For the Holidays, Bellingham

Dates: November 20 – 22

Times: Thursday 5:30 pm – 9:30 pm, Friday 9:30 am – 9:30 pm, Saturday 9:30 am – 5:30 pm

Where: Bellingham Cruise Terminal, 355 Harris Avenue, Bellingham 98225

Admission: Free

Accessible: Yes

Details: www.homefortheholidaysbellingham.com


Lynden VFW Auxiliary’s Craft Show & Bake Sale

Date: November 21 & 22

Time: Friday, 9:00 am – 4:00 pm and Saturday, 9:00 am – 5:00 pm

Where: VFW Hall, 7011 Hannegan Rd, Lynden, WA 98264

Benefits: Sales go directly do artists and vendors, and other proceeds go to supporting veterans and their families as well as community youth scholarships.

Admission: Free

Accessible: Handicapped access to both floors


Wiser Lake Friends and Neighbors Holiday Bazaar and Bake Sale, Lynden

Date: November 21 & 22

Time: 8:00 am – 6:30 pm

Where: Ten Mile Grange, 6958 Hannegan Road, Lynden WA 98264

Benefits: In the past a percent of proceeds went to the Women’s Care Shelter and the ALS Evergreen Chapter. Canned food is collected for Project Hope.

Admission: Free

Accessible: Yes, except for the beverages and food area downstairs. All crafts are upstairs as well as tables for sitting and enjoying coffee.


NWESC’s Fourth Holiday Bazaar, Monroe

Date: November 22

Time: 10:00 am – 3:00 pm

Where: New Hope Fellowship, 1012 West Main Street Monroe, WA 98272

Benefits: All proceeds from the space fees, bake sale, raffle and hot lunch will directly benefit the Northwest Equine Stewardship Center (NWESC), a non‑profit organization providing rehabilitative care (veterinary, hoof care, training) to rescue horses.

Admission: Free

Accessible: Stroller and wheelchair friendly

Details: www.nwesc.org/HolidayBazaar.aspx


Holiday Gift & Craft Bazaar, Camano Island

Date: November 22

Time: 9:00 am – 4:30 pm

Where: Camano Center, 606 Arrowhead Road, Camano Island, WA 98282

Benefits: Proceeds from registration go to senior services at the Camano Center

Admission: Free

Accessible: Yes

Details: www.camanocenter.org/event/holiday-craft-gift-bazaar/


Troop 327 Holiday Bazaar, Mill Creek

Date: November 22

Time: 12:00 am – 8:00 pm

Where: Tri-way Grange, 3500 Seattle Hill Road, Mill Creek, WA 98012

Benefits: Boy Scout Troop 327’s summer trek

Admission: Free

Accessible: No

Details: www.troop327millcreek.org/holidaybazaar/


Greenbank Farm Holiday Market, Greenbank

Dates: November 28 – December 30, and Saturdays and Sundays between December 6 – 21

Time: 10:00 am – 5:00 pm         

Admission: Free

Accessible: Yes, minimal upper-floor use

Benefits: Volunteer-run market supporting Greenbank Farm

Where: Greenbank Farm, 765 Wonn Road, Greenbank, WA 98253

Details: www.greenbankfarm.biz/calendar/holiday-market


39th Annual Holiday Bazaar, Everett

Date: December 5

Time: 9:00 am – 3:00 pm

Where: The Carl Gipson Senior Center of Everett, 3025 Lombard, Everett, WA 98201

Admission: Free

Accessible: Yes

Details: www.everettwa.org/default.aspx?ID=1876


8th Annual Homemade Arts & Crafts Christmas Bazaar, Blaine

Date: December 5 & 6

Time: 9:00 am – 4:00 pm

Where: Blaine Senior Center, 763 G Street, Blaine, WA 98230

Benefits: Proceeds from the cookie walk and table fees benefit the Blaine Senior Center.

Admission: Free

Accessible: Yes

Details:  www.blaineseniorcenter.com/Upcoming-Events


Homespun Holiday Bazaar, Monroe

Date: December 6 & 7

Time: 10:00 am – 3:00 pm

Where: Evergreen State Fairgrounds Commercial Building, 14405 179th Ave SE Monroe, WA 98272

Benefits: Evergreen Fair Foundation

Admission: Free

Accessible: Yes

Details: www.evergreenfair.org/xmas-bazaar.asp


Country Christmas and Arts Fair, Langley

Dates: November 28, 29 & 30, and December 6 & 7

Times: November 28, 2:00 pm – 7:00 pm, all other dates, 10:00 am – 3:00 pm

Where: Island County Fairgrounds, 819 Camano Ave, Langley, WA 98260

Benefits: Supports Island County Fair Association scholarships

Admission: Free

Accessible: Yes

Details: www.whidbeyislandfair.com/documents/102.html


The Lights of Christmas, Stanwood

Date: December 4-7, 11-14, 18-23, 26-30

Time: 5:00 pm – 10:00 pm

Where: Warm Beach Camp & Conference Center, 20800 Marine Drive, Stanwood, WA 98292

Benefits: Ministry, Kids to Camp Scholarship Fund, and other charitable organizations.

Admission: General admission $15 for adults (13 to 59), $10 for military personnel and seniors (60 and older), $9 for children from 4 to 12, and free for children 3 and younger

Accessible:   www.thelightsofchristmas.com/wheelchair-accessibility

Details: www.warmbeach.com/lights-of-christmas