Unique, low-tech gifts abound at arts and crafts fairs
By Kristi D. Lawrence
“The Starship” from Water Prisms, Placitas Holiday Sale
From workplace drama to our Facebook relationship status, life these days is complicated. The benefits of high-tech living are often bogged down by the stress that comes with it. That’s why many of us are on a quest for simple joys that get us back to basics. This holiday season, you can do that by giving low-tech, memorable presents that your loved ones will cherish long after their gift cards are gone.
Light up their nights
The New Mexico Jewish Community Chanukah Festival lights up the holiday season
It’s better to give than to receive, especially if you’re holiday shopping at the New Mexico Jewish Community Chanukah Festival. Happening at the Embassy Suites Hotel (1000 Woodward NE) on Nov. 24 from noon to 4pm, this high-energy celebration kicks off the Festival of Lights with delicious Jewish foods, live music, face painting, inflatable bouncers, dreidel games and dancing. Stock up on Judaica, jewelry, scarves, skincare items, toys and art. There are plenty of awesome options for eight crazy nights of presents. Adam Sandler would be proud. And be sure to bring some diapers to donate to the NM Diaper Bank. You’ll be proud that you’re making a difference. Tickets range from $4 to $20. You can get them at jccabq.org or by calling 348-4518.
We love pub crawls and arts crawls, and on Nov. 23 and 24 in Placitas, they’re having what could be described as a holiday shopping crawl. It’s the annual Placitas Holiday Sale, a popular 32-year-old tradition. The event showcases 80 vendors at three different locations in Placitas—the Anasazi Fields Winery (26 Camino de los Pueblitos), the Big Tent east of Las Placitas Presbyterian Church (7 Paseo De San Antonio) and Placitas Elementary School (5 Calle del Carbon). On Saturday from 10am to 5pm and Sunday from 10am to 4:30pm, go from one to the other and soak in pure artistry in countless, soul-moving forms. Metal sculpture, wooden furniture, solar plate etchings, gourd art, prisms, antler jewelry, even hand-painted drums. (There’s no danger that your relatives will end up with two of whatever you give them.) And if you stop by the fundraising table to help some worthy causes, no one can accuse your heart of being two sizes too small. For more info, go to placitasholidaysale.com.
Turn stressful Black Friday shopping into a pain-free, colorful experience at the Winter Spanish Market—right here in Albuquerque. After 24 years in Santa Fe, this much-anticipated event is coming to Hotel Albuquerque (800 Rio Grande NW) for its silver anniversary on Nov. 29 and 30. The Market is a culturally rich one-stop shop for authentic New Mexico treasures. Featuring fantastic 17th and 18th century style Spanish Colonial art from artists of all ages, you’ll find everything from santos, tinwork, pottery and weaving to colcha and bone carving. The Winter Spanish Market happens Friday from 2pm to 9pm. Saturday’s fun starts at 9am with an artists’ procession from the Hotel Albuquerque Chapel. And with festive live music, artist demonstrations and savory native cuisine, you can avoid the mall and actually enjoy holiday shopping the day after Thanksgiving. Get tickets at the door for $6 to $10. More info at spanishcolonial.org.