Christmas Time Pretty Crafty

Shop local San Antonio and reinvest your money locally

Shopping locally fuels the economy and is the best return on investment in local businesses. For every dollar you spend in a local business, estimates are that 3-5 times as much money will be reinvested in the community than if you spent the same dollar at a faceless big box national chain store.

Getting to be that time of year again - time to start looking around for Christmas presents for friends and family alike. Being that I am a working freelance writer, my income stream is sufficient but erratic. Jobs and paychecks arrive without much warning, so finding that perfect gift is a little more complicated for me than just popping down to the mall on the Friday after Thanksgiving and giving the credit card a work-out. Even duplicating the process at Walmart or Target isn't much of a satisfactory solution because I'm not all that keen on loading up the family and loved ones with cheap Chinese-manufactured junk.

Americans need jobs too - and this year I'd especially like to support local micro-businesses, hobbyists and artists, who make neat, tasteful, pleasingly-designed stuff and retail their wares at shows, fairs, market-days and craft shows. Starting about this time of year, there'll be any number of week-end Christmas markets and fairs in and around San Antonio. Who needs to get up in the wee hours of the day after Thanksgiving and shuffle off to the ginormous Big Box store in your sweat-pants and slippers just to stand in line with a couple of dozen other early risers, waiting for the doors to open. Instead, check out some of the local market days and Christmas fairs scheduled over the next four or five weekends.

New Braunfels starts off the shopping season with their Weihnachtsmarkt, or German Christmas Market at the New Braunfels Civic Center, over the weekend of November 19-21. This extravaganza benefits the Sophienburg Museum. Advanced admission tickets for one day or for the duration of the Christmas Market are available at the museum itself and a handful of other locations.


Fredericksburg also has a Christmas fair, the St. Nikolausmarkt, which runs for two days; this year it will be December 3-4, on the Market Square around the reconstructed Vereinskirche: food, shopping, Christmas lights and gluhwein - spiced hot wine to take the chill off. Admission is charged for the St. Nicolausmarkt. St. Nikolausmarkt - A Traditional German Christmas Market at the Marktplatz in Fredericksburg Texas. Friday, December 3, 2010 2:00pm-9:00pm & Saturday, December 4, 2010 10:00am-7:00pm

Even tiny Gruene gets into the act: it may be mellowing gently since the last century, but they have a Christmas Market also: again, the first weekend in December. Gruene is sweet at any time of the year - but Christmas is something special.

Check out Christmas on the Square, in Goliad: it's also set for the first Saturday in December, December 4th. The square around the old courthouse is filled with booths and tables, with regional crafters selling everything from jewelry to BBQ tools with hand-turned antler handles. We were there last year, in time for the doggie costume contest, and Santa arriving, proudly mounted in the saddle of a "rein-steer."

Boerne does it one better than Fredericksburg, Gruene and Goliad - out there, they will have two weekends of Christmas shopping, December 10th to the 12th - that's the Holiday Christmas Market, and then the Cowboy Christmas Market on the following weekend, the 17th to the 19th. Boerne's market is held on the town square - an open space anchored by a bandstand and edged with tall pecan trees.

And if driving out of town on weekends is just not your cuppa gluhwein - there's plenty going on over the holidays in San Antonio!

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Give the big box places a rest: support your local San Antonio businesses and artists!

Christmas Shopping for a San Antonio Home?