Santa Baby, You’re Just Not Local Enough

I’ve had it. I am tired of shopping malls and shopping centres and shopping complexes, oh my. I’m done. They deteriorate my inner peace and rearrange my internal Feng Shui. I am a very patient person by nature (unless I’m in bulk barn) but during the holiday season it’s like peoples IQs drop 20 points the second they enter through the Eaton Centres doors. People push and shove. They hit you with their bags and scratch your face with their umbrellas. And the worst part is that it is ALWAYS followed by “i’m sorry”. UGH. “I’m Sorry” is not a freebie or a get out of jail card. You’re not allowed to hip check me into a wooden beam and smash your mosh pit of shopping bags into my side only to justify it with a big fat Canadian “sorry”. The only thing worse than this is that without thinking I apologize as well. Because I, God forbid, got into the psychopath’s way in the first place. The sorry exchange, a Canadian classic.

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It’s funny because I never actually go to a mall all year until the holidays, and this year i’ve decided to boycott the whole experience entirely. It’s better for my health.

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Instead, I have committed to purchasing all my gifts this year locally. This may seem like a daunting task but in fact, Toronto is bursting at the seams with Holiday craft shows and pop- up shops that highlight local creation and art. We are so lucky to have the opportunity to buy locally and to support the Canadian economy instead of placing our well- earned cash into the conglomerate’s (best word) pocket. Long story short: it is better for the environment, creates better working conditions, reduces unnecessary transport, and spending at local independent businesses generates more jobs and wealth in the local economy. Are you starting to get it?

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I want everyone to jump on the bandwagon with me (because nobody wants to ride alone), and so am providing a list of some of the most intriguing local pop-ups happening this December around our city.

Poppify Pop- Up Shop

A collaboration between BlogTO and Poppify, this part gallery, part hands- on shop, part party and part online store allows for some very talented Indie creators to showcase their work. Taking place in Kensington Market at Homerun (165 Augusta ave) from Dec 5-8, there will be something for everyone on your holiday list. From robotic puzzles to handcrafted snuggies, you never know what might catch your eye, and the name is pretty fun to say as well.

Toronto Christmas Market

For the 4th year running, the Distillery District transforms itself into a bustling European- style bazaar complete with hot drinks, christmas carollers and christmas trees of all sizes for purchase. Running from now until Dec 15, this is one market you don’t want to miss.

Artisans Gift Fair

Taking place at Tranzac (292 Brunswick Ave) in the Annex every weekend in December from 12pm-6pm, this pop- up homegrown gift sale has a wide selection of handcrafted items  including craft soaps, locally made jewellery, specialty soaps, cupcakes and almost everything else you can imagine.

CSI Holiday Pop Up Market

My favourite coffee shop is hosting a pop-up market this Wednesday December 11th from 11am to 5pm. Get there early to peruse and have best pick of ethically- made goods offered by local business’ and Toronto- based artists, artisans and entrepreneurs. Among the selection is salvaged wood furniture, handmade jewellery, chilli oil, sustainably made underwear and much much more.

Toronto Etsy Street Team 1st Annual Christmas Market

For the first time ever Etsy, the remarkable online database of independent designers, is hosting a pop-up market this Saturday December 14th at 103 Bellevue Avenue near Kensington Market from 11 to 5:30pm. There will be live music, free craft workshops and a surprise stop-in from Old St. Nick.

View the vendor lookbook of items online here: http://torontoetsystreetteam.blogspot.ca/p/blog-page.html

Toronto Young Designers Holiday 2013

This particular pop up is one of my favourites and we are lucky to have it come back for its 4th year. Taking place in the Brassaii courtyard at 461 King west, 19 local vendors from Toronto are invited to sell their jewellery, home decor, paper goods, furniture etc. With such amazingly raw talent, and professional wrapping on- site, why not make a day of it this Saturday December 7th from 10am- 3pm. Get all your shopping done in an hour and sit down for some delicious brunch inside. My treat (not).

Gladstone Fleamarket

If you ever needed an excuse to visit the Gladstone hotel this is it. Not only is the hotel itself a work of art, but this Saturday from 10pm- 4pm the hotel will transform into a local bazaar housing artist goods, reclaimed vintage, craft, design, jewellery, clothing and more. Check out their Facebook page for more info : https://www.facebook.com/events/439473562831341

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THINK LOCAL!

More Holiday craft shows can be found here, courtesy of the love of my life, BlogTo:

http://www.blogto.com/arts/2013/11/holiday_craft_shows_in_toronto_for_2013/

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