Some soul-saving markets to explore this gift-giving season 

click to enlarge Esperanza Center’s Peace Market features handmade gifts and craft dedicated to paz. - COURTESY PHOTO
  • Courtesy photo
  • Esperanza Center’s Peace Market features handmade gifts and craft dedicated to paz.

Trying to find the perfect gift for that special someone, but none of the free-trade-zone-inspired piles of plastic doing the trick for you? Holding out hope that you can sustain that commercial-free corner of your soul through the increasingly crass holiday season? Don't fret! We found you some positively liberating shopping alternatives for you.

Art-i-copia
Drawing festive crowds tracking one-of-a-kind items, Art-i-copia fills the Gallery Shop and environs at Southwest School with a cornucopia of artistic and creative gifts every December. Local, high-end craftsmen exhibit alongside artists from across the States. Free; 9:30am-5pm Sat, Dec 10; Southwest School of Art, Ursuline Campus, 300 Augusta, swschool.org.

Bazar Sábado
Brilliant Guatemalan textiles, glowing Chinese jade, lustrous Mexican silver: SAMA celebrates their final year of Bazar Sábado with an eclectic selection of merchandise certain to spread cheer to everyone your gift list. Complimentary buñuelos, coffee, and hot chocolate available for early birds, as well as delicious Beto's empanadas for purchase mid-day to keep your blood pumping. $3; 10am-4pm Sat, Dec 10; San Antonio Museum of Art, 200 W Jones, samuseum.org.

Blue Starry Night Holiday Sale
That blank space on the wall sucking you into an uncomfortable abyss? Find contemporary art and artist-designed ornaments at alluring prices to fill the gap with holiday shine. Free; 5-9pm Thu, Dec 8; LoneStar Studios, 107 Lone Star, bluestarart.org.

Hecho a Mano / Made by Hand
Fusing traditional and contemporary arts and crafts, Hecho a Mano celebrates a quarter century presenting San Antonio with a diverse range of handcrafted beaux arts such as ceramics, jewelry, woodwork, fiber arts, furniture, metalwork, clothing, and more. Opening reception: $10; 6-9pm Fri, Dec 2. $2 (or two canned food items); 10am-6pm Sat, Dec 3; 11am-6pm Sun, Dec 4; Guadalupe Gallery, 723 S Brazos, (210) 271-3151, guadalupeculturalarts.org.

Kristkindlmarkt
This traditional outdoor market with imported German items, apparel, decorations, pottery, trinkets, and quilts may provide the right dose on frosty German-tinged holiday craft to get you in gear. A special visit from Nikolaus (the oompah version of St. Nick) is expected to entertain children of all ages, while lip-smacking German cuisine will be available for purchase including erbsensuppe (split pea soup), bratwurst mit sauerkraut, kaffee und kuchen (coffee and cake), gluehwein (warm spied wine) and bier (uh, beer), and heisse und kalte getraenke (hot and cold drinks). Free; 10am-5pm Sat, Dec 3; Beethoven Maennerchor, 422 Pereida St. beethovenmaennerchor.com.

Peace Market
Unabashed by corporate clones and their Black Friday gimmicks, Peace Market returns with their culturally illuminated alternative to crowded malls for those looking for handmade gifts and crafts centered around peace, fair play, cultural diversity, and ecological awareness. Local and international merchants and artisans. Free; 10am-6pm Fri, Nov 25-Sat, Nov 26; Esperanza Peace and Justice Center, 922 San Pedro, http://www.esperanzacenter.org.

River Walk Holiday Arts & Crafts Show
Take in the lights of the River Walk as you stretch your legs finding bona fide one-of-a-kind pieces of jewelry, pottery, or fine art. Free; 11am-11pm Fri, Dec 9-Sun, Dec 11; River Walk Extension near the Chamber of Commerce, 602 E Commerce, thesanantonioriverwalk.com

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