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Holiday markets: Alternative gift options 

click to enlarge Ceramic vessels by Diana Kersey - COURTESY PHOTO
  • Courtesy photo
  • Ceramic vessels by Diana Kersey

Those wanting to avoid the chaos of Black Friday or who would simply like to present a loved one with a less commercial Christmas gift this year have an abundance of options. San Antonio is host to many holiday markets that feature unique and eclectic gifts from local, regional, national, and international artisans. Shoppers can meet and support local artists through their purchases, as well as make out with some truly one-of-a-kind gifts for the holidays. Here are a few of the events that are coming up.

Garage of Good Holiday Market
Garage of Good was founded by two women looking to give San Antonio some spice. Shoppers can enjoy live music and browse through jewelry, food, textiles, and clothing. Locally-acclaimed artists like Mari Sawtelle and Material Recovery will be selling their work at his event. Fresh juice, coffee, and tamales will be available from Revolucion Coffee + Juice. Free, 10am-5pm Sat Dec 1, Lions Field Park, 2809 Broadway, garageofgood.com.

Hecho a Mano
The 26th annual Hecho a Mano will feature work from over 40 local, regional, and national artists. Goods available consist of jewelry, apparel, metalwork, paintings, sculptures, and ornaments. Browse for eclectic and never-before-seen Christmas gifts of traditional or contemporary origin. The opening reception on Nov. 30 will include refreshments. Free admission for those who bring two canned food items to benefit the Inner City Development Food Bank on Dec. 1-2. $15, 6-9pm Fri Nov 30; $2 or 2 canned items, 11am-6pm Sat-Sun Dec 1-2, Guadalupe Gallery, 723 S Brazos, (210) 271-3151, guadalupeculturalarts.org.

Mercado de Paz/International Peace Market
More art than a craft fair, the Mercado de Paz features work from 100 artists, 25 being international master artists in their native countries. Shoppers can check out pottery, rugs, and textiles that were created from start to finish by the artists themselves. Local artists will showcase handmade jewelry, sculptures, paintings, handbags, and more. Las Tesoros de San Antonio, Eva Ybarra y su Conjunto, and Azul Barrientos will provide entertainment for the event. Food and refreshments will be sold. Free, 10am-6pm Fri-Sat, Nov 23-24, Esperanza Peace and Justice Center, 922 San Pedro, (210) 228-0201, esperanzacenter.org.

Mockingbird Holiday Market
Contemporary fine craft is the highlight at Mockingbird Holiday Market. Visitors can expect to see gallery-quality items at affordable prices. Glass, ceramics, sculpture, wearable art, and furniture will be available from local award-winning artists. Artists featured include Lorena Angulo, Jane Bishop, Paula Cox, Jennifer Datchuk, Ryan Takaba, Mary Fischer, Diana Kersey, Mary Maynor, Justin Parr, Laura Quinones, Rainey, Kathleen Trenchard, and Clare Watters. Free, 5:30-9pm Fri Dec 7 & 10am-6pm Sat Dec 8, Blue Star Arts Complex, 1420 S Alamo, Ste 112, (210)573-7418.

River Walk Holiday Arts & Craft Show
Nothing beats the beauty of the River Walk during the holidays. Enjoy a stroll and browse through handmade jewelry, pottery, and fine art from many local vendors. When you're done shopping stop by one of the dozens of restaurants located on the River Walk, or head to the Rivercenter Mall to catch a movie at the IMAX. Free, 11am-11pm Fri-Sun Dec 7-9 , River Walk, 602 E Commerce, thesanantonioriverwalk.com/events/holiday-arts-crafts-show.

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