Christmas is absolutely my favourite time of year. Once I’ve overcome the shock of seeing card displays put up in the middle of our very British summer, the season makes me want tins of sweets in jewel-coloured foils, fairy lights and wreaths and to find those wonderful little touches that will make my family and friends feel appreciated.
I love projects and handmade bits and bobs that you know have taken a little more effort to create. For the past three years I have kicked myself upon realising that the majority of those big makes would mean a novice crafter like me should have started much earlier than our high street’s crazy midsummer Christmas.
Fortunately, there are much more organised and talented crafters out there that will make your present stash look even better than Kirstie Allsop’s efforts! And this isn’t just about Christmas, the harsh weather of a seaside autumn is reason enough to warrant the warm feeling that arises from giving gifts and time and sharing food and drink.
Find yourself a craft fair, farmers’ market, Christmas fair, table top sale, school fête, handcraft market… there are so many lovely opportunities to pick up crafted, beautiful gifts and Christmas fayre.
I’ll give you some tips…
This runs each Thursday until December and is a great place to pick up wonderful food. Think cheese and chutneys, Christmas wreaths and perhaps some mistletoe?
Sixth Form Christmas Craft Fair
Traders have been invited to join the annual fair hosted by BTEC Art and Design students. It’s supporting Cancer Research and SANDS charities. Saturday 22 November 10am to 3pm, Blackpool Sixth Form, Blackpool Old Road.
Dotty Delightful is back at the Winter Gardens with vintage, hand crafts, entertainment and artisan food. It is on Saturday 29 and Sunday 30 November in the Pavilion at Blackpool Winter Gardens. Entry costs £1.
Fleetwood Marine Hall – Christmas Market
This promises the ‘best of independent traders’ and lots of fun festive activities for the kids while you shop. It’s on Sunday 30 November from 10am to 4pm. Free entry.
Crafty Vintage at Brockholes
Vintage, retro, collectibles and handmade wares, accompanied by artisan and street food, crafty vintage cabaret, a cocktail/mocktail bar and a children’s crafty corner. This will be on 28, 29 and 30 November at Brockholes Nature Reserve.
Ribby Hall Christmas and Craft Fayre
Crafts, gifts and entertainment washed down with a carvery and mulled wine! This takes place in the Woodlands Suite on 30 November from 11am to 3pm. Entry costs £1.
Farmer Parr’s Christmas Fair
Expect festively dressed animals and crafty gifts. This is one for the children!
Farmer Parr’s is on Rossall Lane, Fleetwood and the fair is on Tuesday 2 December from 6pm to 9pm.
St John’s Square Christmas Market
The Christmas fair and fairground in Blackpool town centre opens at the end of November and goes on until January, encompassing the Christmas light switch on and regular carolling, entertainment and food.
How could we talk about quality handmade gifts without mentioning Charabanc? Here you will find handmade jewellery, Blackpool-themed and vintage gifts, novelty items and cards.
Find Charabanc on Coronation Street, Blackpool. Open Saturdays and Sundays.
Set in the old Regent Cinema on Church Street, this market boasts vintage and antique items and collectables over two floors with tea rooms. It’s open daily from 10am to 4.30pm (4pm on Sundays).
Thorntons-Cleveleys Farmers Market
This runs on the second Saturday of each month (except January) from 9am to 1pm at Marsh Mill, Thornton-Cleveleys. Visit the Kiln House Gallery while you’re there to purchase original art and handmade cards.
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