Time to shop at Sonoma County’s many wonderful holiday craft fairs. Whether it’s Christmas, or Hanukkah, or Kwanzaa, Sonoma’s artisans sell: most precious handmade presents, from fluffy soft and beautiful sweaters, to homemade confections, to lovely knickknacks and lots of wine souvenirs.
Dickens at the Finley Center, Santa Rosa
This gathering of gifties is so nifty that it has its own YouTube video. See something special you like? Just freeze-frame the video, print the picture and hand it to your Santa. But it’s actually more fun to go browse in person, and take in the near-endless joy of 70 booths brimming with handcrafted creations, shown by the artists themselves. Some highlights include pottery, hand decorated candles, fine jewelry, holiday decorations and hand painted wine glasses. As a bonus, attendees can enjoy food from Bruno’s on Fourth of Santa Rosa, plus live music and visits from Santa himself. Finley Community Center, 2060 W. College Ave., Santa Rosa, 707-543-3737.
Annual Holiday Open House at Luther Burbank Home & Gardens, Santa Rosa
The gorgeous gardens are worth a visit all on their own, spanning acres across a lavish park at Santa Rosa and Sonoma avenues. But an even better excuse is this festive community tradition, when Luther Burbank’s historic home is decked out in Victorian holiday finery, and guests can wander about enjoying live music, tea and cookies, the museum, a fun kid’s craft center and of course, the shopping wonderland gift shop of all things good and garden-y. Luther Burbank Home & Gardens, Santa Rosa & Sonoma Avenues, downtown Santa Rosa, 707-524-5445
Annual Occidental Community Council Holiday Craft Faire, Occidental
This arts & crafts bazaar not only lets you shop for gifts, but you can win free gifts, too. More than three dozen local and regional artists come together in a lovely showcase of unique crafts, many with holiday themes, and they also add special pieces to the traditional bucket raffle (where you chose the prize you want to win).There’s plenty for the whole family to enjoy, with live entertainment, tasty organic food from Aioli Deli of Forestville, and jolly appearances by Mr. Claus. In a spirit of the season touch, proceeds from the sale are returned to the community through programs funded by the Community Council. Occidental Community Center, 3920 Bohemian Hwy., Occidental, 707-874-9407, www.occidental-ca.org.
Holiday Hohoho Down
It’s Craftaluma, known as the craft show of the year, and it takes over the Petaluma Veterans Memorial Hall with more than 1,000 attendees turning out to explore the delights of hundreds of artists (or, as its organizers say, it’s “chock-full of crafty DIY wares so meaty in creativity, you’ll need a machete to wend a swath through our talented vendors to help you with your shopping list and be creatively inspired”). Adding to the party is live music, and how cool, cupcakes. Petaluma Veterans Memorial Building, 1094 Petaluma Blvd S., Petaluma
Sebastopol Center for the Arts Members Show & Art Sale, Sebastopol
A nice extra treat to the annual non-juried SCA Members Exhibit is that the public can view and then purchase paintings, sculptures and much more, since all medias are eligible for the competition and come complete with price tags. Sebastopol Center for the Arts, 707-829-4797, www.sebarts.org/.
Check the events calendar on www.sonomacounty.com for this year's dates, venues and info.