The Coast Collective’s Gifts and Wishes show runs from Nov. 26 to Dec. 21 and features arts-oriented gifts for Christmas.

Christmas craft lovers get ready to celebrate

Holiday craft fairs will soon start around West Shore and beyond

Step into any mall or big box store on the West Shore and you can’t miss it: Christmas season is upon us.

You can see it in the sparkling plastic decorations hanging from every cash register, or even on Twitter, where a full-scale revolt is raging, as Starbucks has decided not to bring their gingerbread latte to British Columbia this year.

Don’t think I’m a grinch – I love the whole corporate Christmas production. But amidst all the garlands and gift receipts, don’t forget to look to the many talented local artisans here on the West Shore for some unique, handmade and often one-of-a-kind items.

I bring this up now (I know, it’s early) because November seems to be the unofficial craft month across Victoria, with some particularly fantastic offerings happening out in our neck of the woods.

Craft fairs allow even the unco-ordinated among us to weave a handmade touch into our Christmas gifting. Here are some of the upcoming craft fairs on the West Shore or nearby venues:

Juan de Fuca Arts & Crafts Guild Christmas Craft Sale: Free admission and parking at this West Shore institution – the Guild has been hosting this fair for nearly 40 years now. Happening Nov. 8 and 9 at St. Joseph’s School, corner of Burnside Road West and McKenzie Avenue in Saanich.

Creative Craft Fair: Head on over to Pearkes Recreation Centre from Nov. 7 to 9 for this large craft fair that offers live music, food and door prizes in addition to some really great crafts.

Highlands Winter Craft Fair: A great excuse to check out Caleb Pike Heritage Park if you haven’t already. The park is the location for this lovely little craft fair. Nov. 16, free admission.

Royal Canadian Legion #91 Christmas Craft Fair: A classic style craft fair that includes afternoon tea, a silent auction and a good old-fashioned meat draw. Nov. 16 at the Legion at 761 Station Avenue in Langford. Free admission.

Metchosin Hall Arts & Crafts Sale: 25 tables of handmade items including pottery and carving. I hear there will be some pretty great fudge there too! Nov. 22 and 23 at Metchosin Hall. Free admission and refreshments.

Luxton Market: This monthly market turns festive for its Nov. 26 edition. Over 35 vendors and free admission to boot. 1040 Marwood Ave.

Gifts and Wishes at the Coast Collective: Stop by the Coast Collective between Nov. 26 and Dec. 21 to pick up something lovely and local from this gorgeous non-profit gallery and gift shop. Free admission.

Johanna Henderson is a volunteer with the West Shore Arts Council and principal with Shelter Creative Services.