We’re solidly in the middle of the busiest shopping weeks of the year. Everyone’s on the hunt for the flashiest, most Insta-worthy gift. As holiday consumerism dictates, the onslaught of saccharine holiday commercials will persuade you to buy the latest trending thing for your loved ones, only for them to forget about it by the first fiscal quarter and for you to feel like another cog in the corporate machine. It’s enough to rattle anyone’s jingle bells.
Instead of falling prey to this familiar cycle, think outside the box this year and try shopping local. You’re in the right city to do it: Savannah has a thriving community of artists making beautiful things to sell, as evidenced by the sheer volume of holiday markets over the next few weeks. We’ve gathered them all for you here.
Skip the big box stores and buy a unique gift that your loved one will adore.
12/4: Kringle Holiday Shopping Market @ Plantation Club, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
The Landings Art Association hosts this all-day shindig with its artists, whose work spans all media from acrylic paintings to wood turning to jewelry. The event will benefit arts education in Chatham County.
12/5: Downtown Design District Holiday Walk, 5-8:30 p.m.
The Downtown Design District comprises a few blocks on Whitaker just north of Forsyth Park and includes Roots Up Gallery, Custard Boutique, One Fish Two Fish, and Location Gallery, among others. It’ll be a block party of sorts, so wear your walking shoes and expect fun deals at your favorite places. Rumor has it Big Bon Pizza will be set up in the vicinity. Check the Facebook page for Downtown Design District for a full list of participating businesses.
12/6: First Friday in Starland, 6-9 p.m.
There are lots of chances to shop at the last First Friday of the decade. First, the Street Fair outside includes work by Tate Ellington, Lemon Limeade Crafts, Nea Hanna, and Yarrow Wood Jewelry, all making for great gifts. Inside, members of Sulfur exhibit their work, all priced at $200 and under. It’s an eclectic mix this year, with work spanning fibers, illustration, photography and more. You’re sure to find something to give the art lover in your life.
12/6: Holiday Book Fair @ Henny Penny, 5-8 p.m.
Set to coincide with First Friday in Starland, the first ever Holiday Book Fair will be a sure hit. E Shaver will sell books and knick-knacks that are perfect for holiday giving, and Henny Penny will have craft time for the kids that can turn into great gifts.
12/6: City Market Open House, 6-9 p.m.
Before City Market turns into the hub for nightlife, stroll the block and shop the business inside, like A.T. Hun Gallery, and the studios of artists like David Laughlin and Emily Tillman. There will be carolers and luminaria outside to propel you into the holiday spirit.
12/6: Fandom Under $50 @ Neighborhood Comics, 7 p.m.
This is the reception of an affordable pop-art show by fans, for fans. Find the perfect gift for the comic lover in your life.
12/7: Art Market @ Starland Yard, 11 a.m.-9 p.m.
Cedar House Gallery, the multi-use space on Abercorn, hosts a day full of artists at Starland Yard. The lineup is TBA, so keep an eye on their Facebook page for any updates.
12/7: Holiday Artist Collective @ Photopoint Gallery, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
It’s the fifth anniversary of the Holiday Artist Collective, a show of local and regional artists in Richmond Hill. The lineup includes some fantastic artists outside Savannah’s city limits, like Paul Downs, Heather Young, and Joy Dunigan.
12/7: Merry Art Market @ Savannah’s Clay Spot, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
This is a fantastic holiday pottery sale by the artists of Savannah’s Clay Spot, who will be there for a meet and greet.
12/7: Makers Market @ Moon River Brewing Company, 11 a.m.-6 p.m.
Makers Market Savannah returns with a whole new lineup of artists.
12/7: Annual Pop-Up Shop @ Bonaventure Blues, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
Over on East Victory, Bonaventure Blues sells coastal-themed gifts and goods. Find oyster shell art and paintings among the participating vendors.
12/7: Holiday Market @ Tybee American Legion, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
One of Tybee’s only holiday markets this season, this market’s got it going on with a vendor market basket raffle, chili and Dawgs, and a variety of art and goods from artists like Tiffany O’Brien.
12/8: Craft Scout Holiday Market @ American Legion Post 135 Ballroom, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
The Craft Scout Holiday Market, now in its sixth year, shows some lovin’ to local handmade businesses. Featured this year are Abode Studios, The Small Creative, and RePurpose Savannah, and other vendors include Stella Ranae and Jennifer Kelley Huskey.
12/8: Sip + Shop @ Dancing Dogs Yoga, 4-7 p.m.
After a special yoga class with Shelley Lowther, shop in the boutique for good deals for the yogis on your list.
12/13: Savannah Night Market @ Big Bon Bodega
Following the first market in the courtyard behind Foxy, the Savannah Night Market brings an eclectic mix of vendors for a pop-up market, including Drainbowland, Claire Parrish Pottery, and Bad Witch Nails. Inside the bodega, Jason B. James will have his photography on display in collaboration with Pat Crump, Alexandria Hall, Julianna Lupacchino, and Jose Ray.
12/13: Holiday Soiree @ Laney Contemporary, 5 p.m.
Artists in Susan Laney’s roster, including Will Penny, Katherine Sandoz and Elizabeth Winnel, sell their art alongside vendors like the Yaupon Tea House and Lovelane Designs. If you’re looking for a swank, artsy gift, put this at the top of your to-do list.
12/14: Frond and Fern Holiday Market @ Knights of Columbus, noon-4 p.m.
Frond and Fern hosts pop-up markets all around the city. This market at the Knights of Columbus promises unique artisan goods, but the list of vendors isn’t available, so show up and take a chance.
12/21: Evening Christmas Market @ Lighthouse Baptist Church, 4-7 p.m.
Put on by the Islands Farmers’ Market, expect the same artisan and specialty food vendors that grace their market each week. There are also plenty of events for the kids, including an appearance by the Big Man himself.