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Weekend Watch

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Holiday craft shows and bazaars [Pictures]

If your experience is that holiday shopping is a drag, then you've never been to a holiday craft bazaar, where artists and crafters offer unique gift ideas and holiday ornaments that are happily off the beaten path. Sure, you can buy Aunt Mildred a toaster, cousin Kevin a flannel shirt and your BFF a wall calendar, but come on -- you can do better. These shows offer hand-crafted, often one-of-a-kind items guaranteed to make your friends and loved ones feel special. "Hand-made is really making a comeback," says Kacey Stafford, president of the Charm City Craft Mafia, which is holding its 14th annual Holiday Heap on Dec. 14 at St. John's Church. "People are interested in buying things that were made locally and supporting local artists and crafters, rather then something that is mass-produced in the hundreds of thousands." Here are 10 shows leading up to Christmas that offer gifts with that personal touch. And by the way, there's nothing wrong with picking up a few things for yourself while you're there. -- Chris Kaltenbach
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