Getting through the holiday season as a college student is complicated. Once finals are over, I find it hard to think about anything than other than free home-cooked meals and taking time off to eat, drink and be merry. However, I remember the overwhelming feelings of guilt that hit me when I came home after my first semester of college to find Christmas presents when I had nothing to give my friends and family in return.
Luckily, as an art major, I was able to put something together on a dime and not Grinch up the season of generosity and goodwill. Luckily for everyone else, December in San Antonio offers plenty of chances to score excellent holiday gifts for your family if you’re on a tight budget and are looking to branch outside of the Target stocking stuffer section.
QUEER THE CHEER HOLIDAY MARKET
This is a small, one-night-only annual craft show put on by the San Antonio Queer Art Collective. It usually falls on the first week of December and supports small businesses and artists from our local LGBTQ+ community. It takes place downtown at the Southwest Workers Union and has lots of art and handmade gifts ranging from paintings and prints to jewelry, soaps and candles. The event also plays host to live music, poetry readings, food and a bar. Grab some friends, grab a drink and get shopping!
HENCHO A MANO
On Dec. 2 and 3, stop by the Galeria Guadalupe for the annual artisan mercado. This is a 30-year-old San Antonio tradition that features both fine art and handmade craft items that are both produced and sold by local artists. You can find both traditional and contemporary styles of work at this event. There is a door charge for this event, but it’s only $2 or two canned goods to be donated to the Inner-City Development Food Bank. Shopping here benefits the community! The vendors are open from 12–6 p.m. every day.
HOLIDAY ARTISAN SHOW
Dec. 8–10 you can find a sprawling market lining the San Antonio River Walk with friendly artists and artisans ready to sell jewelry, pottery, art and unique clothing. This event is free and open to the public and gives you another chance to support local makers and small businesses.
VICTORIAN HOLIDAY OPEN AIR MARKET
If finals have you pushing off your Christmas shopping to the last minute, this event is for you. On Dec. 16 and 17, Victoria’s Black Swan Inn hosts a craft market in and around their beautiful historic building. In addition to home goods, crafts and art, you can find oddities, collectables, toys and pet gifts. This event also hosts entertainers, food, drinks and face painters for those looking to unwind with friends before hitting the road for the holidays.
Holidays are for being with loved ones and taking some time off to rest. We celebrate a myriad of different holidays during the break but a universal theme can be found in the way we treat each other with kindness as we shift into the New Year.
Remember, it doesn’t take much to show you care and if you want to buy a gift, you can support the San Antonio community as well.