I thought "Black Friday" referred to the day most retailers finally get into the black on their balance sheets for the year. But apparently its meaning has been changed to be mass hysteria and mob mentality while spending all night after Thanksgiving dinner waiting in line in the cold at a store that pays its employees next to nothing and gives them no health insurance so that you can get the same thing made in China as your next door neighbor for the same price they'll spend on it a week from now, because after all, he who dies with the most stuff wins, right? Well, if you are as sick of this as I am, chuck the whole lot of it and shop on Sunday at Ballard Farmers Market for the holidays. Trust me, your neighbor will not have this handmade pair of recycled gold earrings from Port Townsend's Itali Lambertini, above. Ballard Farmers Market is full of locally-made, handcrafted, unique, beautiful, fun, special gift ideas direct from the people -- yes, real people -- who made them.
Choose from a diverse group of local artisans over the next month at Ballard Farmers Market, like Suzanne de la Torre's handmade knitwear, for a gift that will not only be special and unique, but will also have meaning and a story and a face.
You'll find great, and great smelling, stocking stuffers throughout the Market, like this handcrafted bar soap from Brown Butterfly Aromatherapy. If you are tired of that harsh, mass-produced soap and are looking for a gentle, refreshing change, local soap from Ballard Farmers Market will make your day, and that of those loved ones of yours whose stockings you stuff.
Golden Harvest honey sticks come in a variety of flavors to please the palates of kids of all ages. And hey, while your kids may not appreciate a bar of good soap in their stockings, they will definitely enjoy a honey stick!
Snooter-friends by Snooter-doots will put a smile on the face of even the grumpiest person on your gift list. Each Snooter-friend is made by hand and is absolutely unique. Heck, buy one or two for yourself to dress up your holiday home. Really, I think we all need a felt carrot in the house, right?
Don't forget your furry friends. Several vendors throughout the Market have goodies for your critters, like these dog chews from Olsen Farms.
So make sure you fully explore your Ballard Farmers Market, as well as the many locally-owned shops in Ballard that neighbor the Market, for great gift ideas, like these beautiful bracelets from Solstice Designs, that will tell your loved ones that you actually put some thought into their gift. Anyone can follow orders from the talking heads on TV and buy stuff from the Big Box stores that will be forgotten in mere weeks and broken almost as quickly. Give a gift that will be remembered for a lifetime.
Oh, and, of course, there is still plenty of great food to be had from our many farmers, fishers, ranchers and food artisans. For a full accounting of what food you will find this week at your Ballard Farmers Market, click on "What's Fresh Now!" in the upper right-hand corner.