DIY Holiday: Pick up something unique for the nice (and naughty) on your list at these local holiday gift + craft fairs

Only 25 more shopping days left. . . . so begins the jolliest (and undeniably the most stressful) time of the year. Especially these days, with the economy wallowing in the shitter. So what's a cash-poor holiday shopper to do? Well, we suggest checking out the many handmade and DIY craft fairs popping up this week (and throughout the rest of the month.) Not only will you likely save some shekels (and put a few into the pockets of a few very grateful local artisans), but you'll be sure to find something unique for your mom/aunt/signifcant other/sibling/bus driver/favorite local vagrant/bossman/whomever. Plus, most of em' have free admission. Go forth, brave shoppers, and stimulate the local economy at these local fairs opening this weekend.

HANDMADE BU 2 | Boston University student-run DIY craft fair with original, handmade items ranging from knitwear to jewelery to vegan baked goods, and more. With live music, food, and more | Friday, December 2 | free | George Sherman Union, Boston University, 775 Comm Ave, Boston |

HARVARD SQUARE 26TH ANNUAL HOLIDAY CRAFT FAIR | Annually anticipated month-long event featuring juried artists and craftspeople from across New England selling everything from handmade wallets to retro threads, Guatemalan fair trade items, hand-blown glass and more | Saturday, Dec 3-Sunday, Dec 4; Friday, Dec 9-Sun, Dec 11; Friday, Dec 16-Sunday, Dec 18; Tuesday, Dec 20-Saturday, Dec 24 | Sat 10 am-7 pm + Sun noon-6 pm + weekdays 11:30 am-7 pm | free | First Unitarian Church, 3 Church St, Cambridge |

GATEWAY ARTS' 38TH ANNUAL HOLIDAY FAIR | 100 + talented artists with disabilities will sell their creations ranging from handmade jewelry to handpainted wrapping paper | Saturday, Dec 3 from 10 am-5 pm | free | Gateway Arts, 60-62 Harvard St, Brookline |

OLD SOUTH CHURCH CHRISTMAS CRAFT FAIR | Wares from 25 + local artisans including photographs, glass art, soaps, candles, jewelry, turned wood, note cards, textiles, artisanal foods, and more. Plus, hot cider! | Saturday, Dec 3 from 10 am to 4 pm | free | Gordon Chapel, Old South Church, 645 Boylston St, Boston | 617.536.1970

CULTURAL SURVIVAL BAZAAR | Support the livelihoods of the artisans, fair trade, and Cultural Survival's nonprofit work at this fair where you can snag unique gifts from artist hailing from Kenya to Equador, China to Peru | Saturday, Dec 3-Sunday, Dec 4 from 10 am to 6 pm | free | Harvard University 52 Oxford St, Cambridge | (check online for upcoming locations and times this month)

FIRST CHURCH JAMAICA PLAIN HOLIDAY FAIR | 50 + artists and crafters, live carolers, holiday baked goods, and more | Saturday, Dec 3 from 11 am to 5 pm | free | First Church, 6 Eliot St, Jamaica Plain |

BAZAAR BIZARRE BOSTON WINTER FAIR | Featuring unique, handmade items from artisans across New England including ceramics, baked goods, jewelry, housewares, fine art, clothing, and more. Plus, on-site letterpress poster printing | Sunday, Dec 4 from noon to 6 pm | BCA Cyclorama, 539 Tremont St, Boston | $1 |

MASSART HOLIDAY SALE | Not to be confused with Mass Art's Mass Market, this week-long fair features artwork from MassArt students and alumni including oil paintings, handblown glass, ceramics, and more. Students receive 70% of the proceeds | Monday, Dec 5-Saturday, Dec 10 from 10 am to 7 pm | free | Tower Lobby, 621 Huntington Ave, Boston |

SCHOOL OF THE MUSEUM OF FINE ARTS' ANNUAL SALE | The 31st annual sale features 4,000 + works of art in all media from both students and alumni. Sponsored by the Phoenix and Stuff! |  Thursday, Dec 8-Sunday, Dec 11 from 10 am to 8 pm | 230 the Fenway, Boston |

And coming up.....

8TH ANNUAL SOWA HOLIDAY MARKET | Featuring 80 artists and designers from around New England selling indie goods including handbags, jewelry, pottery, letterpress stationary, silk-screened t-shirts, baby clothes, re-purposed wool accessories, and more | Saturday, Dec 10 from 11 am to 7 pm | $5 | Cathedral High School, 74 Union Park St, Boston |

HOLLY FAIR 2011 | Cambridge's oldest craft fair features affordable items including jewelry, hats, bags, sweaters, scarves, natural beauty products, handmade soaps, ceramics, stained glass, ornaments, photographs, cards, prints, paintings, food, and more |  Saturday, Dec 10 from 10 am-5:30 pm and Sunday, Dec 11 from noon to 5 pm | free | Cambridge Center for Adult Ed's Brattle House, 42 Brattle St, Cambrdge |

MASSART'S MASS MARKET | DIY flea market with wares from artists, crafters, jewelry designers, photographers, record sellers, local bands, button makers, bookbinders, DJs, vegan and vegetarian bakers, and more | Sunday, Dec 11 from noon to 6 pm | $1 | Mass College of Art & Design, 621 Huntington Ave, Boston |

HOLIDAY ARTS & CRAFT FAIR | The Footlight Club and Uforge Gallery host this fair featuring 40 Boston-based artisans selling handmade crafts, art, jewelry, homegoods, and more | Saturday, Dec 17 from 11 am-5 pm | free | Uforge Gallery, 767 Centre St, Jamaica Plain |


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