Handcrafted holiday items--ranging from fresh-baked banana bread to toy wooden windmills to crocheted sweaters--have started appearing at gift bazaars around the San Gabriel Valley.
Prices vary widely--from 50 cents per gift at a "children only" boutique in South Pasadena to $400 for an antique jade pendant at the Pacific Asia Museum's 1990 Winter Bazaar.
Here are some of the possibilities:
The Cottage Co-op Nursery School's 16th annual Holiday Bazaar & Children's Faire features children's wooden toys, including windmills, puzzles and trucks, and artisan-crafted items such as hand-painted toddler sweat suits; a children's shopping center where everything costs 50 cents; face painting, visits with Santa and performances in a puppet theater; a bakery with several varieties of banana nut bread and mandel brot ; the War Memorial Building, 435 Fair Oaks Ave., South Pasadena; 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday.
The Oneonta Congregational Church will be selling Christmas decorations and hand-knitted clothes at its Christmas boutique: tree ornaments and wreaths, crocheted sweaters, scarves, gloves and booties for adults and children; 1515 Garfield Ave., South Pasadena; today, Dec. 5, 12 and 19, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., and Sunday, Dec. 9, and 16, 11:20 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The Arise Academy, a nonprofit arts school in Pomona, will hold a Winter Wonderland, a combination of choral concerts and gift and food boutiques, including the Nutcracker Sweet Shop, which will sell fudge, fruitcakes and tea cakes; 3131 N. Garey Ave., Pomona; today through Dec. 9; 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Monday through Friday; 1 to 9:30 p.m. Saturday; 1 to 8:30 p.m. Sunday; no admission to shops; concert admission is $9, $6 for seniors, $4 for children.
The Sequoyah School in Pasadena is holding its annual fruit basket sale: fruits, nuts and tea cakes, arranged in large wicker baskets; benefits school scholarship fund; orders must be placed by Dec. 7 by calling the school at (818) 795-4351 or stopping by 535 S. Pasadena Ave., Pasadena; delivery available for orders of 10 or more; ($25 per basket, $20 for 10 or more).
The Pacific Asia Museum will hold its 1990 Winter Bazaar featuring antique jewelry, ceramics, and children's toys and dolls donated by friends of the museum; 46 N. Los Robles Ave., Pasadena; noon to 4:30 p.m., Saturday.
Holy Family Roman Catholic Church will hold its annual Parents' Guild Christmas Boutique featuring homemade baked goods, stocking-stuffers and gift items, many of which were made by parents; admission is free; all proceeds will benefit Holy Family School children; Holy Family Parish Hall, 1519 Fremont Avenue, South Pasadena; noon to 8 p.m. Saturday, and 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday.
Temple Shaarei Tikvah Sisterhood will present its Hanukkah Boutique, featuring holiday items such as menorahs and candles; professional artisans will display jewelry, crafts and ceramics; assorted children's books; 550 S. 2nd Ave., Arcadia; 9:30 to 11 a.m. Sunday.
Temple Beth Israel will hold its annual gift bazaar featuring many hand-crafted religious and holiday gift items; 3033 N. Towne Ave., Pomona; 8:30 a.m. Sunday.
The Greek Orthodox Philoptochos Society of St. Anthony in Pasadena will sell wreathes and ornaments at its annual boutique and luncheon, which also features a fashion show and entertainment from the Citrus Singers; Westin Bonaventure Hotel, California Room, 404 S. Figueroa St., Los Angeles; ticket information: (818) 449-6943; boutique opens at 11 a.m. Saturday, luncheon begins at 12:30 p.m. (luncheon is $50; boutique admission is free).
The Arcadia Stroke Club will hold its annual Christmas Boutique featuring crocheted gifts and other handmade holiday items; Hospitality Room of Glendale Federal Savings & Loan, 100 S. 1st St., Arcadia; 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Dec. 5 and 12.
Swissler is a Los Angeles free-lance writer.