4 Free and Fun Events Where You Can Buy Unique Holiday Gifts This Week
Small Business Weekend
People, come on. If you're reading this from the line at Best Buy or wherever, just stop. We know the things in there will be cheap. But you probably don't need them. Go to one of these events instead.
Give the gift of something made by Southern California Etsy entrepreneurs
Battling the hot greed of Black Friday that evaporates into the cold comfort of the following day, the SoCal Etsy Guild and the L.A. Girl join forces to find some warmth in the human touch of Small Business Weekend. The Guild, which started as a clearinghouse for the homey and the handmade, now encompasses a crack team of local artisans. Things to make and do: workshops, small business seminars, food trucks, kids’ activities, live creation of art and music and the “Make Your Own Bloody Mary Bar.” Arts District Flea, 453 Colton St., dwntwn.; Fri., Nov. 28, 1:30-9:30 p.m.; Sat., Nov. 29, 11 a.m.-11 p.m.; Sun., Nov. 30, 11 a.m.-7 p.m.; free, RSVP required at small?business?weekend.eventbrite.com. (213) 621-2888, socaletsyguild.com. —David Cotner
Give the gift of something from Eagle Rock
Small Business Saturday takes over Colorado and Eagle Rock boulevards with the We Heart Eagle Rock Block Party. Leanna Lin’s Wonderland, Owl Talk Clothing and Milkfarm L.A. are just a few of the quirky and fashionable shops that are in on this year’s action. Head behind “family resource” the Green Bean for an afternoon of kid-friendly activities, including a concerts from children’s music band The SqueeGees. Move along to XTC gym for a photo shoot with Rony’s Photo Booth. From 11 a.m. until 6 p.m., shoppers can head down to Leanna Lin’s Wonderland to get their gifts wrapped. Proceeds from the gift-wrapping station benefit nonprofit organization Home Dog L.A. Various shops near intersection of Colorado and Eagle Rock boulevards, Eagle Rock; Sat., Nov. 29; 11 a.m.-6 p.m.; free. facebook.com/WeHeartEagleRock. —Liz Ohanesian
From a comic by Yumi Sakugawa
Give the gift of indie cat comics
Giant Robot and its next-door gallery annex, GR2, are nothing if not cat people. Also, they are staunch supporters of indie comics, illustration and wry pop culture in all its literary and quirky-merch forms, and a shining example of the power of small businesses to survive and prosper by forming real-world community. This holiday weekend they combine all these interests, transforming Small Business Saturday into Caturday, inviting four accomplished female comic-writers — MariNaomi, Zoe Ruiz, Yumi Sakugawa and Jen Wang — to read and sign some books, sell original art and partake of conversation and cat-themed refreshments. Just for today, we are all crazy cat ladies. GR2 Gallery, 2062 Sawtelle Blvd., Sawtelle; Sat., Nov. 29, 7-9:30 p.m.; free. (310) 445-9276, giantrobot.com/pages/events-calendar. —Shana Nys Dambrot
Give the gift of art
Another way to take a stand against corporate consumerism is to do your shopping at Cal State Long Beach’s 47th annual Holiday Art Sale. CSULB’s program is the largest publicly funded art school in the nation, and this event has been taking place for almost half a century. Pick up awesome handcrafted pottery and other art objects for everyone on your list, for less than you’d pay at a bougie gift shop. Plus, the money goes straight to the artists, so they can continue to pay off their MFA debt. Happy holidays for all. Student Art Galleries, CSULB School of Art, 1250 Bellflower Blvd., Long Beach.; Sun., Nov. 30, 4-7 p.m.; free. Sale continues Dec. 7-11, Sun., 4-7 p.m.; Mon., Tue., Thu., noon-5 p.m. (562) 985-4376, art.csulb.edu. —Sascha Bos
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