To tie in with our Wish List, Kirstin Innes rounds up the most interesting fairs
Something gets into the air about halfway through November, something that compels otherwise rational people to stand at tables – maybe decorated with fake snow or tinsel – offering genuinely original presents. There’s really no excuse to give anyone a fancy shower gel and bath bomb set. Ever. But particularly not now.
Struggling with a gift idea for the green welly-wearer in your life? Country Living magazine’s Christmas Fair rides back into the SECC this fortnight, promising the very finest in homeware, clothing and food and drink. Meanwhile, outside the city limits, the 100-stall strong Lanark Christmas Market offers crafts, specialist gifts and foodie goodies. Santa will be popping in to switch on the lights, too, which is sweet of him. Country Living Magazine Christmas Fair Thu 20–Sun 23 Nov, SECC Glasgow. Lanark Christmas Market, Sat 15 Nov–Wed 24 Dec, Lanark High Street.
Overcome your distaste at the annual orgy of gluttony and consumerism. There are two Radical Independent Book Fairs happening in Glasgow in the run up to the festive season, while Edinburgh’s Ethical Christmas Fayre promises fairly-traded crafts and a Green Santa. Radical Independent Book Fair, Sat 15 Nov, Dows Bar, Glasgow; Sat 6 Dec, STUC, Woodlands Road, Glasgow. Edinburgh’s Ethical Christmas Fayre, Sat 6–Sun 14 Dec, Castle Street, Edinburgh
Arts and crafts markets
The CCA’s occasional Book Fair is back this fortnight too, focusing on hard-to-find and independently published art and design books. Gifted, the National Museum of Scotland’s exhibition/pressie shop showcases the best of Scottish design (pictured), while the artists’ community at Charlestown near Dunfermline are running an Open Doors Weekend, offering their own stained glass works, hand-made jewellery and textile designs. CCA Book Fair, Fri 14 Nov, CCA Glasgow. Gifted, until Sun 11 Jan, National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh. Charlestown Open Doors Weekend, Fri 28–Sun 30 Nov, call 07919073397
Really, really cool markets
Two of the best places to buy Christmas presents for that indescribably cool friend of yours are Edinburgh’s Funk Fair and the Glasgow Craft Mafia gatherings. The latter is a showcase of the city’s best hipster crafters, the former a revolutionary retro take on the traditional antiques market, with everything from art deco trinkets to funky 60s homeware. And they have DJs! Funk Fair, Sat 6 Dec, Christ Church Hall, Edinburgh. Craft Mafia, Wed 3 Dec, QMU, Glasgow