I know I’m not the first, or even the 119th, person to say this, but holiday shopping generally sucks. You spend money you don’t have to buy gifts your relatives don’t need or want, which were most likely made by small Indonesian children who would be having Tiny Tim-style Christmases if they were Christian.
This Sunday, Jamie, Lee-Roy and I discovered one fabulous antidote: Bazaar Bizarre. Subtitled “not your granny’s craft fair,” it was an expo center full of purses made from recycled sweaters, Shrinky Dink jewelry, hand-stitched iPod cases, bondage gear and papier mache piggy banks made by decidedly non-oppressed art school grads. (And I’m happy to say that most of the silk screeners screened their designs—smiling robots, graceful jellyfish, rock and roll kitty cats—on American Apparel T-shirts.)
My friend Erin, a knitter of many non-granny-like items, would have loved this fair. Incidentally, I think both my biological grandmother and my adopted grandmother would have too. The latter even has a tattoo. Wandering around the Shrine Expo Center, enjoying the absence of Christmas carols and the presence of at least a dozen booths selling ugly-cute stuffed monsters, my only regret was that the fair was a one-day deal. But if Starbucks billboards have taught us anything about the holidays, it’s that we have to appreciate the ephemeral, because It Only Happens Once a Year.