Where To Buy Handmade Gifts In Omaha

It’s hard not to get all caught up in the Black Friday hysteria. The deals! Insanity!

Having worked retail during the holiday season for a few years, I’ve come to have a love/hate relationship with shopping this time of year. I truly love a good bargain, but wow, people. Wow. Shoppers can be ugly and mean. During my first Christmas at the Barnes & Noble music department, I watched a customer chuck a DVD at a co-worker because it she couldn’t find it in any other store but she didn’t want to pay full price. So she threw it at him.

I try to get most of my Christmas shopping done early or done online. If I’m looking for unique gifts, though, I’ve found a few local options where I’ve yet to see an adult throw a tantrum. Two that I’ve liked going to in the past are the Hot Shops Open House and the Holiday Market (now at Aksarben Village, but I first checked it out when it was in the Old Market). The neat thing about those two (and most of the others on the list below) is that you can talk with the person who created the gift you’re about to buy. They painted it, or knitted it, or sculpted it. You might find an interesting story to go with the beautiful gift, making it all the more personalized and thoughtful. Go you!

Here’s where to go to buy handmade gifts from artwork to jewelry to crafty stuff:

Modern Makers Holiday Craft Bazaar

When: Nov. 30 through Dec. 1, Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Sunday, noon to 4 p.m. .

Where: Boiler Room Studios, 4383 Nicholas St.

Details: Features a variety of handpicked modern artists ranging from jewelry, ceramics, skincare, home goods and stationary

Cost: FREE

Dundee Gallery Annual Holiday Show

When: Dec. 1-31, Tuesdays-Thursdays, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Fridays and Saturdays, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Sundays, noon, to 5 p.m. Closed on Christmas Day.

Where: Dundee Gallery, 4916 Underwood Ave.

Details: Dundee Gallery is home to a collection of fine art, sculpture, pottery, glass, ceramics and jewelry from more than 50 local and regional artists.

Cost: FREE

6×6 Holiday All-Members Show

When: Dec. 3-29, Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Thursdays-Saturdays, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Sundays, noon to 6 p.m. Opening reception is Dec. 6 from 6 to 9 p.m.

Where: Artists’ Cooperative Gallery, 405 S. 11th St.

Details: The only theme for this show is the dimension of the work, 6”x6”x6″, which offers affordable gift-giving sizes for holiday shopping.

Cost: FREE

Happy Holidays Craft and Gift Show

When: Dec. 7, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Where: Westside Community Conference Center, 3534 S. 108th St.

Details: Handmade items as well as jewelry, scarves, hats, candles, purses and totes, fresh baked holiday goodies.

Cost: A non-perishable item or $1 for the food bank.

Indian Market Holiday Bazaar

When: Dec. 7, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Where: University of Nebraska Omaha – Sapp Fieldhouse, 6001 Dodge St.

Details: Find Native American art, jewelry, baked goods, home decor and other gifts.

Cost: FREE

Physicians Mutual and WOWT Holiday Market

When: Dec. 7 and 8, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Where: Aksarben Village, 67th and Center streets

Details: Under two heated tents, you’ll find more than 40 local vendors selling items from handmade crafts and décor to specialty food and drinks. See Santa on Sunday from 2 to 4 p.m.

Cost: FREE

Hot Shops Holiday Open House

When: Dec. 7 and 9, Saturday, noon to 8 p.m., and Sunday, noon to 5 p.m.

Details: The event features art demonstrations and live music, with residents of the Hot Shops opening their studios to the public. The artwork created at the Art Center ranges from drawings, paintings, prints, photography and digital imagery to sculptures, installations, pottery, glass art, weaving, custom furniture, and clay, iron, brass,and aluminum cast architectural pieces.

Cost: FREE

Holiday Spot Craft Show

When: Dec. 8, 1 to 4 p.m.

Where: Smiling Turtle Art Spot, 2340 S. 156th Circle

Details: Features guests artists and vendors as well as a mini-massage from a licensed massage therapist. Free cookies and cider, too.

Cost: FREE

Holiday Pop Up Shop

When: Dec. 15, 1 to 4 p.m.

Where: Smiling Turtle Art Spot, 2340 S. 156th Circle

Details: Features guests artists, including members of the Omaha Craft Mafia and Blacksmith Shop Omaha. Free cookies and cider, too.

Cost: FREE