Theres a soulless feeling that begins to permeate the streets of downtown, the escalators and shiny floors of the malls, during the pre-holiday buying sprees. People rush by with tissue-paper-packed bags labeled with one corporate giant or another, their credit cards beat from running like the NY marathon. There is another way! You dont have to shun it all for a silent retreat on the winter solstice, be as crafty as Martha, or DIY till you die to avoid fueling the consumption machine. The annual Phinney Neighborhoods Winter Festival and Craft Fair is here (and has been for 27 years!) with two full days of wholesome community offerings, including over 100 local vendors peddling wares from jewelry and handcrafted toys to pottery and confections. Browse through the crafty selections while entertainmentlike championship jump ropers, bluegrass bands, belly-dancers, even Appalachian cloggerstake the stage. Though its a (very) far cry from The Sharper Image, who needs a remote control/massager/martini shaker anyway? That ceramic doorstopper/paperweight will do just fine.
Sat., Dec. 1, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sun., Dec. 2, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., 2007