When department stores and online retailers can't deliver that perfect holiday gift, it might be time to think inside the box — the crafting box that is.
Even if you don't have the time or skill to create that special present, there are plenty of local talents to help execute your wish list. Making the hunt even easier, Abrakadoodle will be hosting Create Your Christmas Bazaar, featuring personalized gifts and onsite embroidery from Tam Tam Stitches, door signs and decals from Blue Rhapsody and jewelry from Everything's Candy and Gift Shop. The bazaar will be held at the Abrakadoodle Destin Commons location, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 5 and Friday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Dec. 6.
The idea for the event stemmed from a group of local moms who were looking for a place to showcase their side businesses.
"It was just a bunch of crafty moms getting together just for fun," said Tami Huston, Santa Rosa Beach.
After much success hosting similar events, the group decided to add a charitable element by donating goods to the Ronald McDonald House of Northwest Florida this year.
The decision of Ronald McDonald House was an easy one. Erin Bakker, owner of Abrakadoodle, was recently served by the charity when her now four-week-old son was born early and had to spend time in the NICU at Sacred Heart Women's Hospital in Pensacola.
"They made everything so much better during that hard time," Bakker said.
Shoppers who bring in donations off of the organization’s wish list — which include items such as cleaning supplies, toiletries, sheets and food — will receive 10 percent off their total purchase with each vendor.
Moms like Bakker and Huston hope to also inspire children to give back by encouraging them to break their piggy banks and donate their change. In return, they can decorate an ornament at the craft table while parents shop.
"We want to get the kids more involved and create something to be proud of," Huston said. "Christmas isn't all about the presents. We hope to bring out everyone's holiday spirits."
With the recent popularity of the website Pinterest, Huston and Bakker have seen increased interest in handmade gifts. Huston notes that everyone on her gift list this year will receive a handmade present.
Abrakadoodle regularly hosts Pinterest Parties for individuals looking to release creative juices. You can register or even purchase a gift certificate for all Abrakadoodle classes at the event.
"The parties help people realize they're more creative than they thought," Bakker said. "Whether you sign up for a class to make presents or you give the gift of experience — handmade gifts are more from the heart."
For more information see tamtamstitches.com or www.abrakadoodle.com/fl07/
WANT TO GO? Head to Abrakadoodle at Destin Commons 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Dec. 5 and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Dec. 6. Personalized gifts will be available from Tam Tam Stitches, Blue Rhapsody and Everything's Candy and Gift Shop. Kids can bring in their pocket change to donate to Ronald McDonald House of Northwest Florida and decorate their own ornament. Anyone who brings in items from the RMH wish list will receive 10 percent off their total purchase with each vendor. For a full list of needed items, visit www.rmhc-nwfl.org.