Last night I went to the One of a Kind Show here in Chicago. This event is devoted to unique handcrafted items, and with hundreds of different vendors, you are bound to find something that appeals to you, and anyone else on your list. Some of my favorite items from the show included dramatic, colorful paintings, cozy little knit dresses, and of course, the wide of jewelry (there really was something for every taste - from delicate drop earrings to huge chunky cuff bracelets).
If you are in the Chicago area, the event runs till Sunday (December 9th), so get yourself to the Merchandise Mart. You can find more information and preview what is available at the show here.
Although the One of a Kind Show is indeed fabulous, it is just one example of the many shopping events that are held during the holidays (and all year round in many big cities). Doing your holiday shopping at these events has many positives - besides the fact that you are getting something unique and special, you are benefiting small business owners, artists, and craftspeople. Really, would you rather have a piece of original artwork or something from a big box retailer? I'd say it's no contest.