You've got your hammer, right?
Now place the piggybank on the table and smash it open.
Yes, it's time to start shopping if you haven't already — and what better place to do it than Arts Whistler's Holiday Market?
Formerly known as Bizarre Bazaar, the arts council renamed the artisan market weekend earlier this year, but everything else remains unchanged, with regionally made art, crafts, products and foodstuffs being sold by talented professionals.
Over 100 vendors are taking part in the market, now in its 28th year. It takes place at the Whistler Convention Centre on Saturday, Nov. 26 (11 a.m. to 8 p.m.), and Sunday, Nov. 27 (11 a.m. to 6 p.m.).
"This is the biggest market to date," says Jillian van der Geest of Arts Whistler.
"It has been a staple in Whistler for years and more people than ever applied to be a part of it this year. It's a really successful way for artists and artisans to become known in the community and get a kickstart in the holiday market season."
So what can you buy?
"We have a wide array of things for sale, including clothing and accessories, ceramics, food stuffs, art and photography... something new this year is spirit tasting, so we will have spirits from Pemberton Distillery and Gillespie's Fine Spirits on site," Van der Geest says.
Add to that a new food fair — shoppers can grab a snack and continue to explore. And Santa will be on hand as usual, along with Christmas carols and fun events for children.
"It's a comprehensive and diverse shopping experience, a great way to get a jumpstart on holiday shopping. The same favourite vendors will be there, too," she says.
One of them is Whistler ceramicist Kathleen Tennock, whose naked raku vessels have been sold at the holiday market for the past five years.
"It's a busy weekend, snow dependent for sure. The mountain will be open, but even if people ski all day they can drop by after. There is enough time," Tennock says.
"There are a lot of locals but many who are just here for the weekend as well. The Arts Council does a good job in getting people through the door."
Tennock's tips for shoppers: Come early; and the Sunday is always a little quieter than the Saturday.
"But the challenge with that is that things might have sold out by then," she says.
Naked raku is an unglazed style of pottery, which is a different take on the Japanese method, creating white clay objects that are impregnated by the smoke to make distinctive patterns.
"I love that the work has a beautiful relationship with stones. You get that nice feel of the raw clay, which you typically don't get with a glaze over top of it," Tennock says.
Prices for Tennock's work range from $75 to $180.
Admission to Arts Whistler Holiday Market is $5 by donation, with proceeds going to Arts Whistler's community programming. For more information, visit www.artswhistler.com and www.kathleentennock.com.