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Christmas shopping with meaning in Hoboken

Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot

You could take your chances with the department stores the next two weeks, or you could head to Hoboken’s historic City Hall for the Holiday Craft Fair.  “It’s definitely different from the mall,” said Director of Cultural Affairs Gerri Fallo.

Start with some names on the roster: jeweler Gina Jiang, woodworker Bill Baker and glass blower Joan Huggard. Meeting and greeting people today is honky tonk sensation Elene Skye , a unique local talent who fronts the Demolition String Band — one of the best alt country/bluegrass bands in the country.

“It’s a perfect time for [the artists] to exhibit their work,” Fallo said. “It’s a good way to support the arts community.”

The fair features an enormous range of items — from felted wool scarves and hand-knit baby sweaters to pottery and paintings — produced by 50 artists from in and around Hoboken.

Every nook and cranny of City Hall’s three floors will be occupied by tables brimming with under-the-tree delights: fashion accessories, handbags, photographs, artistic prints, soaps and body lotions, holiday wreaths, handcrafted wooden snowflakes, ornaments made from recycled materials, mosaic mirrors and even mosaic kits.

The appeal, Fallo said, is the unique nature of the gifts — most are one of a kind — and the opportunity to meet the artist themselves. The historic building also has a distinctive charm, decked out for the season and bustling with excitement.

It fosters community building, too, as people gather over the artwork. What otherwise would have been an ordeal becomes an excursion that reveals the true meaning of the season.

The event, which is in its 15th year, takes place this weekend and next, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. all four days.

Hoboken City Hall is at 94 Washington St., three blocks from the PATH, NJ Transit trains and buses, NY Waterway ferries and the Lightrial. For more information, call 201-420-2207 or visit hobokennj.org .

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