Christmas is in the air, and blaring out of our radios. Now that the last of the turkey has been given to the dog, it's time to take advantage of some of the area's best holiday markets. This section will be updated throughout the season.
- The seventh annual Downtown Holiday Market returns to the area around 8th and F streets NW, featuring the work of a rotating group of 175+ regional artists, crafters and small businesses each day (about 60 per day). You'll also find seasonal performances and treats. Dec. 2-23; noon-8 p.m. daily.
- Need gifts and want to shop locally? Look no further than Nana's Handmade Holly Mart in Mount Pleasant. Independently owned shop Nana's (3068 Mount Pleasant St. N.W.) will showcase local craftspeople who have something for everyone on your list. Saturday, Dec. 3, 11 a.m.-7 p.m.
- Merriment in Georgetown features shopping discounts, dining specials and seasonal movie screenings -- plus a fruitcake-eating contest (finally your hidden talent of speed fruitcake eating will get you glory). Guests are also encouraged to wear their most barf-worthy holiday sweaters for chances to win prizes from local stores. See complete schedule of events here. Market open Friday, Dec. 9 through Tuesday, Dec. 20. Kickoff party Saturday, Dec. 10, 1-4 p.m. in PNC Bank lot at Wisconsin and M streets MW; free pedicab rides from the Foggy Bottom and Dupont Metro stops between noon and 4 p.m. that day.
- The National Archives Shop (Constitution Avenue between 7th and 9th streets NW) holds a holiday trunk show inspired by New Deal-era arts projects. Shop affordable original jewelry, clothing and household items, with the American artists on-hand to discuss their methods. Dec. 2-6, 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m.
- Find Swedish gifts, textiles, traditional foods and more at the Swedish Christmas Bazaar at House of Sweden (2900 K St. NW). A Swedish café dishes up open-faced sandwiches, baked goodies and glogg. There is also a raffle with great prizes. Catch Swedish Christmas carols at 1 p.m. or the Santa Lucia procession at 5 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 3, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
- Present Day: A Locally Sourced Holiday Gift Shop features eclectic handmade pieces by local artists at Pleasant Plains Workshop (2608 Georgia Avenue N.W.). Quirk abounds. Now through Dec. 21; Thurs.-Fri. 2-7 p.m.; Sat. 1-6 p.m.; Sun. noon-5 p.m.
- GRUMP (Give Rad Urban Made Presents) features "crafty awesomeness for the holiday season." Find 20 Crafty Bastards artists, a DJ, bar, fortune telling and cupcakes at American Legion Post No 8 (224 D St. SE). Saturday, Dec. 10; 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
- Washington Project for the Arts (2023 Massachusetts Ave. NW) hosts IceBox 2011, its third annual holiday gift shop. Shop crafts, jewelry, housewares and art, made by WPA member artists. Opening reception Friday, Dec. 2, 6-8 p.m. Market open weekdays through Dec. 23, Mon.-Fri. 10 a.m.-6 p.m., plus Sunday, Dec. 18 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Monday, Dec. 19, the market stays open through 8 p.m.
- Every year there's that awkward relative you don't know how to buy for. Give the gift of altruism at the Takoma Park Alternative Gift Fair at the Takoma Park Presbyterian Church (310 Tulip Ave., Takoma Park, Md.). Each year, the fair features 14-18 charities that offer low-cost, big-idea gifts. For $10, you can buy a training kit to educate a rural women's group to produce clean fuel charcoal briquettes. For $40, you can buy one month of fresh, local vegetables for a low-income family. Give in honor of someone, and enjoy live music, kids' activities and a raffle. Saturday, Dec. 3, noon-4 p.m.
- The Fair Hill Holiday Festival at Fair Hill Shopping Center (18169 Town Center Drive, Olney, Md.) plays host to Santa (with photo ops), holiday music, refreshments and a tree lighting. Saturday, Dec. 10, 2-5 p.m.
- The Leesburg Arts and Crafts Show will showcase more than 90 local artisans selling handmade goods. Tables will be lined with custom jewelry, carved wood, stained glass, linens, leather goods and more, at the Ida Lee Park Recreation Center (60 Ida Lee Drive N.W., Leesburg, Va.). Saturday, Dec. 3, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.; Sunday, Dec. 4, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
- The Edison High School Craft & Vendor Fair (5801 Franconia Road, Alexandria, Va.) features the work of local artists. Saturday, Dec. 17, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.