Spread the holiday spirit with unique gifts, Santa pictures and more | TribLIVE.com
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Get ready for the 22nd Annual Greater Pittsburgh Arts & Crafts Holiday Spectacular. One of the area’s premier Christmas festivals is back by popular demand at the Monroeville Convention Center, from November 22 – 24. It’s sure to be the perfect way to ease yourself and your family into the spirit of the holiday season.

Here are five reasons you don’t want to miss this event:

1. You’ll be a Christmas gift grabbing superstar a week before Black Friday.

Don’t wait until all the good gifts disappear from shelves. Get out there before Black Friday to make sure you’re able to choose from the largest selection of holiday gifts from the region’s best artists and makers. Just think of how satisfying it will be to cross off half of your gift list before the craziness of the season even sets in. Plus, you’ll be supporting local artists and their families.

So go ahead. Be that overachiever. Get great Christmas gifts for your loved ones a bit earlier this year. When the hustle and bustle of Black Friday rolls around, you’ll be sipping a warm latte from the comfort of your kitchen, celebrating stress-free — now that’s a jolly holiday!

2. It’s a sight to be seen.

With over 300 indoor booths spread across two huge exhibit halls, you won’t believe your eyes at the vast array of unique holiday gifts available within this one-stop holiday shopping experience. Browse decorative wood items, jewelry, appliqued and embellished clothing, personalized Christmas ornaments, seasonal floral arrangements, photography, painted glass, children’s toys, scented candles, decorative flags, personalized signs, pet items, purses, and much more. Which such an incredible assortment, you’ll be sure to find something to suit your style and budget.

3. It’s all about the food.

You didn’t think the Greater Pittsburgh Arts & Crafts Holiday Spectacular was only about arts and crafts, did you? Select the perfect present (for yourself or others !) from a huge assortment of dip and drink mixes, toffee, candies, fudge, cinnamon roasted almonds and nuts, kettle korn, strudel, and baked goods — all the hallmark smells of the season. Plus, lots of samples will be on hand to tempt your taste buds! Yum!

4. Nostalgia

Remember back to the kinder, gentler and simpler times of our youth when we had Santa’s Workshop (or whatever your school called it)? You kno, the thing where we all would excitedly shop in our school gymnasiums for the niftiest, handmade Christmas gifts we could find for our loved ones? Well, the Greater Pittsburgh Arts & Crafts Holiday Spectacular is kind of like a Santa’s Workshop for adults. It will transport you back in time to those same excited feelings you once felt in your elementary school’s gym, but this time on a much larger level. With acres of free parking and all indoor exhibits, there is nothing to stop you from reliving those magic moments.

5. Free Santa pictures with your own camera!

We got busted at the mall last year trying to sneak our phones out for a few bonus shots with our kids on Santa’s lap. What gives? If we’re going to pay $30 for an 8×10 glossy, aren’t we entitled to a few candid shots of our little ones excitedly telling the jolly red man what is on their Christmas lists? Well, the Greater Pittsburgh Arts & Crafts Holiday Spectacular has a solution. Bring your own phones or cameras and take the photos for free, after the price of admission. What could be better than getting some good holiday shopping in, then taking the kiddos to over to interact with Santa for a few free social media moments to adorn your Facebook page? Kids can also enjoy complimentary face painting and balloon animals from Glitter Got and Dapper the dynamic clown duo, as well!

Sponsored by Family Festivals Association. For more details, 50 cents off admission coupon, and a small sampling of available Christmas gifts, visit www.familyfestivals.com. One coupon per person. Festival is open Friday, Nov. 22, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 23, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday, Nov. 24, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Monroeville Convention Center, 209 Mall Boulevard, Monroeville PA 15146. We’ll see you there!

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