Yeah, yeah, I know, we haven't even started talking about Halloween costumes yet. But if you want to 1. Impress your family with unique presents, 2. Make your December a lot less stressful, and 3. Free up your time to drink eggnog instead of waiting in lines at the mall, buy yourself a $5 day pass to Crafty Bastards and knock out all of your holiday shopping in one fell swoop.
It's a lot more fun than the festooned hellscape that is Pentagon City Mall the week before Christmas, anyway. Hop off the Metro at the NoMa stop, and the Union Market bus will chauffeur you to the 140 vendors selling handmade wares in the brisk autumn air. You can also grab a beer at the New Belgium beer garden, or snack on tacos, lobster roll or barbeque from the dozen food trucks in attendance. Buy your tickets here for the fair, which goes from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
Looking for some gift-giving inspiration? Here's a little guide to all the people you might need to shop for.
Your artsy mom: Buy her a vase from Bean and Bailey Ceramics (booth 89) and fill it with flowers or succulents. Done.
Your friend who just had a baby: Nothing says cool hipster dad like a onesie that says "holla" from Sweet Pepita(booth 2), or a "party hard" child-size T-shirt from 60 Bugs (booth 48). And for slightly older kids, these knitted crown headbands by Lace & Cable (booth 5) are adorable.
Your friend who treats their dog like a baby: Cutesy but Not Cutesy (booth 12) makes hoodies that make your dog look like a monster, squeeeee.
Your little brother who only wears graphic tees: Fuzzy Ink (booth 37), where you'll find shirts with the easy visual joke (so. many. moustaches.) but also some slightly more grown up prints, like this elegant elephant. Another option: Gnome Enterprises (booth 62). I want this llama T-shirt.
Your fashionable sister: Local knitwear line DeNada Designs (booth 135) is fashionable, but also warm enough to withstand a chilly winter. There's also the simple-but chic laser-cut jewelry of Plastique (booth 95).
The nerd in your life: History and fantasy geeks alike will appreciate Alternate Histories' monster-invaded historical prints and maps (booth 78).
Your roommate who bikes everywhere: Fabric Horse (booth 63) makes utility belts for cyclists that will keep their U-locks, keys and other items secure.
Your foodie pal: Diagrams of sandwiches, wine openers, coffeemakers and butchery adorn the lunch bags and tea towels made by Girls Can Tell (booth 45).
A go-to housewarming gift: Herban Lifestyle's has beeswax candles and soaps that have broad appeal for any future host or hostess, so you can stock up on a few and dish them out as you're invited to parties throughout the year (booth 82).
For the person who has everything: You can bet they don't own any shower art, the theme of Ugly Baby's store (booth 97).
When everything affordable on your friend's wedding registry has already been fulfilled but you feel awkward just giving them cash: A pretty cutting board. Every couple can use one. Blue Ridge Cutting Board Company (booth 123).