Yes, it can seem annoying that the holidays start earlier every year with store displays up by August in some cases, no longer having its distinctive time frame as it runs together from October through December. We can be a Scrooge and complain about it or embrace it and take a cue from Thanksgiving finding ways to be grateful for it. Studies have shown those who decorate early are happier especially if holidays activate those “feel good” feelings and to be honest doing it early means having time to do so at a leisurely pace vs. stressing out due to limited time especially this year since Thanksgiving is so late. Secondly, it is never too early to shop for gifts to avoid the crowds, especially for out of state friends, sending off those gifts with literally no one at the post office.
Over the years, I have seen billboards, signs and ads on social media for the Harvest Festival but never really knew what it was about as images of pumpkins and haybales danced in my head. This year, I happen to score a free ticket through ABC Finney’s Friday for the one at the Pleasanton Fairgrounds, the home of the Alameda County Fair we went to twice earlier this year. Speaking of twice, the ticket is good for both days as long as you do not rub off your hand re-entry stamp. Going in with low expectations after reading some of the reviews, I was pleasantly surprised with the variety of exhibitors that I did take advantage of that hand stamp and returned the next day.
Showcasing many local businesses, ranging from arts and crafts from artisans
that are often only found on Etsy to food related items
available at these fairs or online, it was a great way to check off a few people from that Christmas list while supporting small businesses.
Being and having friends that are foodies, I gravitated more towards the food related booths where I can taste test the products from Holy Honey
and Wine Slush
vs. the arts and crafts one, although I did pick up a lotus lamp handmade from mulberry paper for myself at Leena’s Little Light.
However, if you do have an aversion to the holidays running together and prefer to have dedicated time to each, the last Bay Area Harvest Festival is this weekend starting Black Friday at the San Jose McEnery Convention Center.
Harvest Festival - https://harvestfestival.com/
Various locations and dates