Out with the pumpkins, in with the trees 

November brings the annual round of holiday shopping events.


No need to crash from your Halloween sugar high this year — just head right on back out and keep it going with the gingerbread and apple cider you're bound to come across at a local retailer or two if you're out shopping this weekend.

It's now officially holiday open house season, so eat a light lunch, keep your eye out for the cookie plate, and maybe stray from your usual beaten path: Oliver's Antiques (1101 Burman, Jacksonville) is adding door prizes to the usual refreshments at its open house, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Nov. 2-3.

Other tidbits:

•Tonight is the monthly Shop-n-Sip event in the Heights and Hillcrest — the stores will be open late, the trolley shuttle will be running, and the wine will be waiting at the neighborhood watering holes once you're finished.

• Pick up some holiday sparkle this weekend at a new fund-raising event called Trading Treasures, benefiting Planned Parenthood's Little Rock health center. The event's organizers have spent the last year collecting donated jewelry — both costume and fine — and having it cleaned up, repaired, appraised and otherwise ready for sale.

“We've gotten friends, neighbors and relatives to identify a couple of things in their jewelry boxes that they just don't wear anymore,” said Vicky Kessel, one of the organizers.

Kessel promises hundreds of baubles, priced $5 to $1,000, and sorted in a “thoughtful manner” — not just piled on tables.

The event runs from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 3, at Hillcrest Hall, 1501 Kavanaugh Blvd. (Kavanaugh and Lee). Admission is $5, good toward a purchase of $10 or more. Cash and credit cards will be accepted, but checks will not.

• My favorite place to shop for unusual Christmas decorations is Ten Thousand Villages, the fair-trade store on Clinton Avenue in the River Market that sells hand-crafted merchandise (jewelry, accessories, home decor, toys) made by artisans around the world. This year they're starting the season off with a holiday bag sale20 percent off everything you can fit in one of their shopping bags. I have moved more than a dozen times in my adult life. I know how to pack me a shopping bag. This should be fun.

• And of course there's Holiday House, Little Rock's Christmas-shopping juggernaut, scheduled for Nov. 8-10 (Thursday through Saturday) at the Statehouse Convention Center. This event, if you've never gone, is sponsored by the Junior League of Little Rock and brings together more than 135 merchants for a weekend-long market. Hours are noon to 9 p.m. Nov. 8; 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Nov. 9; and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Nov. 10. Reason to brave the Saturday crowds: a gingerbread house competition, featuring top local pastry chefs. Admission is $6, or $10 for a three-day pass.

Dreamweavers, the Little Rock-based interior decor company, will hold its monthly Second Saturday sale from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Nov. 10, at 1201 S. Spring. Should be some deals on unusual accessories if you're looking to liven up the living room for a holiday party.

• If you're into making your own Christmas presents, check out the huge clearance sale on yarn at the Handworks Gallery in Hillcrest (2911 Kavanaugh Blvd.). Discounts are up to 80 percent off. You can preview what's marked down at the store's web site, www.handworksgallery.com, but it's way more fun to just go by the store and dig your way through it all.



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