Choosing a homegrown Christmas Tree

Berkshire naturalist Thom Smith goes looking for holiday evergreens. While dreaming of a white Christmas, consider making it greener. Christmas trees, the living kind, fresh cut locally by a family or the farm, continue a New England tradition. Christmas trees give open space for wildlife. They help cleanse the air and produce oxygen, and it’s…

Vermont and Berkshire Bakeries warm up

At the A-Frame Bakery in Williamstown, Sharon Sutter is preparing pies — apple, pumpkin, cranberry and blueberry, pecan, maple apple mincemeat … and tarts, pumpkin rolls, and maple-glazed cheesecake. Later she will make Hanukkah treats, often for families wanting to send a holiday memory to students away from home. Christmas brings cakes, she said —…

Handmade holidays grow in the Berkshires

Holidays in and around the Berkshires often have a handmade feel. Local artists and artisans gather with their season’s harvest — shrubs and bitters, soft cheese, black ash baskets and letterpress cards. Some also teach their art:  Inventing wrapping paper at Williamstown Rural Lands Foundation (Dec. 4), shaping a platter at IS183’s Ats Night Out (Dec. 9), needle felting birds at the Makers Mill in North Adams.

Celebrations and shows are growing across the region, from The Alchemy Initiative’s 2016 Handmade Holiday Festival (in the Stationery Factory in Dalton this weekend with artist demonstrations) and the Williamstown Craft Fair (on Sunday) to the Holiday Shindy (at Shire City Sanctuary on Dec. 10 and 11). I gathered holiday markets for Berkshire Magazine, and the photos below give a taste of them. Berkshire Botanical Garden, the Lichtenstein Center for the Arts and the Columbia County Historical Society have locally made wreaths on offer this weekend too.

Or walk through the woods at One World Conservation Center or the Merck Forest and Farmland Center to make one. For workshops and ongoing shows at the Sheffield Historical Society, Spencertown Academy, the Lenox Library and more, check out the 2016 Holiday Magazine.