Tis the season for … jam-packing your calendar and accidentally turning into the Grinch.
Don’t be the Who down in Whoville who stretches out the shopping and the sipping and the merry-making over several weeks, collapsing into a heap of exhaustion and knocking over the stockings hung with care. Instead, might we suggest venturing out Sat. Dec. 2 for the ultimate holiday throw down? In a cool 24 hours (give or take), you can experience all the reasons for the season, then call it a day. Here are six holiday happenings taking place on the first Saturday of the month in downtown Chucktown — you don’t have to do them all, but your heart may just grow three sizes if you do.
8 a.m. You know those sadistic families that wake up and run on Thanksgiving for their local “turkey trot”? Well, this holiday-themed run happens a whole 23 days before Christmas, so you have time to recover. The Reindeer Run 5K starts at 9 a.m. at the corner of East Bay and Queen St and takes runners — dressed, hopefully, in festive threads — along the Battery. There’s a costume contest at 10 a.m. for adult individual, child individual, group, and dog. Only compete if you think you’ll win, ’cause we’re on a schedule!
10:30 a.m. The holiday market in Marion Square is just like the regular farmers market, but recast in the merry and bright world of the holiday season. There will be the standard vendors, proffering produce, food, and art, as well as live music (this Sat. will be the Lowhills), additional holiday vendors, caroling, kids activities, and free photos ops with Santa and Mrs. Claus. Print off this parking voucher (valid through Jan. 1) and enjoy two hours of free parking while you shop; there’s also a Toys for Tots toy drive running through Dec. 17. so be sure to bring an item if you can.
Noon Buying local throughout the year can feel like a riddle of: not enough time, too difficult to locate, the Teeter is so much easier. But during the holidays, local goods are pretty much handed out on a silver platter for anyone willing to hop off the couch. At the Cigar Factory’s Holiday Bazaar, shop vendors including Runaround Sue Vintage Boutique (NYE dress anyone?), Landrum Tables, Laura Duke Fine Art, Middleton Made Knives, Goldbug, and more. And, to really get you in the spirit, Out of Hand events will be onsite creating one-of-a-kind wreaths for your front door.
1:30 p.m. You know what they say about Christmas lists — it ain’t over til it’s over. If you didn’t find something for everyone on your list at the first two markets, we think this third and final market ought to do the trick. The inaugural Charleston Crafty Bastards arts and crafts fair (presented by your very own friendly alt-weekly) runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and features more than 80 vendors. Shop for clothes, leather goods, jewelry, porcelain, art, toys, and much more. The market takes over the Joe, so there’s plenty of room to process everything before you, and you can recharge your batteries with craft beer and eats from Roadside Seafood, Dashi, Smoke BBQ, and Kickin’ Chicken. Crafty Bastards will also be hosting a toy drive, so if you have an extra stocking stuffer from your morning shopping spree, pay it forward.
3 p.m. After a whirlwind of swiping your credit card and trekking across town, you’ll want to slow down and take it all in. Grab your fam and head to the Joseph Manigault House at 350 Meeting St. for the first day of their holiday decoration celebration from 3 to 5 p.m. The Garden Club of Charleston has created floral arrangements to reflect this year’s theme of Bells and Blooms, inspired by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s 1863 poem, “Christmas Bells.” There will be hot chocolate and apple cider on the porch as well as Christmas music from the Charleston Caroling Company. Tickets are $12 for adults, $10 for kids 13-17, and $5 ages three-12.
5:30 p.m. Finish up this ultimate holiday Holy City thrown down at Gin Joint’s Miracle Bar. Trust us, you deserve a cocktail (or three). The Joint turned into Miracle just this past Friday, so the garland is fresh and the drinks are strong. Throw back Jingle Bell Nog, made with cognac, amontillado sherry, peanut butter, almond milk, pandan, cream, nougat syrup, egg, and nutmeg; Muletide made with mezcal, amontillado sherry, allspice dram, ginger, and lemon; or a Bad Santa served hot and made with mulled wine, tawny port, orange liqueur, spices, and golden raisins plus seven other specially themed libations.