Each year in LagunaBeachBest, I write about the Sawdust Winter Fantasy Festival in Laguna Beach because it’s such a great place to not only get in the mood for the holidays, but purchase artisan crafted holiday décor and one-of-a-kind holiday gifts.

This year is no exception. The Winter Fantasy at the Sawdust grounds is packed with more than 170 Laguna Beach-based artists with every imaginable art medium you can think of.

Because I just released an article on where to find the best holiday décor in Laguna Beach for your own home, I’d be remiss if I didn’t include a few holiday decor favorites from the Winter Fantasy.

[singlepic id=526 w=320 h=240 mode=watermark float=right]You’ll find graceful, hand-blown glass tree ornaments in a few of the artists’ booths this year. I love these for my own tree because each and every one is unique to itself. Each year I make it my filial duty to make my pilgrimage to the Winter Sawdust to purchase at least one of these gorgeous baubles for my own tree.

Of my favorites, one collection comes compliments of Christopher Jeffries – in addition to the more traditional colors in tree ornaments, he throws in lots of oranges and lilacs, which are quite wonderful.

[singlepic id=527 w=320 h=240 mode=watermark float=left]Then, another favorite, Michael Hermann’s tree of ornaments (it lost several baubles to eager buyers as I stood there), and glass-blowing talent Michael Panetta who’s specializing in rich red and blue glass ornaments this year. Absolutely stunning! (I’ll be adding one of each to my tree this year.)

[singlepic id=528 w=320 h=240 mode=watermark float=right]And, of course, you can’t miss Anne Chase Sanregret’s annual creations, Old World Santa Clauses. For decades, Anne has been creating these lovely Santa Claus dolls, designing, painting, fabricating and assembling every feature of these intricate collectors’ items. She even rambles through antique stores and buys antique toys on the Internet to complete each Santa’s toy bag.

This is Anne’s last year at the Sawdust – hey, she’s been doing these Santa dudes a LONG time! – and she’s going out in style with some of her most beautiful creations yet. If you collect Old World Santa Claus dolls, or have always considered adding at least one to warm your home, NOW is the time to act. You really have to see these up close and personal to believe them, so make sure you stop by her corner booth at the Sawdust!

Aside from featuring 170 artists and their booths of lovely surprises, Laguna Beach’s Winter Fantasy Festival features top-name live bands, strolling carolers, hot drinks, beer and wine, plenty of food, a petting zoo and – of course – the best Santa Claus of all “Santa Clausdom.”

Remember, the Winter Fantasy Festival in Laguna Beach is only open 4 weekends, and opening weekend is already behind us. After Thanksgiving this week, the Festival is open on Friday, Saturday and Sunday (so that’s Nov. 25, 26 and 27th). The next two weekends in December, the Sawdust Winter Fest is there for your gift buying pleasure (Dec. 3rd & 4th and Dec. 9th, 10th & 11th) … and then it packs up and disappears, Santa Claus and all. Click here for S awdust Winter Fantasy info: hours, ticket costs, directions, and online ticket purchase.



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