Christine's Woodburning

Wooden spoons from Christine's Woodburning, one of the Farmers Market vendors scheduled to participate in the Leader's Holiday Shopping Spree.

Perfectly nice Christmas gifts might be found in a store or somewhere on the internet – but for a truly personal, one-of-a-kind holiday gift, you just can’t beat the vendors at local farmer’s markets.

Jefferson County has several, including those currently active in Arnold, De Soto and Hillsboro.

Vendors from each will be on hand at the Leader Holiday Shopping Spree, set for 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 16, at the Quality Inn, 1200 W. Gannon Drive, in Festus. Admission is free and everyone is invited.

From the Arnold Farmer’s Market: BSS (Broke Students Sewing), based in House Springs, which will bring decorative fabric items and gifts.

From the Hillsboro Farmer’s Market: Copper Inspiration in Hillsboro, offering handmade artisan jewelry in copper and silver; Smith Shop in De Soto, offering fresh baked cookies, sock gnomes and 12-inch vintage-style tulle Christmas trees; and Mrs. Doodad’s Lotions and Things in Festus, offering handmade lotions and other beauty and healthcare products. Carmelita Davidson of the Hillsboro Farmer’s Market will also have a variety of her signature baked goods on hand.

From the De Soto Farmer’s Market: Christina’s Woodburning in Hematite, offering a wide array of handmade wooden gifts; Bird Bath and Beyond in De Soto, offering bird baths; and Lone Star Graced in Festus, offering lotions and other goat’s milk products.

“We’re excited to have such a variety,” Leader publisher Pam LaPlant said. “It’s always fun to see what kinds of things our local artists and artisans come up with.”

Visitors to the Holiday Shopping Spree also will have a chance to buy or order holiday gifts from a variety of local vendors.

There will be toys for all ages, home decorating and home improvements, jewelry, travel, gurmet foods and fine art. Shoppers will have a choice of big-ticket gift items or something in the $5-$10 range.

Students with the Jefferson College Culinary Arts Program will provide cooking demonstrations and sell their all-natural, low-calorie, zesty vinaigrettes infused with natural flavors like roasted bell peppers, blackberries, cilantro, lime, onions, cranberries, sun-dried tomatoes and many more.

Meert Tree Farm staff will be on hand with one-of-a-kind live wreaths and decorations, as well as snow “globes” in more than just spherical shapes

There will be entertainment and some delicious food and drink samples, and Santa Claus will be on hand to visit. Special package deals on photos with Santa will be available from Foreman Photography. The $10 package includes four 4-by-6-inch, two 5-by-7-inch and one 8-by-10-inch prints. The $15 package will include 20 prints in the 4-by-6-inch size, three 5-by-7-inch, three 8-by-10-inch and five wallet-sized.

For information about the event, call the Leader at 636-931-7560 or send an email to