From stunning jewelery, fine arts and unique crafts to quality prepared foods and personal care products hand made by Yukon artisans, the 12 Days of Christmas has become one of the largest Yukon craft fairs over the past decade.
From its humble beginnings as a one day Christmas market in 2005 it has gradually grown and changed. Originally called The Yukon Made Store, it was held for two and a half weeks in the old Reitmans store of the Qwanlin Mall in 2006. The following year it moved to the old Legion, which is now the food bank. It operated for a week, closed for a day and then opened for another week. In 2008 it ran for 12 days for the first time but it was still called the Fireweed Christmas Market. In 2009 it started to be called The 12 Days of Christmas and was located at the Old Fire Hall. And here it grew and flourished from 2009 to 2014. In 2015, after much discussion, the market decided to move to the Kwanlin Dün Cultural Centre to provide more room for vendors.
But what is it really? It is a craft sale like no other. Running for 12 days it has a staff and a centralized till where purchases are pooled to make shopping easier for customers, who are able to browse at their leisure. They can come back for a second time or a third time or as many times as they like.
It is a craft sale where the vendors have had to work together for the greater good of all. Which isn’t always an easy thing to do for people who are often very independent in their own small businesses. But as a result it has built a community.
It is a craft sale that allows for new vendors to sell their wares and learn a bit about what it means to be in a craft sale, along with providing a place for established vendors to showcase their goods for those who have come to love them.
It is a craft sale that has included the public with art demos, craft workshops and a daily prize draw. It has been celebrated with Christmas carolers and live music as well as visually with slideshows of the artisans and their products over the years.
This year the 12 Days of Christmas will be continuing in this same tradition. Located at the Kwanlin Dün Cultural Centre, there will be live music as well as daily draws. There is also a new Community Table that will provide space for smaller producers to display their products. The fair opens on December 9th at noon and runs until the 20th. It will be open Monday to Friday from 10am to 9pm and Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 7pm.