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Jingle All the Way: Holiday Shopping and Festive Fun in Creston Valley

The festively decorated Yahk Soap & Candle Co. in Yahk BC
The festively decorated Yahk Soap & Candle Co. can't be missed!

By Brian Lawrence

As the days grow shorter and evenings grow longer, the community spirit in the Creston Valley grows brighter — and with the holiday season in full swing, how could it not? From seasonal markets to the annual Santa Parade to outdoor adventures in the snow, there are many was to enjoy the holidays in Creston! Here's our list of some of the best places to explore and things to do during the holiday season.

Discover Unique Treasures at Local Holiday Markets

Step into the enchanting world of our small-town Christmas as you wander through local holiday markets, sipping on steaming cocoa, and delighting in the festive buzz. Amidst the cheery ambiance, explore stalls brimming with unique, homemade treasures, each waiting to become that perfect, one-of-a-kind gift.

Fresh baked goodies at the Indoor Creston Valley Farmers Market in Creston BC
Fresh baked goodies at the indoor Creston Valley Farmers Market.

The biggest, and usually first, holiday market of the season is the Creston Valley Arts Council’s Christmas Craft Fair in late November. Dozens of vendors fill the Creston and District Community Complex’s Creston Room offering ornaments, pottery, books and so much more, and it’s a non-stop hive of activity as shoppers check off their Christmas gift lists. Outside of town, communities get in on the holiday shopping action as well, with smaller, but equally bustling, markets including the Wynndel Christmas Craft Market, the Yahk Christmas Craft Fair and the West Creston Holiday Artisan Market (Dec. 9 and 10).

The Creston Valley Farmers’ Market, held indoors on Saturdays at the rec complex in the fall and winter months, is also a great place to find gifts from local vendors selling holiday baked goods, pottery, textiles and much much more as Christmas approaches!

A few local businesses also get into the holiday spirit and host their own Christmas markets, with the Christmas Market at Morris Flowers Garden Centre (Dec. 9 and 16), Christmas in the Buff at Buffalo Trails Coffee House (Dec. 8) and the Winter Artisan Market at the Pottery on Canyon (Dec. 9) still to come!

Find Hidden Treasures at our Charming Artisan Studios and Galleries

Curious to get a sneak peek into Santa's workshop? Then we encourage visitors to visit some of our elvish artisans in their cozy studios and galleries this holiday season. It's more than just shopping; it's a chance to meet the makers, witness their artistic process firsthand and unravel the fascinating stories behind each lovingly crafted creation!

The Christmas Cheer is on display at the Yahk Soap & Candle Co. in Yahk BC!
Numerous body care products and other treasures can be found at the festively decorated Yahk Soap & Candle Co.

Out of town, the quaint and cheery Yahk Soap & Candle Co. offers a colourful and aromatic collection of handmade soaps, candles, skin and body care products, as well as work from other local Kootenay artisans. Some of the soap is even made from goat’s milk — and a sighting of goats Walter, Toot and Buttin on the shop’s roof isn’t uncommon!

In downtown Creston, the Pridham Pottery Studio is a longtime artisan studio fixture famous for their instantly recognizable collection of Creston-inspired hand painted bowls, plates, mugs and more. For pottery made by both students and established artists, the new Pottery on Canyon, a teaching and membership studio downtown, is a great place to stop as well.

For the socially conscious shopper, a visit to the Cresteramics Gift Shop is a must, featuring a artisan gallery of works by a rotating collection of local artisans and craftspeople ! It’s run by a non-profit society by the same name that provides supports and services for people with diverse abilities, many of whom are staff members at the shop. You'll feel good knowing that not only everything in the shop is made by a local artist, but also that a percentage of all proceeds goes back to supporting this wonderful organization!

Check Out Our Fantastic Boutique Stores and Specialty Shops

Those looking for a central hub for holiday shopping should definitely visit Creston's downtown, where a merry medley of unique shops and delightful boutiques awaits, each a treasure trove of gifts for every age and whim. These stores are like Santa's bag of presents, bursting with surprises that refuse to be boxed into just one category!

the beautiful Christmas window display at Modern Alchemy & Public Vinyl in Creston BC
A beautiful holiday window display at Modern Alchemy & Public Vinyl invites passersby to come in and explore.

For a range of clothing styles, a visit to Sue’s Clotheslines, Pageboy Studio or Modern Alchemy & Public Vinyl are a good bet. The perfect gift for a foodie will be found at the Grater Good, a kitchen supply store that rivals any found in a larger centre; or for someone who simply likes food (specifically snacking) or tea, visit Tigz Teas & Gifts, which has a ton of unique teas and food related gifts — they’ll even package it all up in a beautiful gift basket!

Yarn and wool, unique women’s accessories and work by local artisans can be found at Fly in the Fibre. The Gold N Treasures rock shop is the place to find specialty crystals, gems and rare stones, as well as jewelry for the rockhound or crystal lover in the family! Tilia Botanicals offers luxurious bath and facial products, culinary mixes and spice blends — some of them created right in the shop!

Ski Bums rejoice at Elevate Mountain Lifestyles!

Gifts for the outdoor adventurer are easy to find, with bicycles, winter sport equipment and disc golf gear at Summit Cycles; outdoor inspired clothing, footwear and accessories at Elevate Mountain Lifestyles; and fishing and hunting gear for the sportsman at Mawson's Sports.

And for the kids (and the kids at heart), the massive toy department at Creston Card and Stationery (and Toyland) simply can’t be beat!

Out of town, Legend Logos is the place to find indigenous art, including buckskin, dreamcatchers and embroidered art — and it’s the home of the Yaqan Nukiy Heritage Centre, so the frivolity of a shopping trip can also include a bit of education!

Take a Shopping Break and Warm Up at a Café & Restaurant

A Woman grabbing a coffee at Buffalo Trails in Creston BC
Buffalo Trails is a great "warming hut" during downtown shopping expeditions

For a quick mid-shop fuel-up or just a warm-up on a cold winter day, why not stop by a café or bakery for a hot drink or toasty lunch? Kingfisher Quality Used Books is the coziest spot to enjoy a specialty coffee (and there’s a good chance to stumble across a Christmas present there too!). Buffalo Trails Coffee House offers delicious buffalo chili and a full lineup of holiday beverages (I’m partial to the gingerbread latte), and Golden Flour Bakery’s December menu includes Christmas wontons with cranberry dipping sauce, and a line of holiday baking, such as an eggnog cheesecake donut!

For those needing a break from the hustle and bustle of shopping in town, Erickson’s Good Company Coffee is a serene little stop that offers specialty coffees and treats with an epic postcard view of Mount Thompson. Meanwhile the aptly named Mountain Barn Bakery between Creston and Wynndel is famous for its fresh donuts, pies and soup.

Celebrate The Season With US!

'Tis the season for more than just shopping sprees! The holidays in Creston are more importantly a time for our friends, family and community to gather, celebrate, and perhaps catch a glimpse of Santa as he makes his merry rounds!

Santa & Mrs. Claus make a guest appearance at the Santa Claus Parade in Creston BC
Santa & Mrs. Claus make a guest appearance at the Parade!

Among the most cherished local traditions is the beloved Christmas Parade, a spectacular evening parade headlined by St. Nick himself! This year's festivity is set for Saturday, Dec. 16, starting with a bustling outdoor market downtown at 4 p.m., followed by the parade at 6 p.m. After the parade, the Spirit Square at the intersection of 11th Avenue North and Canyon Street transforms into a hub of festive cheer with free hotdogs, steaming hot chocolate and open wood fires. And guess what? Most downtown businesses keep their doors open late, a perfect chance for some last-minute shopping!

But wait, there's more twinkling fun! On Dec. 18, 20 and 22, hop aboard the magical Tour of Lights, a delightful hour-long bus tour exploring the most radiant Christmas decorations in town — all for just $1! Secure your spot by reaching out to the Creston Visitor Centre.

For other evening entertainment during the holidays the Blossom Valley Singers, Creston Community Band and Footlighters Theatre Society usually have holiday-themed performances. And as the countdown to New Year's Eve begins, anticipate a flurry of fabulous parties and concerts at our local venues! Explore our Events page to catch all the excitement in the countdown to the New Year!

Play In the Snowy Wonderland of Creston Valley!

Amidst the delightful indulgence and holiday treats, why not step outdoors into the mountains and revel in the snowy wonderland around us? It's the ultimate remedy for beating those winter blues while working off those festive feasts!

Snowshoeing up Kootenay Pass is a great way to burn off holiday calories!

Walking or cross-country skiing at the Creston Valley Wildlife Management Area is a popular option, and if the ice is safely thick enough, so is skating on Duck Lake. For the more adventurous, snowshoeing or backcountry skiing up Kootenay Pass is a truly refreshing option, with equipment rentals available at Summit Cycles & Sports and ski guiding available with Kootenay Backcountry Guides. Alternatively, contact the Kokanee Country Snowmobile Club to explore their well-maintained trails! (Psst, for more snowy adventure inspiration, check out my "Snowy Adventures" blog post!)

Finally, after all that exhilaration, indulge in some well-deserved relaxation! Head over to the Creston & District Community Complex for a rejuvenating dip in the swimming pool, a serene steam room session, or a soothing soak in the hot tub.

Just Scratching the Snowy Surface of the Holiday Season

This snapshot barely captures the depth and beauty of the holiday spirit in our beloved Creston Valley. Here, the essence of Christmas permeates every street corner — a celebration steeped in warmth, togetherness, and gratitude for another year's blessings. It's a sentiment that goes beyond words, impossible to fully encapsulate in this brief overview. You'll just have to come experience it for yourself! In the meantime, check out the Play, Shop and Eat sections of our website for more ways to discover the spirit!

As you embark on your holiday adventures, whether nestled here in Creston or venturing elsewhere, may these moments be adorned with reflection, kindness, and the true spirit of Christmas. From all of us in Creston, we extend our warmest wishes for a meaningful and safe holiday season to you.

Brian Lawrence

Freelance writer Brian Lawrence is a former editor and publisher of the Creston Valley Advance. In his spare time, he enjoys hiking and trail running, and acting in and directing productions with Creston's Footlighters Theatre Society.


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