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Open houses

Looking for a fun holiday gift for a family member or friend? How about a ticket to a local holiday home tour? There are several coming up very soon, as I write about in today's Home & Style section.

Of course, you'll have to present the gift early, but why not?

Earlier this week, we photographed this setup at the home of Steven Cavallo, who is part of the Sixth Annual Christmas Tour of Homes in Hamburg, Dec. 6, presented by the Hamburg United Methodist Church.

It shows several pieces from his collection of Bennington Pottery, which is so great-looking and perfect for holiday entertaining - or any time of the year.

On the table

Here is a closeup of one of the two table arrangements designer Michael Poczkalski, from "room" — a home store on Elmwood Avenue — put together for us for today's Home & Style story on Thanksgiving centerpieces.

I especially love the bleached white leaves — mixed in with the pumpkins, orange mums, branches, small red Mokara orchids and autumn leaves, all arranged in a long, stainless container.

This would look pretty on a table but also a buffet, fireplace mantel or coffee table.

Check out the story for other centerpiece ideas, including one the kids can get involved in.

Stop by and shop

  Craft shows are a great place to pick up holiday gifts, and it's never too early to start shopping. This weekend, you can attend Christmas in the Country at the Hamburg Fairgrounds. Now celebrating its 25th anniversary, it's been named the No. 1 craft show in America by Sunshine Artist magazine.
   Among the offerings: Pottery, florals, holiday decorations, clothing and fashion accessories, jewelry, photography, metal and sculpture, glass, wood, ceramics and fine arts, along with specialty foods.
   Hours are 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. today (Nov. 6); 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $7 at the door; children under 12 are free. Free parking. Visit

  Also this weekend: The Rochester Folk Art Guild's Holiday Festival of Crafts comes to the University at Buffalo's Center for Tomorrow, North Campus, Amherst. Wooden furniture, folk toys, natural fiber clothing and more. Hours are 4 to 8 p.m. today; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $2. Visit

And coming up fast: The Parkside Community Association is sponsoring an art and craft show from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Nov. 28 at the Church of the Good Shepherd, 96 Jewett Parkway. Featured will be jewelry, scarves, pottery, soaps, lotions, soy candles, photography and more - all from local artisans.

Admission is $2, which benefits the Parkside Summer Arts program.

For more information visit

Do you have a favorite holiday craft show you love to attend each year? Please share the details here.