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The holiday shopping season is just around the corner and most of us wait until the after-Thanksgiving sales to even think about starting our shopping. With big-box retailers putting all of their attention on Black Friday sales, many race to get in line for those much anticipated items. But have you ever thought of checking local small businesses and fairs for Black Friday deals? These following sales will cost you less and make the gift-giving season even more special.

Buckler’s Craft Fair
Florida State Fairgrounds
4800 US Highway 301 N.
Tampa, FL 33610
(386) 860-0092

Date: November 24-25

Buckler’s annual holiday craft fair is a great place to find that perfect gift for those special people in your life. With a wide variety of items, there is always something for everyone on your shopping list. There will be a selection of home décor to help add the final touches to your home for all the holiday gatherings that you plan on hosting. Expect to find custom-made gold and silver jewelry as well as handcrafted jewelry that is truly one of a kind. Folk art, country and traditional crafts, candles and framed work make your gift buying even easier. Scrapbooking supplies will also be on hand, so stock up so that you are prepared to share holiday memories. There will also be gourmet fudge samples as well as other tasty delights. The fair will be taking place on November 24th and 25th to give shoppers an extra few days to get some shopping in. Admission is $6 per person with children 12 and younger getting in for free.

City Street Sweets
Hyde Park Village
1605 Snow Ave.
Tampa, FL 33606
(813) 251-6764

Date: November 23

City Street Sweets will be celebrating “Sweet Friday” on November 23, 2012 with a Sweet Holiday Chocolate Bar Making Social from 10 a.m. until 9 p.m. This is a great opportunity to create your very own chocolate bar which will be great for everybody from chocolate lovers to the health conscious. Want to keep the kids busy while you are shopping? Have their grandparents, aunts or uncles bring them by to make their own delicious gifts. There will also be lots of holiday-inspired chocolate samples and other great discounts throughout the day.

Related: Best Jewelers in Tampa Bay

Gem-Jewelry-Bead Show and Sale
The Coliseum Ballroom
535 4th Ave. N.
St. Petersburg, FL 33701
(727) 892-5202

Date: November 23-25

This one-of-a-kind jewelry show will take place from Friday, November 23rd until Sunday, November 25th and will cost $4 for adults at the door. This admission will be valid throughout the entire three days. The show will feature a wide variety of gems, crystals, minerals and beads at a special discounted sale price for this holiday weekend only. There will be some of the finest jewels in the United States on hand at an affordable rate. So, if you are looking for special jewelry, then this show is the place to go to make jewelry shopping an even better deal.

Tampa Bay Farmer’s Market
623 S. Macdill Ave.
Tampa, FL 33609
(813) 876-7888

Date: November 22

The family owned and operated Tampa Bay Farmer’s Market will be a great place to begin your shopping on Black Friday. Besides having fresh seasonal fruits and vegetables for holiday gatherings and unique baskets, there are also other great gift-giving options at affordable prices. The Market also features Ybor City Gold Coffee Company’s famous ground coffee. Great flavors such as Sicilian espresso, French vanilla and Snicker’s delight are all available amongst other types beginning at just $10.99. This makes the perfect gift for the coffee lover on your list. Decaf varieties are also available beginning at a low price of $4.

Tarpon Springs Arts and Crafts Festival
111 E. Tarpon Ave.
Tarpon Springs, FL 34689

Date: November 24-25

The 22nd Annual Tarpon Springs Arts and Crafts Festival will be taking place this Thanksgiving weekend on November 24th and 25th from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. Featuring handcrafted gifts and one-of-a-kind trinkets, this fair is the perfect place to get that heartfelt gift you’re looking for. Holiday decorations will also be available to help make your home feel like a winter wonderland, even in Florida. Food vendors as well as entertainment will also be at the fair to make it a can’t-miss stop.

Related: Best Camera Stores In Tampa Bay

Bethany Cohen is a resident of Tampa and enjoys sharing her love for the city with others. Bethany loves traveling and learning about new cultures. She currently writes for Examiner.com. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.