While many of us are familiar with the struggle of finding the perfect gift for our families, friends, or colleagues, perhaps we are less aware that the solution may be found closer to home – the amazingly talented artisans based around the Maltese islands craft the perfect gifts for any occasion, and especially more so at Christmas-time!
In order to generate more awareness about these - often hidden - gems, the Malta Crafts Foundation has embarked on an initiative aimed at showcasing a selection of these locally produced artisanal products that would surely bring a smile to your loved ones' faces when they unwrap them. Some can even be personalised to add that extra element of uniqueness.
As part of the #ChooseLocal campaign, in the run-up towards Christmas, the Malta Crafts Foundation will be posting a different selection of products on its Facebook pages on a daily basis, tagging all the featured artisans to make it easier for anyone interested in a product to locate its maker.
By following the Malta Crafts Foundation’s social media, you will certainly be inspired to give this Christmas more of a local twist, and at the same time have less of a headache in finding the ideal gift for your loved ones.
While the artisans are spread all around Malta and Gozo, a good concentration of them are based within the artisan villages at Ta’ Qali and Ta’ Dbieġi, which are certainly worth a visit during these days to get your hands on some of the beautiful handmade products.
And if you happen to be in Gozo on the 9th of December, make sure you put the Ta’ Dbieġi Artisan Village on your itinerary for a day full of fun and activities for the whole family, as Santa’s Workshop is back!
Starting from 10 am, artisans based in the village will welcome you at their workshops, giving you the opportunity to view a variety of local products being created. The village will also be buzzing with games, activities, music, and food, until 5 pm.
Apart from going directly to the village yourself, this year you can also opt to take the Santa’s Workshop Express, free of charge! There are two scheduled departures from the Victoria Train Station at the Victoria Bus Terminus: the morning one leaving at 10 am with a return trip at noon; and the afternoon one at 2:30 pm and returning at 4:30 pm. Train rides are on a first come first served basis, so it is highly recommended to book your ticket here so as not to be disappointed.
Among other activities at the village, you can take part in a Treasure Hunt with questions and tasks that can easily be carried out while roaming around and within the artisans’ workshops. The winner will get a 100 euro voucher to spend at any artisan’s workshop in Ta’ Dbieġi.
You can also opt to learn more about the traditional craft of Maltese filigree by signing up for a workshop with Master Artisan George Farrugia, winner of this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award at the Premju Ġieh l-Artiġjanat Malti. Register here for the workshop, which will allow you to create a beautiful pendant.
Different games will be set up around the village and Santa Claus and other characters will be roaming around, waiting to meet you all. Make sure not to leave before you get your picture taken with Santa and his elves. Polaroid pictures will be given out to you instantly, for free, as a keepsake of the day!
For more information, bookings, and a full programme visit the event’s dedicated page.
Will you be choosing local this Christmas?