Litchfield, CT --
Contact: Janet L. Serra
Ph: 800-663-1273
Email: lhcvbnwct@aol.com
For Immediate Release

Stumped for original gift ideas? Tired of holiday crowds? Head for the peaceful and beautiful Litchfield Hills of Connecticut where a day in the country can provide new gift ideas for even the hardest to please on your shopping list. The offerings include everything from a gingerbread house to fine art and crafts.

A good place to start is the 31st annual holiday Craft Exhibition and Sale at the Brookfield Craft Center in Brookfield, where handmade craftwork by more than 300 American artists is on display. Jewelry, ceramics, glassware, scarves, hats and gloves, toys, desk and kitchen items, clocks, candlesticks, turned wood, baskets, picture frames and holiday ornaments are all featured in one of the region?s largest displays of original work. The free exhibit is open every day (except Thanksgiving and Christmas) from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. from November 3 to December 31. Phone ( 203) 775-4526 or see www.brookfieldcraftcenter.org for more details.

Another place to view and buy original pieces is the Boyajian Sculpture Barn Holiday Collection in New Fairfield, where the elegant wrought iron and bronze candle pieces, small sculptures, prints, etchings and other fine gift items all were created on site in here in artist David Boyajian's atelier. The show runs from November 23 to December 24, Wednesdays and weekends from 10AM to 6PM. Phone (203) 746-6101 or see www.sculpturebarn.com for information and directions.

At the Monastic Art Shop at the Abbey of Regina Laudis in Bethlehem, the supply of crafts usually includes pottery, candles, woven and knitted goods, wool from the Abbey's sheep, iron work hand-forged at the Abbey Blacksmith Shop, and leather goods including handbags handmade from the tanned hides of cattle from the Abbey herds. The offerings also include Women in Chant CDs featuring the lovely voices of the nuns of the Abbey. New this year is the Announcement of Christmas CD that features Gregorian Chants for the Christmas season sung by the Choir of Benedictine Nuns of this Abbey with a special reading by Mother Dolores Hart. The Abbey's Christmas Hut is open from November 23 to January 5, 2008, offers trees, wreaths, cr?ches, cookies, and gifts. Find out more abut the Abbey at (203) 266-7637 or www.abbeyofreginalaudis.com.

At the Silo Gallery in New Milford, the 35th annual Christmas tree, decorated with delicate white and silver ornaments depicting this years? theme, Love and Peace, will be ready for those early holiday shoppers on November 3rd. The tree provides inspiration and the one-of-a-kind crafts and delicious holiday foods around the tree offer unique gift ideas. The display remains until December 31. www.hunthillfarmtrust.org.

The Danbury Museum Holiday Bazaar, a juried event, opens on Saturday December, 9th and remains open Tuesday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. from December 4 to 22nd. Besides the original crafts on display, the shop regularly features poster, prints, photos, calendars, clothing, and regional memorabilia often featuring former Danbury residents Charles Ives and Marian Anderson. See www.danburyhistorical.org or phone (203) 743-5200 for details.

The one-day Newtown Holiday Craft Festival scheduled for the town?s Edmond Town Hall on Sunday, December 1 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. will display the work of many fine crafters. Admission is free. For more information phone (203) 261-2414.

Holiday Gingerbread

One of the favorite holiday traditions in the Litchfield Hills is the 39th Annual Gingerbread Village and Bazaar at St. George's Church in Middlebury. Each year, a completely new and freshly baked gingerbread village goes up, with more than 50 buildings, all edible, and ready to buy to adorn your own home or to give to friends. The bazaar also includes a variety of handmade crafts and baked goods. The free display is on from December 1 to December 8; hours are Saturday, December 1, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Sunday. Noon to 7 p.m., Monday to Friday 2 pm. to 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., and Saturday December 8 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Phone (203) 758-9864 for details.

For more information about holiday events and a free copy of UNWIND, a 112-page color guide to lodging, dining and all the attractions in the Litchfield Hills write to the Northwest Connecticut Convention and Visitors Bureau, PO Box 968, Litchfield, CT 06759, call (860) 567-4506 or check the Internet at www.litchfieldhills.com.