By GAIL MIYASAKI, Rafu Craft Editor

OMG! It’s already Dec. 11 . . . only 14 days left ’til that most famous red-nosed reindeer will be leading Santa’s sleigh.

Get into the spirit on the season!

Lisa Fujimoto of Campbell creates fanciful musubi holiday ornaments on hanging shamoji.(Courtesy of Chickie Babies Crafts)

Take a minute to listen to an amazing version of “The Little Drummer Boy.” A cappella. No drums. No instruments. Pure joy.

Vocals are handled by Pentatonix, a group of five out of Arlington, Texas. They won the 2012 season of “The Sing-Off” that just kicked off its fourth one on NBC this past Monday. Go to

Listen to Christmas music all month long on radio 103.5.

Ready for shopping? Let’s do it!

As savvy shoppers, we are challenged to stretch our hard earned bucks. We all love an incentive. Give me a store gift card when I spend a set amount of dollars or earn triple points on my store credit card for reward bucks.

When one sale ends at midnight, another similar one starts the next day. Be flexible with your game plan.

Marketing strategists want us to enter their doors. Once in, they’re counting on us to purchase. Doorbuster specials, one day sales, price matching and coupons galore draw us in. Just as good are offers of buy one, get one free.

That Bed, Bath and Beyond postcard with 20% off one item is a no-brainer and easy enough to print out more. Have unused coupons? Share them with another shopper.

Some stores can scan your smart phone for their coded coupons.

For online shoppers, free shipping is a bonus. Nordstrom offers free shipping, free returns. That means easy store returns in SoCal.

A fabric ornament adds that Asian flair for the holidays.

To qualify for free shipping at many sites, you’re expected to spend a certain amount, $50-100 are the going limits. Amazon Prime gives free two-day shipping with a $79 annual fee. A good deal as long as you pay those monthly bills on time to avoid late fees.

Buying books on an electronic device is my first choice. A few years back at Barnes and Noble, several top picks of kid’s books were no where to be found.

Zappo’s for online footwear is a popular choice. Take advantage of free shipping and 365-day return.

For shopping at the Asian arts and crafts shows, nix all of the above. No coupons, no free shipping. We go to shop for unique, creative, handmade products made by local artisans and to support their endeavors.

The final Asian show of the winter season takes place this Saturday in San Francisco. Kimochi’s Silver Bells Arts and Crafts Faire will be held at the Event Center, St. Mary’s Cathedral.

Holiday ornaments make special gifts. Take home one with an Asian twist from Chickie Babies Crafts. Lisa Fujimoto and her sis, Jodi Fujimoto-Dilger are back for the seventh year at a place where they love to shop. Put them together and they’ve found “the perfect solution to make extra money so we could shop more,” Lisa said.

Both fourth-generation JAs, their families have lived mostly on Maui for over 100 years. Look for influences from the Hawaiian culture, as well as Japanese textiles and images.

With regular day jobs that keep them busy enough, their stash is also made up of onesies, greeting cards, notepads, magnets and gift tags.

Their favorite haunts for supplies are in San Jose Japantown, Daiso, Paper Source and various craft vendors.

Hats off to their crafty grandmothers and mom. “We were always encouraged as kids to be creative and to make gifts for people rather than buying them,” Lisa said. “They’ve shown us how to be resourceful and patient.”

As Christmas nears and 2013 year draws to a close, this message goes across the miles to you and yours to enjoy the happiest of holidays . . .

“And so I’m offering this simple phrase, to kids from one to ninety-two

Although it’s been said many times, many ways, Merry Christmas to you”

— The Christmas Song

LIKE The Rafu on Facebook to keep up with Krafty Korner!

Saturday, Dec. 14, 10-4

Kimochi’s Silver Bells Arts & Crafts Faire

The Event Center at St. Mary’s Cathedral

1111 Gough St., San Francisco

415-931-2294, Sakura Suzuki

A mighty evergreen Christmas tree has been put up in Little Tokyo’s Japanese Village Plaza. (MIKEY HIRANO CULROSS/Rafu Shimpo)


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  1. Thank you, Gail, for the beautifully written article! We appreciate you including us in your list of top places to shop! We’re hoping to help a lot of people finish up their holiday shopping this weekend. Happy holidays to you and yours.