When I find myself walking for what seems like miles across frozen asphalt as cars scream past me, sliding, honking, brake lights flashing it can only mean one thing … Christmas shopping.

If you’re like me and typically find the Christmas spirit through Christmas music and spiked wassail and consider gift giving a hassle, I offer a solution: slow it down a ding-dong minute and stroll through the art galleries. Salt Lake’s art galleries kick off the season with a Holiday Gallery Stroll on December 5th.

Galleries provide a perfect, calm place to get handcrafted gifts by local artists. Imagine parking in the first parking stall and walking up to the charming Finch Lane Gallery nestled in Reservoir Park or popping in to discuss the clothing drive collections and holiday tree décor with Ruth Lubbers at Art Access.

You’ll find something truly unique and thoughtful for all the people on your list while you stimulate the local economy! Now that makes me feel warm and fuzzy.

Shopping at the Salt Lake City Arts Council’s Finch Lane Gallery has become a tradition for many gift givers. This year marks the 25th Anniversary of the galleries Holiday Craft Exhibit and Sale. Each year, favorites return and new artists are added increasing the size and caliber. Finch Lane Gallery is open Monday through Friday 10 a.m.to 6 p.m. and Saturday 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., located at 54 Finch Lane (1325 E. 100 S.).

Open spaces at malls are unheard of during the retail shopping season known as Christmas, but not at the Phillips Gallery. They have three floors of colorful paintings, invigorating collage and serene sculpture. Finding the perfect gift is a bonus to stopping by this refuge from the holiday hustle and bustle. Phillips Gallery is open Tuesday through Friday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., located at 444 E. 200 S.

I already think of Frosty Darling and Kayo Gallery when I think of hip art and handcrafted items, but during the Christmas season they shine. Special engagement boutiques have been set up for December 6th and December 13th from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. to afford you the luxury of having all your favorite crafters and local artisans in one place.

Kali Mellus, Sonya Evans, SLUG Sales and Marketing Manager Meghann Griggs, Tim Thompson and Alexis Hall will be offering handmade clothing and accessories, home décor and stationary. You can get it all in the local shopping mecca of 200 E. and Broadway.

Art Access is collecting clean, gently used or new clothing to donate to ARC of Utah. Renew your faith in the Christmas Season while enjoying the charm of a holiday tree decorated by knitters Lisa Sewell, Ellen Christensen and Sheryl Gillilan and wares from over 25 local artists, many of whom will be on hand for the Holiday Reception December 5th from 6 to 9 p.m. Art Access is open Monday through Friday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and is located at 230 S. 500 W.

Give local, employ your community, donate clothing, and give a gift made with heart and soul. The Christmas spirit is out there and can be found at Utah’s many art galleries this year.