Several options for this weekend that are free of charge to attend.

Village Lights

German Village will be aglow Sunday night for the annual Village Lights event from 6-10 p.m. featuring luminarias all over the area. In addition to the lights, stores stay open late and have free giveaways. The Strizelmarkt outdoor Christmas Market will be located in the walkway outside of the German Village Meeting Haus. For more information about the event, visit I was at the Golden Hobby Shop to help shoot a video and did some browsing and shopping. Some of my top gift picks for less than $10 include:

• OSU Buckeye earrings, necklaces, scarves and accessories for $1.20-$9.60.

• Large bag of pine cone firestarters for $6.

• Stained glass tree ornament $9.60.

• Mason jar luminarias $4.80.

• Ornaments in the shape of a tree made from buttons $4.20.

• Initial embossed notecards 10/$3.35.

Some other great deals were seen across the street in the bargain area at The Book Loft, which is celebrating 35 years of business. These include fun mini-books and trinkets for $2.99. Half-price Christmas cards in a box and gift bags. Mad Libs for $1.49 and movie star books from Taschen for $5.99.

Holiday Hop

The annual Holiday Hop is here and I can't wait to stroll the Short North to see all of the lights and great holiday displays on Saturday night. I loved the great window display at Flower Child last year and I'll be snapping photos of my faves again this year. The Short North Business Association is holding an Instagram photo contest for those of you that want to show off your talents. Shows begin at noon and last through 9 p.m. in the Victorian Gate Courtyard area. Santa's elves will be there and visitors can take a chance at the Short North Prize Wheel. For more on the event and to plan your visit, check out

Todd Oldham's book featuring the art of Charley Harper

For a short while, designer Todd Oldham was the face of MTV's House of Style and the creator of a line for Target. Now, he's doing books featuring the artwork of Cincinnati artist Charley Harper. I'm a Charley Harper fan and I got some cardinal Christmas cards and a calendar at the Scioto Audubon gift shop. Oldham will be discussing and signing copies of his latest book, Animal Kingdom, for free at the Wexner Center for the Arts on Sunday at 4 p.m. I'm really bummed I'll be out of town visiting with friends, but I hope some of you get to go. The book will be 20% off for the event. If you find yourself liking his artwork as much as I do, you might want to visit the Charley Harper Art Studio in Cincinnati. For more about the event at Wexner, visit This event is free and open to the public, but take money for parking.