APPLETON - Local businesses are gearing up for the holidays. But, some shoppers are thinking outside of the "big box." Instead of hitting up the malls some are picking up unique, alternative gifts for Christmas.
"Sending a kid to school for a year instead of giving someone a cell phone or something, I guess it's really what I think giving is supposed to mean," said Laura Streyle, coordinator of Lawrence University's 4th annual Alternative Giving Fair.
The fair is a place where you won't find mass produced toys or electronic gadgets.
"We have things from recycled rubber turned into bags to handmade Ecuadorian clay pens," said Will Meadows.
You can purchase jewelry hand made from Sierra Leone, and those proceeds will go to children in need there. Or you can donate money in someone's name to help Chinese orphans. They are some of many options you can use as gifts that you probably won't find in a mall. And that's exactly why some shoppers say they came.
"The mall's very materialistic. I think this is more original so I like that about this," said Viktoriya Sionov, Appleton.
"They have some beautiful scarves so I thought I'd take a look at those and go around from table to table to see what causes are all there," said Amy Uecke, Appleton.
As a gift, Uecke will donate money to a cause in the name of a loved one. Something she's done every year for the past four years.
"Family members I've given it to have been much more appreciative of being able to get a Christmas gift like that as opposed to something tangible," said Uecke.
And she says she feels buying the gifts defines the true meaning of holiday giving.
Firefighters are battling a house fire in Kewaunee County.
Wind, snow, cold and ice played a role as firefighters battled a fire in downtown Ripon Wednesday morning.
Outagamie County's second largest employer is expanding, and veterans are encouraged to apply.
The State Building Commission has approved $5 million to help build the Wisconsin Maritime Center of Excellence in Marinette.
Fond du Lac police have released more information about the weapons they found in the apartment of a man who was at the center of a five-hour standoff on Monday.
The Wisconsin Department of Transportation is announcing a public meeting has been scheduled to provide road closure and design information for the Velp Avenue interchange area.