The season of giving is upon us. In the waning light of this year’s ending, traditions abound that encourage us to think of others. Whether it’s Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or Festivus (for the rest of us!), it’s time for most of us to do a little shopping.
Luckily, we don’t always need to go far afield to find those special gifts.
Make-n-Mend, located at 212 Main Street, offers handmade products you can’t get anywhere else. Sewing shop owner Kay Smiley sells ready-made and customizable aprons, hot pads, sack socks (for your recycled bags!), smart phone bags, hunting pouches and more.
“I can personalize gifts for anyone stopping in, adding a name or whatever they want it to say,” said Smiley.
Make-n-Mend also offers a non-electric version of the heating pad. The rice or buckwheat hull-filled sacks can be heated in the oven or microwave. Unlike a regular heating pad, they conform to your shape, to sooth aches and warm you so, so nicely. The decorative covers are made to be removable, so they are easy to keep clean.
Across the street, the Village Greenhouse at 215 Main Street offers an eclectic array of gifts for the holiday season. In addition to the items one might expect from a greenhouse heading into the holidays, things like poinsettias, amaryllis, paperwhites, Christmas cacti and wreathes, owner Joe Brandt also stocks decorative novelties such as tin signs, shelf sitters, magnets, jewelry, baskets, aromatherapy candles, wind chimes, soaps, t-shirts, bumper stickers and garden stones.
The Kickapoo Exchange Natural Foods Cooperative at 209 Main Street offers seasonal items, specials and gift baskets each year. Baskets can feature goods such as organic coffees, deluxe chocolates, candles, incense, handmade soaps, microbrewery beers and local wines.
Gays Mills t-shirts, which benefit the public library, are also available at the food co-op. There are several styles and designs to choose from.
Sunrise Orchards, 48340 State Highway 171, offers customizable gift boxes that ship anywhere in the continental United States. The orchard salesroom stocks baking mixes, jams, jellies, salsa, and more.
To have the orchard ship your gift, orders are needed by December 15. For those you plan to deliver yourself, the retail shop will be open through December 20.
Lana’s Family Hair Care at 120 Sunset Ridge Avenue offers gift certificates, Avon products, and locally made ruffled scarves made by Delores Karnopp.
Owner Lana Randall plans to hold an Open House on Friday, Dec. 19 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. She will offer refreshments, food, and a drawing for door prizes.
Lana’s is currently open only on Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Additional times are available by appointment only.
You can also think well ahead into the year, and gift that camper in the family with a ‘glamping’ package at the Kickapoo Stump Dodger Campgrounds for the summer season. Glamping, or glamorous camping, is the extra easy version of the campground experience. The tent is much larger, it’s set up for you, and comes with a refrigerator, coffeemaker, microwave and private patio along with a large comfortable bed. For more information, contact the campground at 735-4929 or stop in the office at 303 Main Street.
Burkum Milling Company (BMC), located at 103 E. Sunbeam Boulevard, offers specials each Christmas season.
Currently, they are offering 50-percet off select Christmas items and 25-percent off all Watkins products. They also have a wet/dry shop vac sale on. Normally $94.99, the shop vac is only $59.99 while supplies last. And more specials are planned for the month of December.
BMC stocks a surprisingly wide variety of home and garden ware, small appliances, toys, sporting goods, pet supplies, tools and more.
Sunshine Highlights, 110 Passive Sun Drive, offers an array of services including organic hair coloring. Throughout the month of December, the salon will offer free eyebrow waxing with hair coloring services.. In addition to hair styling, owner-stylist Stacey Noel offers waxing, pedicure treatments, and hair care products. Numa and Nutrient hair products are on sale as well.
“I am offering 25-percent off all the regular Numa and Nutrient hair products, excluding the leaders which were already on sale,” Noel said.
Sunshine Highlights is open Mondays and Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Fridays. The salon can be reached at 624-4247 or at SunshineHighlights@yahoo.com to schedule an appointment.
Also located in Soldiers Grove is Shear Heaven Salon at 106 Passive Sun Drive. Shear Heaven is a full service salon with a variety of options available. Call 624-5217 for more information.
At the intersection of Highway 171 and Highway 27, you will find Finders Keepers. Located in one of Mt. Sterling’s two original general stores built in the 1800s, owner Barbara Quamme has renovated space into a two-story shop brimming with new and gently used consignment clothing, antiques and collectables. A little bit of everything can be found at great savings.
“There aren’t any new items here that are full price,” Quamme noted. “Some are half price, some 70 percent off, some 80 percent. And we have pieces in every size, from 0 to 3X.”
There are also some particularly special pieces of furniture available. Quamme commissioned a local woodworker to make pieces from local barn board.
Finders Keepers is only open on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Mt. Sterling Cooperative Creamery, located on Highway 171 east of the junction with Highway 27, is an award-winning cheese producer with ready-made or custom gift boxes to take home or have shipped anywhere in the country.
The member-owned-and-operated co-op makes a wide variety of goat cheeses, which are featured in their gift boxes along with paired meats, jams, honey and maple syrups.
If your gift recipient doesn’t care for goat cheese, the creamery also offers a wide variety of traditional and artisanal cow cheeses – Jarlsburg, juusto, goudas, gjetost, Black River Bleu, and more. And for the more adventurous, you can include some Chocolate Cheese Fudge by Jim’s Cheese out of Belgium, Wis.
If you want something shipped and received in time for Christmas, the creamery recommends getting your order in by noon on Monday, Dec. 15.
Forever Hair and Nails at 17627 Highway 27 has more than haircuts and perms for the holiday shopper, she has a month of specials! Through Christmas, owner Heather Wallin is offering $10 off all gift certificates of $50 and over. She is also offering 25-percent off all retail hair care products.
You can find one-of-a-kind headbands made by Nicole Sandeen.
Johnson’s One Stop, 134 Highway 27, offers a wide variety of gift choices. You could go classic and buy the handyman or woman in your life the tools you know they need. Or head over to the kitchen wares department and pick up a new stand mixer for your favorite baker. And how about a new bird feeder or yard ornament for Grandma and Grandpa?
Johnson’s is open from 6:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday and until 8 p.m. pm Friday. They are closed Sundays.
Kickapoo Flair at 202 North 4th Street, offers gift certificates that apply to all their services, be it highlighting, a session on the tanning bed, or Redken haircare products. You can reach the salon at 629-5122 for more information or to schedule an appointment.
Kickapoo Trading Post at 817 West Kickapoo Street/Highway 14 offers a wide variety of antiques, for the eclectic gifter. Vintage hats, pocket watches, antique tools and implements, and the wide array of decorative arts from yesteryear line the overflowing shelves and outbuildings of the shop.
Just a block away on Highway 61 south, you will find Crazy Franks, where overstock and dent-and-bent meets antiquing. You can find your gift and your wrapping paper mere aisles apart.
Catering, dining, and wine
There are also the local restaurants, markets, and lockers. They can help make your holiday entertaining a little easier and make an easy gift since everyone needs to eat and sometimes we would all like a break from cooking!
In Gays Mills, you can choose from the Red Apple Inn and J&J on Main for dinning out, catering, and gift certificates. The Kickapoo Locker offers a wide variety of meats for that Christmas meal or party hors d’oeuvres. And the Marketplace can take care of making the meat and cheese tray or round out the party bar from their selection of wine and spirits. They also offer gift certificates and a variety of treats that make excellent stocking stuffers.
In Soldiers Grove, there are TazZee’s Wonder Bar, Country Gardens and the Old Oak Inn for your dining pleasure and gift certificates. Campbell’s One Stop offers a selection of wines and liquors. A gift certificate to the Roth House Bed and Breakfast or the Inn at Lonesome Hollow would make a future visit an extra special treat filled with comfort in a beautiful setting. You can also still memorialize a loved one and show support for the library by purchasing an engraved patio paver at the Soldiers Grove Public Library.
Rolling Ground has McCormick’s Bar and Grill. Dine out, have food made, or give a gift certificate for a future meal!
And in Readstown, there are Harvest Moon, Kickapoo Inn and Kickapoo Corners, all of who can help with an evening out during the holidays or a gift certificate for a later date.
Fill ‘em up
Finally, there is the gift card to help out with all the driving we must do. A gift card to cover gas expenses as we drive hither and yonder through the holidays is a happily received and useful gift. Greener’s Corner in Seneca, the Marketplace in Gays Mills, Campbell’s One Stop in Soldiers Grove, and Kickapoo KWK Stop in Readstown are all happy to help with that handy stocking stuffer for drivers in our lives! And perhaps you can pick up a lottery ticket to slide into those Christmas stockings while you’re at it!