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Late Christmas gift shopping might be best done locally
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So, there’s less than a week left to shop for gifts before the Christmas holiday. Don’t stress out—shop locally. You can save time and money, while you enjoy the convenience of spending your money at local businesses.

There are lots of options for local holiday gift shopping. In addition to those mentioned in last week’s edition of the Independent-Scout, local shoppers might want to consider some of these businesses when it comes to getting that right gift conveniently.

Let’s start in Soldiers Grove with BMC Farm and Home Center, located at 103 Sunbeam Boulevard E. just down the road from Campbell’s One Stop. It turns out that the folks at BMC are ready for local shoppers with some holiday specials. First, there’s 10 percent off all the small appliances. The store carries a variety of blenders, coffee makers, electric knives, deep fryers and so much more. Why travel to the malls and the big box stores, when there’s so much, so close and it’s all sold to you by the friendly local staff. In addition to the small appliances, BMC is offering 25 percent off toys, which include an interesting selection of Barbie dolls and the ever-popular construction and farm toys. That’s tractors, trucks, loaders and more in the junior sandbox-sizes.

For the adults on your list, you may want to try some of the decorative collage picture frames that are perfect for family and vacation photos. Of course, it’s BMC so there are plenty of tools for the farmer, worker and handyman.

BMC offers free gift-wrapping. Also, with a $25 purchase, there’s a free Christmas stocking filled with goodies. The store is open Monday through Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. It will close at 4 p.m. on Christmas Eve and be closed on Christmas Day.

Another local option with lots of merchandise for gift giving is Johnson’s One Stop in Seneca. It’s the store that lives up to its motto—‘We have what you need.’

Johnson’s One Stop can truly be the one stop for all the different people on your list from children to seniors. The store has a large selection of giftware for starters.

From housewares to tools to appliances to clothing to toys and so much more, you can find it all reasonably priced at Johnson’s and sold by the friendly helpful local staff. Why drive away from the nice people, who can help you shop so easily and locally. Shop near home and relax with your friends. Like the other stores, Johnson’s has gift cards available.

Johnson’s is open from 6:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day except Sunday when they’re closed and Friday when they are open to 8 p.m. The store will close at 4 p.m. on Christmas Eve and be closed on Christmas Day.

For unique food gifts don’t forget to add the Mt. Sterling Cheese Factory. The cheese factory’s award-winning dairy goat cheese comes in a variety of styles and sizes. Some are raw and others are pasteurized.

A real treat for holiday gifting is the Sterling Reserve, a special cheese with a nutty flavor. The more adventurous might want to choose the Sterling Bleu Cheese, a raw milk goat cheese in a half moon or wedge. Whether you’re choosing cheddar, jack, mozzarella or bleu, you can be assured it’s locally made from locally produced goat milk. If you can call ahead, the staff will create a cheese box or tray to order.

The Mt. Sterling Cheese Factory store also carries cheese made from cows’ milk for those who prefer it. The store is open Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. It will close at noon on Christmas Eve and be closed for Christmas Day.

The Kickapoo Exchange Natural Food Co-op on Main Street in Gays Mills is also another great spot for shoppers to stop by and check out.

This year, the KEX offers several handmade items including hats and jewelry, pre-made gift baskets, locally made honey, maple syrup, and homemade and locally made lip balms, lotions and body scrubs to take the stress off of planning that perfect gift. They also offer a large selection of beer, wine, and cheeses along with several other snaking and beverage options for your holiday get together refreshment needs. The Kickapoo Exchange will be open from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. Christmas Eve and closed Christmas Day.

Other spots for local shoppers to get the gifts that people can always use are the local convenience stores. All of them offer gift certificates or gift cards and all of them sell gas and diesel fuel. This can solve one problem many gift givers face—will my gift be used? Well, in the country, everybody buys fuel for their vehicles. So yes, those gift cards and certificates from the Marketplace in Gays Mills or Campbell’s One Stop in Soldiers Grove or the Kwik Stop in Readstown or Greener’s Corners in Seneca will definitely be used and appreciated.

However, there’s more to what each of these stores can offer the gift buyer than just fuel. The Marketplace also offers a full line of grocery store items. There’s a full-line of wines and liquor. There are also plenty of cheeses and sauasages and fresh produce for gift baskets. The store makes cheese and meat trays that can be ordered just by calling ahead. You can also order buns made fresh in the bakery to go with your trays. And like each of the convenience stores, the Marketplace has lottery tickets, which are nice stocking stuffers or can be slipped into the holiday greeting cards available at the store.

Campbell’s also offers plenty of choices beyond the gift certificate, which can be used for gas, food or other merchandise. The store carries a line of specialty cheeses in addition to liquor, wine and beer. Campbell’s is open weekdays from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. On Christmas Eve, the store will be open from 5 a.m. to 8 p.m. On Christmas Day, the store will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Kickapoo Kwik Stop in Readstown is running a special on their gift certificates offering a $30 gift certificate for just $25. The store is also featuring 10 percent off the purchase of three bottles or more of liquor or wine from their large selection. If you’re stocking up or buying multiple gifts, Kwik Stop has 15-percent-off deal on cases of liquor or wine.

The store also offers a wide variety of cheeses. Kickapoo Kwik Stop in Readstown is open every day from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. They will close early on Christmas Eve at 6 p.m. and open late on Christmas day at 8 a.m.

Greener’s Corner in Seneca offers pre-paid BP gas cards that can be used at the pumps, as well as gift certificates that can be use for fuel or other merchandise in the store. In addition to the usual convenience store items, Greener’s still has hunting supplies for sale.

Finally, there are the local restaurants for the hungry friends and relatives. Like some of the other gifts mentioned, it’s doubtful you can go wrong buying gift certificates to local restaurants.

In Gays Mills, you might want to visit the Red Apple Inn, which offers gift certificates in any amount. The Red Apple is open every day from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. and will be open those hours on Christmas Eve. The restaurant, located on Main Street in Gays Mills, will be closed Christmas Day.

The Kickapoo Inn in Readstown has a long history in selling gift certificates, with some customers returning to buy them every year for holiday gift giving. The restaurant keeps a log of who buys the certificates and in some cases has even been able to replace lost gift certificates. The certificates are valid as long as the current owners are running the restaurant and sometimes gift certificates sold 10 or 15 years ago are used.

The certificates can be in any amount the buyer chooses and people living outside the area can even purchase them for local relatives over the phone with a credit card.

The Kickapoo Inn is open from 7 a.m. until closing seven days per week, but will close at 3 p.m. on Christmas Eve and is closed on Christmas Day.

The Kickapoo Corners Restaurant in Readstown is offering $30 gift certificates for $25.

Then, there’s the long list of businesses we mentioned last week where you can shop locally for your holiday.

In addition to the hair salons included last week, we forgot to mention our neighbors, Lana’s Family Hair Care which shares the space with Designs by Denise in the Gays Mills Mercantile Center and Robert E., the barber located in the Mercantile Center. Sorry about that.

Lana’s offers gift certificates good for haircuts, styling, coloring and perms. She is in the salon all day on Fridays and other times by appointment. Gift certificates can be purchased by stopping in the salon. To make an appointment, call 735-4577 (salon) or 624-3577 (home). Lana is also an Avon saleswoman, so you can pick up a catalogue while you’re at it!

Of course Robert E. has a gift certificate for haircuts as well.

Finally, here’s a review of those businesses in last week’s story.

In Gays Mills you can shop at the Village Green House, Kickapoo Locker, Sunrise Orchard, Designs by Denise and The Kickapoo Stump Dodger Campgrounds for all of your last minute gift giving needs.

In Soldiers Grove, Sunshine Highlights and Shear Heaven in the Grove have you covered.

Finders Keepers in Mt. Sterling offers up a delightful variety of gifts. In Readstown, you’ll be sure to find a little something for someone on your list at Crazy Frank’s Flea Markets or Kickapoo Flair.

So, why not do your last-minute shopping locally. Whether you’re buying gift certificates to local businesses or some of the unique products that can only be found locally, the gift is almost sure to please those for whom you bought it, it will improve the local economy and you can avoid the shopping hassle at the same time. Shop local this year and relax.