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Local holiday shopping makes sense
village greenhouse
Poinsettias at the Village Greenhouse in Gays Mills, held by owner Joe Brandt

With the holidays fast approaching many of you are scrambling to find gifts for our friends and family.

Finding the perfect gift really is much easier than one may think. Many local businesses offer unique items for gift buyers.

Shopping locally is easy in this area with many different options available. Purchasing gifts locally is also very important to help create jobs for your friends and neighbors and build strong communities by sustaining vibrant town centers and businesses.

One gift that never goes out of style is the gift of food. Filling your friends and families’ bellies with cheer is always a good choice.

Sunrise Orchards of Gays Mills offers customizable gift boxes that ship any where in the continental United States. Shipping for this service will be happening until this Sunday, Dec. 16. Basically, any item in the retail shop is available to ship through Sunrise, items such as jams and jellies and salsas, as well as their delicious apples could grace your loved ones doorstep this holiday season. If you would like to hand deliver the gift the retail shop at Sunrise is open until the Saturday, Dec. 21 just in time for all your last minute shoppers.

Just down the road a ways from Sunrise is Norskehaven. A one-stop shop for many unique Christmas items and unique Norwegian-style gifts. While you’re out shopping, you can also warm up with a nice bowl of soup or a sandwich also available in the shop.

For the carnivore on the list, a quick stop at Kickapoo Locker may be the ticket. Whether it’s a beef bundle, half a pig, or just some summer sausage you seek, Jim Chelevold and his crew on Main Street in Gays Mills will be able to help you.

Looking your best around the holidays is important to many and giving the gift of beauty is easily done with many options to choose from in the area.

Located in the Gays Mills Mercantile Center is Designs by Denise. This full service salon not only includes various hair products from Paul Mitchell and Big Sexy Hair, but also Paparazzi Jewelry at reasonable prices. Manicures, pedicures and waxing services are also available. Designs by Denise also offers gift certificates for all services and products available in the salon.

Along with hairdos and removals, licensed aesthetician Kim Jones of Sunset Ridge Spa is available to deliver skincare needs. Microdermabrasion facials, bio elements facials and Herbology body polishes, along with foot and hand facials are among the skin care remedies available by calling 735-4577 for an appointment at Designs By Denise.

In Soldiers Grove, Sunshine Highlights offers many different services including certifiably organic hair color. Stacey Noel, owner and stylist, offers all standard haircuts and styles for men, women and children, color application, ‘Shoe Shine Highlights,’ ‘Body-Fur removal’ (back hair), beard and mustache trims for the gents on your list. She also offers all other body waxing and pedicure treatments.

Sunshine Highlights is open Mondays and Wednesdays from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and by appointment on Fridays. The salon can be reached at 624-4247 or at

Also located in Soldiers Grove is Shear Heaven in The Grove. Another full service salon with a variety of options available. Call 624-5217 for more information.

Just down the road a ways in Readstown is Kickapoo Flair. Serving the area for over 28 years Stylists Siri and Leah are available for all of your hair care needs. Kickapoo Flair offers gift certificates and sells an assortment of Redken products in their salon. Kickapoo Flair also offers tanning at their salon and gift certificates purchased are good for tanning packages and related products as well. You can reach them at 629-5122 for more information or to schedule an appointment.

Shopping local is also made easy for the outdoorsy types as well. The Kickapoo Stump Dodger Campgrounds in Gays Mills offers Glamping Packages for the summer camping season. Glamping, also known as “glamorous camping” is a relaxing, easy take on traditional camping. Packages are customizable to your wants and needs during your stay with the Kickapoo Stump Dodger Campgrounds. The Glamping tent offers the comforts of home such as a refrigerator, coffeemaker, microwave and private patio along with a large comfortable bed. More information is available by calling the campgrounds at 735-4929.

Many of us struggle with finding the perfect gift for that person who truly has everything. What better gift to give than something they didn’t know even existed.  In the area, there is a variety of flea market, thrift shop, rummage sale options to choose from.

In Gays Mills, the Village Greenhouse has converted its two back greenhouses into a one giant rummage sale. A sign outside encourages passer-bys to “Get in here and buy something!” Many assorted wild items are contained in the greenhouses offering a little something for everyone. Owner Joe Brandt also sells a variety of novelty t-shirts, bumper stickers, and houseplants, evergreen wreaths and poinsettias as well, along with a few consignment items. The Village Greenhouse will also wire flowers worldwide. Open Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.  For more information, you can call 735-4853.

Located in the old Mt. Sterling Store is Finders Keepers. The shop offers many one of a kind items, such as handmade baskets, jams and jellies as well as candies. There are also new and gently used name brand clothing, accessories and footwear. The store offers the charm of the old time general store and is a must stop shop for holiday gift buyers.

Another shopping for a hunter and picker gift buyer is Crazy Frank’s Flea Market located in Readstown. With over 100 vendors, this market truly has a huge variety. There are two locations in Readstown, both offering many items ranging from the useful to the downright bizarre, but must-have. Amish-made baskets and candies, Fire King dishware in many colors, handmade picture frames, a variety of books and movies and everything else under the sun is available for purchase at Crazy Frank’s.

The Crawford County Independent-Scout is also offering subscriptions with a holiday greeting included. Subscriptions are $33 for a year and $59 for two years in-state and $38 out-of-state. Call 608-735-4413 for more information.