Shop local: Gift ideas for the holidays

Telegraph correspondentOctober 6, 2013 

I’m always able to wow my friends and family with the amazing gifts I get them for the holidays. Now, I’m not normally one to brag, but I will admit I am an excellent gift giver. It’s generally because I literally shop year round and pick up items as I see them.

That being said, I have some recommendations for how you can shop now for the holidays.

Boutique beautiful

Holly Hammonds is the store manager for Fab’rik, a boutique on Forsyth Road in Macon specializing in women’s boutique clothing and accessories.

“Three of the hottest gift items this holiday season will fit almost any age and style. (Not to mention any budget!) Scarves are the easiest go-to gifter, and this year animal print is all the rage. This is something that is always available for $26 or less,” Hammonds said.

Fab’rik happens to be one of my most favorite places, and I usually find myself being pried away from the shelves under duress.

“Boot toppers are the best and most cost-efficient way to spruce up any pair of boots. They come in an array of colors and prevent that terrible ‘bunchy socks’ phenomenon. You can snag a pair of these for under $30,” Hammonds said. “If you’re wanting to get something really special, go with an initial necklace. These are one of our hottest sellers and they look much more expensive than $18! Helpful hint: If they’re married, go with their married initial! Happy gifting, ladies!”

Gifts for tots

I have young kids and, as I have discovered, most everyone has a child in their life in some way. Florence Allen of William’s Store on Ingleside Avenue in Macon has many recommendations for various ages.

For infants up to 1 year old, “Oball has come out with new teethers that also double as rattlers. They also have the Twist-o-Round and Clickity Twist. They are easy to hold and have different textures, which make them a great teething toy as well. They are just under $10 each,” Allen said. “There’s also the NogginStik by SmartNoggin. It is a rattle designed for birth and up -- plus parents can track developmental milestones with this toy. There are a lot of dolls on the market but Adora has a line that is designed for toddlers.”

I have to say, I have shopped with Florence ever since I was pregnant with my first child, and she and her family truly love what they do and test the toys out themselves. You can’t find that service anywhere else.

Manly scents

Men many times are left to more boring gifts during the holidays. However, Johnny Rohrbeck at Valor Candles has created a line of candles fit for any man cave.

Rohrbeck says their “black and chrome shaving kit would be perfect for any man, and it includes one of our hand poured shaving soaps in Irish Tweed or Parlor fragrances. Or, the Gentleman’s three pack, which includes one Humidor, Irish Tweed and Oak and Bourbon candle. It’s a package deal that gives you around 20 percent off for a total of $30.”

I have to admit, I am a fan of the Parlor and Humidor scents myself. They are lovely and not overpowering -- and suitable for men and women! Shop for Valor Candles online at www.valorcandles.com. The website also has a local store locator.

Looking good

Gail Slater of Aesthetic Body Sculpture, located at 400 Corporate Pointe in Warner Robins, tells me that many times women and men both like to receive the gift of a better appearance. (Although I would recommend making sure you know this person very well to give them this gift -- I’m not trying to get anyone punched!)

“When trying to improve one’s appearance, you need to address shape, color, tone and texture, with the most important being shape. Shape can be addressed with skillful placement of Botox to smooth lines and reduce or eliminate wrinkles of the face and to lift the eyebrows to create a more youthful appearance,” Slater said. “Injectable procedures such as the Vampire Facelift can restore a more youthful contouring of the mid-face, and judicious use of Juvederm can enhance the lips and lower face. Skin tone and texture can be improved by utilizing Dermapen, a micro-needling technique, that can be added with PRP, a growth enhancing substance derived from a person’s own blood, which can also help improve color, tone and texture and even works on stretch marks and scars.”

I will admit, I’ve had Botox before -- it doesn’t hurt! And I have experienced the Dermapen first-hand on two occasions and I can tell a difference even after one treatment.

Fit for foodies

For that hard-to-shop-for person, food is an easy gift. Make the giving easy through gift certificates. Are they adventurous eaters? Get them one for Dovetail, which features a farm-to-table inspired menu, or even tokens from the Mulberry Street Market so they can create their own dishes.

Burger connoisseur? Pick up one from the Rookery. Perhaps your gift recipient is that person always grabbing lunch on the go; try Harpin’s, Twang or even the Back Burner for a more upscale luncheon.

These make awesome stocking stuffers. (I actually took the idea of the Mulberry Street Market tokens from my editor -- what an excellent idea!)

So, get out there and have some fun shopping this holiday. Remember, the best part of gift giving is seeing how happy we can make others. Whether the gift is large or small, costs a little or a lot -- make sure it comes from your heart.

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