December 14, 2013 10:46:06 PM
Adele Elliott - firstname.lastname@example.org
We have just a few more shopping days until Christmas. Are you in panic mode yet? Not to worry. I am here with tons of great last-minute gift ideas.
For you very high-end shoppers searching for the perfect gift for the oh-so-very hard to please, you might check out Ripley's Times Square Odditorium. There, I found a 19th century vampire-killing kit for only $25,000. This store also offers a real shrunken head for $19,000.
The idea of a shrunken head caught me totally by surprise. I was under the impression that they were illegal. Silly me; wrong again. If you have your heart set on a shrunken head, but the price is just too dear, there are many, very believable, creepy replicas on the market, starting at less that $100. Ho! Ho! Ho!
Most of us are smart enough to do our shopping locally. The choices are great, and there are no shipping charges to surprise us.
Stores in our downtown areas feature all manner of local products from tasty delicacies, to hand-thrown pottery dishes to serve them on. It's nice, too, to chat with a merchant who may know the person that you are shopping for and make thoughtful suggestions.
Malls are great for their huge selections. Leave your bulky coat in the car. You won't need it. I find the best costume jewelry at outlet stores. With all the money you save you might be able to find something festive to wear to a holiday party.
The grocery stores stock many items that would make considerate gifts. Boxes of candy, potted plants, a fruit basket or even a gift certificate are presents that anyone would love.
We shouldn't forget our furry friends. There are so many kind souls working for the voiceless. I love Cedarhill Animal Sanctuary in Caledonia. They provide a safe haven for wild animals, house cats, and lots of species in between. Shaw Pit Bull Rescue is finding "fur-ever" homes for a much maligned breed of dogs. These groups would love a donation of any amount.
We are so proud of the new home of the Columbus-Lowndes Humane Society. Of course, they, too, need gifts to make the boarders comfortable. Food, blankets even cleaning supplies are welcome.
You may be thinking of bringing a puppy or kitten into your home. I applaud you. However, Christmas Day is not the right time. There is just too, too, much excitement. The wrapping paper, tinsel, glittering lights are confusing and tempting for a little creature. No one wants to clean up after a puppy who ate a "Furby" or (God forbid!) an "Xbox."
Pets are best introduced into the family a week or so before, or after, the big day. In my book, shelters and rescue groups are the best place to find a four-legged bundle of love.
My favorite gifts are handmade. Our good friend John Dorroh creates note cards from photos he takes around the Golden Triangle area and on his many travels. I can't get enough of them. (Yes, I still write notes, and send them by mail.) This is a lovely alternative to trying your hand at head-shrinking.
No matter whether your gifts are extravagant or inexpensive expressions of love, I am sure they will be greatly appreciated. So, stop fretting. Sit back and enjoy a warm drink, and take comfort in the knowledge that this will all soon be over.
Adele Elliott, a New Orleans native, moved to Columbus after Hurricane Katrina.