Shop local for last minute gifts

—Support your neighbors, friends who support local causes year-round
HOWARD COUNTY - Christmas itself is just one week away. Some folks will be having a gift exchange with family this weekend or next week or next month.
Purchasing gifts is probably one of the most stressful parts of the season . . . what with trying to find that perfect gift or getting the best deal. Both of those things are easily found in your own backyard.
Why shop Amazon or other online shops when the local businesses have a huge selection, great prices and friendly customer service? 
And . . . why drive to a town 50 or more miles away, when you will save time and gas driving to a local store?
And . . . when was the last time Amazon donated to your favorite local charity? Exactly! Your local retailers have the same values and favorite charities as their customers. They donate to After-Prom, town celebrations, Hospice and others.
Maria Larson of The Ox & Wren Spirits & Gifts and president of the Cresco-Area Chamber of Commerce Business Committee explained, “Local businesses provide needed services and enhance the town. Money spent shopping locally goes back into the town. Businesses keep the town going, and there are a lot of neat places in Cresco.”
Jim Holstrom of Holstrom’s Gift & Jewelry noted, “If you don’t shop local, we may not be here.” 
His wife, Barb, added, “By shopping locally, you can see it. You can touch it. You can hold it. And we will take care of it or repair it.”
Co-owner of Leuthold’s clothing store Roy Gorter noted, “Benefits of shopping locally include owners knowing their customers, gift wrapping, personal service, and the money stays in the community.”
He continued, “Local business owners are members of your church, serve on local boards and help at various functions. We are all like an extended family.”
Still time to shop local
Even if a person felt like shopping elsewhere, there is still time to pick up some last-minute gifts and stocking stuffers. 
• Gorter said, “Our store is packed with basics to fashion and jeans to scarves to sweatshirts. For stocking stuffers we have mittens, caps, socks and jewelry.” The store carries men and women’s clothing and some very cute gift ideas.
• Todd Stephenson of Outdoors & More has a large assortment of goods. “We carry anything in the outdoor sporting good industry that doesn’t include a ball, racket or skiis,” he joked. And it shows! 
The Cresco shop has been doing a brisk business lately on the .450 Bushmaster and .350 Legend rifles. He is also able to order anything on the market.
Another hot commodity is ice fishing bait, which will be in shortly.
Other items for sale include knives, cutlery, hunting gear, fishing gear, binoculars and vortex optics.
Stephenson is also in charge of the Conceal/Carry classes that take place periodically throughout the year. The next one is Jan. 4.
• Holstrom’s has more than just jewelry, although they have a large assortment of men’s and women’s jewelry (hint-hint for those still waiting to purchase that perfect gift), including diamond studs and fashion rings..
They also have clocks. The Melody in Motion clocks have been a popular purchase lately, said Jim. 
Some fun gifts for men include a shower speaker that runs off Blue Tooth that comes with a suction cup. It costs just $20. For $22, travelers can purchase a hand-held scale for suitcases. “If you go over the 50-pound limit, it could cost $100 extra. Lots of people are getting these.”
Holstroms also has some unusual items. Car coasters can be stocking stuffers for $1.95. or a person can get a Ne’ Qwa ornament that is hand-painted . . . from the inside out! The business also carries items that can be personalized or engraved, along with some cookware. Check them out.
• At The Ox & Wren, there are is a large variety of gift items, greeting cards and liquor, wine and beer from $1.00 to $275!
“I call the decor we have as primitive homespuns and country collectibles,” Larson said. There are lots of gift ideas available including holiday decor, NFL items, Hawkeyes, Iowa State and UNI gifts, candles, calendars, chocolates and more. There are also quirky little items that range from mini bottles of liquor or wine starting at $1.00, funny sayings on magnets, dish towels and coasters. 
• If a person still can’t find that certain something for that extra picky sister, purchase a gift certificate. Most businesses have them available for that hard-to-buy-for person can choose his or her own gift. Still not sure . . . why not get a gift certificate to one of the many fine eating establishments around the county.
Regardless of who is still on your Christmas list, there is something to be found when you shop local. Hey, you might even get a cup of coffee or cider to sip on as you shop! That doesn’t happen in Rochester.

Cresco Times

Phone: 563-547-3601
Fax: 563-547-4602

Cresco TPD
214 N. Elm Street
Cresco, IA 52136

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