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Toys, TVs, turkeys among popular local holiday gifts

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Lisa Kilpatrick of McCook, Nebraska, shops for Christmas gifts -- a wine bottle carrier, or a purse, maybe? -- at Knowlen & Yates in downtown McCook. Wine accessories are among the best sellers at Christmas time at Knowlen & Yates, as well as gourmet coffees and foods, knife sets and holiday dishes. At Barnett's Do-It Center on North Highway 83, remote control helicopters, inset, are popular Christmas gifts. One afternoon recently, Eddy Flaig of Barnett's flew his Light Hawk chopper through hoops suspended from the ceiling.
(Connie Jo Discoe/McCook Daily Gazette)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- According to some Internet sites, the top Christmas gifts for 2012 are "whiskey stones," a "nose-shaped dispenser of green shower gel," "Awkward Family Photos" and "Wine-opoly" board games.

Another list names under-the-shirt "UnderUps" suspenders, an "Extreme Stunt Wall Coaster," "Canned Unicorn Meat."

"Polly, the Insulting Electronic Parrot." "Mind Control Dreaming Mask." "Beer Box Cowboy Hat."

Connie Jo Discoe/McCook Daily Gazette
"Caviar Manicure" ... "Magnetic Thinking Putty" ... "Mega Moon Mood Hopz."

Good heavens! Whose shopping lists are those?!

Maybe those of us on the High Plains are a little more practical with our gift-giving -- or more thoughtful -- but Santa probably won't be delivering too many "Bloody Wall Murals" to homes around here.

Around McCook, the top gifts seem to be toys -- of course -- TVs and turkeys.

Chad Arasmith at Orscheln's Farm and Home store reports that "toys, toys, toys for sure" sell well this time of year, and the old-fashioned toys -- trucks and trailers and tractors -- are most popular with his shoppers.

Bodell Beideck at Eakes Office Plus said her store's kids section is a popular place to shop. "All kinds of games are selling well," she said, "especially the science games like 'Lab in a Bag.' Lots of our games are educational, but the kids don't need to know that!"

Stacie Kienke, manager at Alco Discount, reports that kids' "Leap Pads" and X-Box games are selling well, "and we sold out of remote-control helicopters right away. Those are big sellers, for sure."

At Barnett's, too, the helicopters are popular, as are the more traditional "Melissa and Doug" toys and games.

Scott Carlin at Willow Creek Meats says the big sellers at Christmas time are smoked turkeys and, of course, prime rib. "I hadn't thought of putting ribbons on them, but we can do that," he chuckled.

Scott said many people ship jerky and steaks in gift packages to friends and families deployed far from home.

"And gift cards," he said. "People can make their own 'gift packages'."

Steve Leopold at TOP Office said they can also wrap and put bows on the office chairs that sell so well at Christmas time.

Tim Rodarmel at D&S said appliances -- washers, dryers, freezers, refrigerators -- are the store's biggest sellers this time of year. "And chain saws, and" -- despite the lack of snow and the lack of snow even in forecasts -- "snow blowers," he said. "It's always good to be prepared."

Rod Fox, also at D&S, said small tools are always popular for stocking stuffers, and he said he knows of many shoppers who pick up small items for the handymen and woodworkers on their lists -- things like wood screws, sandpaper, knobs, hinges, saw blades.

Fox also said that humidifiers are popular, as are "Eden Pure" room heaters.

Tools are popular at Barnett's too. Jenny said their Milwaukee tools "are pretty hot."

After a Husker football defeat on Dec. 1, Jo Beebe said, that the best selling items at Sports Shoppe "are not going to be Husker stuff ... nothing like ruining the state's economy just before Christmas." Never mind -- there are still true Husker fans who wear red -- win or lose.

Anyway, "Under Armor" hoods are selling well at Sports Shoppe, "and socks, always, for stocking stuffers. We have trouble keeping them in stock," Jo said.

As people decorate for Christmas, they shop for "all sizes and shapes and characters" of Hallmark ornaments at Farrell's Hallmark Shop. Dee Premer said Disney characters are popular for kids, and the collection of traditional Santas appeals to older shoppers. "The 'Countdown to Christmas' ornament sells well," she said.

Also flying off of Farrell's shelves are Yankee candles, "Willow Tree" angel figurines and Nativity sets of all sizes.

Holiday cookie jars and platters sell well. "We all want to bake, no matter what the temperature is outside," Dee said.

"Later, closer to Christmas, chocolates become popular as housewarming gifts," she said.

Lisa Wilcox at New Life Book Store said Christmas music is very popular, as are Bibles and DVD's.

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