With Christmas just weeks away, the task hanging over many shoppers' heads is finding the perfect gift for everyone on that holiday list. For those seeking gifts with a Columbia County connection, a wide selection is available -- if you know where to look.
Sights and sounds
- The pupils of North Harlem Elementary School are ready to put you in the holiday spirit with their compact disc, Silver Bells of Harlem -- A Christmas Collection . The CD features 20 holiday songs, with some sung by pupils and instrumentals included for sing-a-longs. A version of We Wish You a Merry Christmas is performed by the entire student body and faculty. The CD costs $10 and is available by calling the school office at (706) 556-5995, ext. 5817; sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org; or by mailing a check payable to the school to North Harlem Elementary School, Attention: Amy Huff, Music Department, 525 Fairview Drive, Harlem, GA 30814.
- Fresh from receiving two Grammy nominations, and with a Best New Artist award from the Country Music Association, souvenirs from the pop-country trio Lady Antebellum are available in stores or through their Web site, www.ladyantebellum.com. The Columbia County connection? Two members of the fast-rising group are Lakeside High School graduates Charles Kelley and David Heywood.
- Music and souvenirs also are available from Kelley's older brother, Josh, who also is a Lakeside graduate, at area stores and from www.joshkelley.com.
- The most recent CD from Stephanie Staples, an Evans native and independent Christian artist, is available. New Journey Home , released in 2007, is Staples' fourth album. All the CDs are available at www.stephaniestaples.com.
- For a giggle from the movie buff on your list, consider the slapstick comedy of Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy. The Laurel and Hardy Museum in Harlem, where Oliver Hardy was born, sells the comedic duo's movies on VHS and DVD and has T-shirts depicting scenes from many movies, coffee mugs, Laurel and Hardy books and many other stocking stuffers. Items range from $3 to $20, and shipping is available. Hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Call (706) 556-0401.
Wear it proudly
- Columbia County's newest school, Stallings Island Middle, offers a variety of items emblazoned with the school's RedHawks mascot, including T-shirts for $10-$16, hooded sweatshirts for $30 or two for $50, car magnets for $5 each, drawstring bags for $10, and a variety of small items such as pencils and pens at the school store. Most schools have T-shirts and sweatshirts with school logos. The items are available from the school, Parent-Teacher Organizations and booster clubs. Call the school for details. The last day of shopping is Dec. 19 -- the final day of school before the holiday break.
- Hometown Sports features area public and private middle and high schools letter jackets for $165, including custom embroidery; athletic bags for $28 with custom embroidery; and T-shirts, golf shirts and jackets starting at $15. The store, at 4115 Columbia Road in Martinez, is open from 10 a.m. until 7 p.m. Monday-Friday and 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. Saturday. Call (706) 651-8777.
- One Columbia County sporting goods store carries duffle bags imprinted with the names of some county high schools. Academy Sports, at 4210 Washington Road in Evans, has duffel bags customized for Evans, Greenbrier, Harlem and Lakeside high schools for $19.99. Store hours are 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday-Saturday and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday.
- Sunrise Grill in West Town Shopping Center sells products bearing the image of the restaurant's sunglass-wearing, grinning sun. Mugs cost $5.
- Ruth's Family Restaurant, which has operated in the same Washington Road location in Martinez since 1965, offers the restaurant logo on T-shirts in a variety of colors for $12.95, mugs and holiday-theme mugs for $3.75, and a gift-wrapped pumpkin roll for $14.75.
- Gear for the links is sure to get the golfer on your list swinging. Hats and shirts with logos are available at area golf courses. Hats cost $19.99 and shirts range from $32 to $67 at Bartram Trail Golf Club in Evans, (706) 210-4681. Hats range from $18 to $25 at Jones Creek Golf Club and shirts range from $25 to $130. Call (706) 860-4228. West Lake Country Club offers hats starting at $22.50 and shirts from $45 to $90. Call (706) 863-4642.
Read all about it...
- Martinez-Columbia Fire Rescue Capt. David Butler's book, Columbia County Gray: Burial Locations for Confederate Soldiers in Columbia County , Georgia, is a painstakingly researched hardback that provides the location -- complete with satellite coordinates -- for every Confederate soldier's grave in the county. Butler's book can be purchased directly from him for $25, plus a $3 shipping fee. To reach Butler, send e-mail to email@example.com.
- Columnist Lucy Adams, whose work appears in The Columbia County News-Times and other regional newspapers, has published a collection of humorous essays called If Mama Don't Laugh, It Ain't Funny. Adams, a Columbia County native and McDuffie County resident, is a teacher at Augusta Preparatory Day School. The book is available for $14.95 from the Web site www.ifmama.com and at www.amazon.com.
- For those interested in Columbia County history, there is To Seek a Newer World: A History of Columbia County, Georgia , by Gerald J. Smith. The book costs $25 and is available from any member of the Columbia County Historical Society or by calling Pat Hardaway at (706) 312-7254.
- Kiokee Baptist Church offers a look into its history with A History of Kiokee Baptist Church in Georgia, Georgia's First Continuing Baptist Church , by the late Waldo P. Harris and James Moesteller. The book is available at the church's office in Appling for $30, or $35 if mailed. Make checks payable to Kiokee Baptist Church, P.O. Box 430, Appling, GA 30802. Call (706) 541-1086.
- Columbia County 4-H board members and volunteer Jean Embry wrote The First Piece of the Puzzle , a mix of poetry and prose. The book is available for $19.95 at www.borders.com, www.barnesandnoble.com and www.amazon.com.
- For those who prefer to read imaginative fiction, consider Martinez resident Benjamin Towe's fantasy series about the Land of Donothor. The series -- Deathquest to Parallan, The Orb of Chalar, The Death of Magick, The Chalice of Mystery and The Dawn of Magick -- follows a group of characters in a great conflict through several fantastic worlds. The books are available at www.authorhouse.com, www.borders.com and www. barnesandnoble.com.
... and then cook it
- For a little extra holiday flavor, Stevens Creek Elementary School offers a cookbook called A Spoonful of Excellence . The cookbook features 400 recipes submitted by Stevens Creek staff members, families and pupils. It is available for $3 (or two for $5) from the school office.
- The congregation of Harlem Baptist Church celebrated its 130th anniversary in 2004 by compiling recipes into a cookbook -- 130 Years and Still Cooking! The cookbook is $10 and is available from the church. Call (706) 556-6439.
- Karin Calloway provides some easy holiday recipes in Quick Cooking II: A Second Serving . The cookbook is a compilation of recipes featured in the Columbia County resident's weekly column in The Augusta Chronicle . It is available at The Columbia County News-Times office for $16.95 or two for $25, plus tax.
- For the animal lover on your list, a gift donation to the Columbia County Humane Society might be a good idea. The society is raising money for a low-cost spay/neuter clinic, which is under construction, and a dog park and shelter on Columbia Road in Appling. For more information, call (7060 860-0751.
- CSRA Happy Tails Rescue Inc. offers a 2009 calendar featuring photos of cats and dogs the group has rescued, along with their stories. The calendars cost $20 and are available at all Happy Tails-sponsored events, with proceeds benefiting the animal-rescue operation. Call (706) 836-2708.
- The history lover on your list will enjoy a membership to the Columbia County Historical Society. Memberships range from $10 a year to $100 for a family lifetime membership. Call Pat Hardaway at (706) 312-7254 or Vermill Baxter at (706) 541-1683.
- For the disc golf enthusiast, consider a membership to the Professional Disc Golf Association, based at Columbia County's Wildwood Park. Memberships include a PDGA logo disc, mini marker, rule book, member card with lifetime member number a PDGA magazine and other official PDGA communications. Members are able to earn PDGA points. Memberships range from a $75 annual professional membership to a $25 junior. Discounts are $5 each person for family memberships. Call (706) 261-6342 or visit www.pdga.com.
- Avid readers and those who wish to pass the joy of reading on to future generations can get a membership to Friends of the Columbia County Libraries. Memberships range from $10 for an individual to a $500 "Best Friend." Members receive a 10 percent discount at Borders Books, Music and Cafe. Call Barbara Williams at (706) 863-8760 or visit www.ecgrl.public.lib.ga.us and follow the links.
- The art aficionado on your list should enjoy a membership to Columbia County Arts Inc., an organization that supports arts in the county.
Members receive an Arts Talk newsletter, invitation to special membership events and performances, and a 10 percent discount for art organization-sponsored shows and performances and exhibits by Columbia County Arts groups, including Stage III Ltd., the choral society and Columbia County Ballet. Memberships start at $25. Call Dwain Shaw at (706) 840-1151 or visit www.columbiacountyarts.org.
- The signature or name of a child can be engraved on a commemorative brick at River Ridge Elementary School. The bricks come in three varieties -- regular and signature for $50 and corporate for $500. All proceeds go toward paying for technology equipment. For information, call (706) 447-1016, ext. 2130.
- Military members on your list might enjoy a commemorative brick that will be used to pave the walkways around the Wall of Honor for Veterans in Grovetown. The pavers cost $40 each and can be engraved with as many as three lines of 14 characters each. Forms are available at the Grovetown City Hall on Old Wrightsboro Road. Call (706) 863-4576.
Home for the holidays
- Stay toasty this holiday season with an afghan featuring scenes from Columbia County sold exclusively by Strictly Country, 4313 Washington Road in Evans. The afghans cost $69.95. Call (706) 868-1348.
- The Busy Bees Quilting Club, based at Philadelphia United Methodist Church in Harlem, offers custom-made quilts starting at $35 for a baby blanket and up to $500 for a larger quilt. Proceeds from the sales go toward making quilts for the Medical College of Georgia and an Atlanta children's hospital. Call (706) 556-9596.
- Easter Seals offers a limited-edition Christmas ornament commemorating local history and helping the disabled. A recent ornament in the series features Oliver Hardy, is 24-karat gold over brass and costs $10. All Easter Seals ornaments from 2005 and older cost $10 and ones made since 2006 costs $15. The ornament is available at the Laurel and Hardy Museum in Harlem and at the Easter Seals office, 1500 Wrightsboro Road, Augusta. For information, call (706) 667-9695.
- A busy holiday season calls for a little extra rest on a Serta mattress manufactured at the company's factory in Grovetown. Just Beds, at 4158 Washington Road in Evans, carries a full line of Serta mattresses starting at $249. Hours are from 10 a.m. until 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 1:30-6 p.m. Sunday. Call (706) 868-5500.
- All homeowners could use a little help with the lawn, especially from a John Deere tractor or lawn mower. Some models are made in the company's Grovetown plant. Augusta Turf and Tractor sells a full line of John Deere mowers beginning at $400 and tractors starting at $12,000. Call the business, at 2804 Wylds Road in Augusta at (706) 737-9191.
- Traveling around the yard, neighborhood or golf course would be a little easier in a Club Car golf car. The cars, manufactured in Evans, are available from Transportation Solutions of Augusta, 692 Commerce Court, Evans. Prices range from $1,600 for used cars to $7,000 for new vehicles. Four-wheel utility cars cost up to $10,000. The store is open from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Visit www.tsagolf.com or call (706) 228-5525.
- A Columbia County license plate is available from the Columbia County Chamber of Commerce at 4424 Evans-to-Locks Road in Evans and at The Columbia County News-Times office at 4272 Washington Road in Evans for $5. Proceeds benefit Columbia County Arts Inc.
- Get a little nutty this holiday season by heading to Lucky Lady Pecans, Gifts and More, the retail store of the Tracy-Luckey Co., which processes pecans in its plant in downtown Harlem. A 1-pound gift tin costs $24, a 12-ounce tin is $19, an 8-ounce gift bag is $10, and a 1-pound bag is $14. Flavors include praline, roasted and salted, angel honey, chocolate covered and cinnamon spiced. The store also offers koozies for $2 and T-shirts for $14. The store is at 140 N. Hicks Street in Harlem, near the plant. Store hours are from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. Saturday. Visit www.luckyladypecans.com or call (706) 556-6216.
- Abbi's Coffee Mill and Roastery, in Petersburg Shoppes at 408 Furys Ferry Road, sells stainless steel and plastic travel mugs bearing the shop's name for $12; T-shirts for $7; and visors for $7.50. The coffee shop also offers its special Abbi's Blend coffee. A quarter-pound bag costs $2.74, a half-pound bag is $5.98, and a 1-pound bag is $11.95. Hours are from 6:30 a.m. until 8 p.m. Monday through Friday; 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday; and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. Call (706) 651-9111.
- Bean Baskette Coffee Shop, 4414 Evans to Locks Road, Evans, offers travel mugs bearing the shop's steaming coffee cup logo for $12 to $15. Store hours are from 6 a.m. until 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday; and from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m. Saturday. Call (706) 447-2006.
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