Whether that hard-to-shop-for person on your list likes sports or art, holiday goodies or books, Columbia County has plenty of unique gifts sure to satisfy.
A few new offerings this year include handmade soap from Asparagus Soap Co., souvenirs from the Savannah Rapids Visitors Center and a limited edition 2010 Christmas ornament from the Laurel and Hardy Museum in Harlem.
Gifts with a Columbia County touch this year include:
For the movie buff on your list, consider a limited edition 2010 Christmas tree ornament from the Laurel and Hardy Museum in Harlem, where Oliver Hardy was born. The ornament, designed by Hestia Creations, features a wreath and a depiction of the museum. It ships directly to the buyer and costs $30 plus $5 for shipping. The museum also sells the comedy duo's movies and has coffee mugs, Laurel and Hardy books, T-shirts depicting scenes from many of their movies and other stocking stuffers. Items start at $3. Hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Call (706) 556-0401.
The Lakeside High School Swim/Dive Team is hoping to make a splash with its 2010-11 holiday ornament. The burgundy glass ornament features a silver panther paw. Proceeds from the sale of the $10 ornaments will go toward the team's travel expenses. Contact the Lakeside High School Splash Club at email@example.com.
If the holiday season is making you nutty, share the feeling with gifts from Lucky Lady Pecans and Gifts, the retail store of the Tracey-Luckey Co., which processes pecans in its plant in downtown Harlem. A 12-ounce tin costs $23 or $25, a 16-ounce tin is $26 or $28, an 8-ounce gift bag is $14, and a 16-ounce bag is $18. Flavors include praline, roasted and salted, angel honey, mesquite barbecue and Sweet Georgia Heat. The store, near the plant at 220 N. Louisville St., also offers koozies for $2.50 and T-shirts for $16 to $18. Store hours are from 10 a.m. until 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.
Southern-style tasty treats are available from Red Oak Manor and The Acorn Restaurant, a family-owned bed and breakfast in Harlem. The bed and breakfast offers homemade family goodies, including 4- and 8-ounce jars of Ricki's Pepper Jelly for $3 and $5; 8- to 12-ounce jars of vinegar and tomato-based barbecue sauce for $5 to $7; 4- and 8-ounce jars of chow chow for $3 and $5; and a 16-ounce jar of sweet pickles for $6. Red Oak Manor is at 410 N. Louisville St. in Harlem. For information, call (706) 556-8222 or visit www.redoakmanor.com.
Abbi's Coffee Mill and Roastery will be closing its storefront in Petersburg Shoppes at Furys Ferry Road before Christmas, but nearly 50 blends and flavors of coffee will be available on the shop's Web site, www. abbiscoffeemill.com. A choice of three half-pound bags of beans or ground coffee in a wooden box with the Abbi's logo is $19.95. The site also offers all the coffees, including the special Abbi's Blend, in 1-pound bags for $10.95 to $11.95 each.
Bean Baskette Coffee Shop, at 4414 Evans to Locks Road, inside the Columbia County Library, offers travel mugs bearing the shop's steaming coffee cup logo for $12 and $15. T-shirts, sweatshirts and hats, starting at $10, will be available before Christmas. Store hours are 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday and Tuesday; 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesday through Friday; and opening at 8 a.m. on Saturday. Call (706) 447-2006 or visit www. beanbaskettecoffee.com.
Wear it well
Columbia County souvenirs, including T-shirts, car tags, key chains and book lights, are available from the Savannah Rapids Visitors Center in the former Gatekeeper's Cottage at Savannah Rapids Pavilion, 3300 Evans to Locks Road, Martinez. Prices range from $5 to $10. Hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday-Friday. Call (706) 868-3373.
Evans High School offers several items bearing the school name or mascot. Black, gold and white tie-dyed T-shirts cost $12; drawstring knapsacks cost $8; hitch covers cost $6; and license plates cost $10. Call the school at (706) 863-1198.
Most schools have T-shirts and sweatshirts with school logos. The items are available from the school, parent-teacher organizations and booster clubs. Call each school for details. Keep in mind: The last day of shopping is Dec. 17 -- the last day of school before Christmas break.
Hometown Sports features area public and private middle and high school letter jackets for $165, including custom embroidery; athletic bags for $28, with custom embroidery; stickers for $7; and T-shirts, golf shirts, hooded sweatshirts and jackets starting at $15. The store, at 4115 Columbia Road in Martinez, is open from 10 a.m. until 7 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. Saturday. Call (706) 651-8777.
Items featuring area high schools, including hats, bags, apparel and stuffed animals, also are available at many area retail and drugstores.
Gear for the links is sure to fit the golfer on your list to a tee. Hats and shirts with logos are available at area golf courses. Hats cost $19.99, and shirts range from $30 to $67 at Bartram Trail Golf Club in Evans. For information, call (706) 210-4681. Hats range from $18 to $44 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.
Ruth Family's 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 $5 and a gift-wrapped pumpkin roll for $14.75. Call (706) 863-5616.
Sunrise Grill in West Town shopping center sells products bearing the image of the restaurant's sunglass-wearing, grinning sun. Mugs cost $5 and T-shirts will be available before Christmas. Call (706) 228-4883.
Gift of music
Fresh from two Country Music Association awards for Vocal Group of the Year and Single of the Year and being named the American Music Association's favorite country group, the pop-country trio Lady Antebellum has souvenirs available in stores or through its Web site, www.ladyantebellum.com. The group released its second album, titled Need You Now , in January and released a holiday album, A Merry Little Christmas , in October. Lakeside High School graduates Charles Kelley and Dave Haywood are two-thirds of the chart-topping group.
Music and souvenirs are available from Kelley's older brother, Josh, also a Lakeside High School graduate, at areas stores and from www.joshkelley.com. Kelley recently released a single, Georgia Clay , from his first country album.
The most recent CD from Stephanie Staples, an Evans native and independent Christian artist, is available. Sing Over Me , released in October, is her fifth album. All the CDs are available at www.stephaniestaples.com.
Read all about it
Those looking to find an inspirational read can pick up a copy of Evans resident Karen McGowan's recent book, Thoughts to Ponder. The devotional book includes more than 400 messages, with Scripture references and additional space for readers to jot down their thoughts. McGowan started writing about faith after almost dying of pulmonary fibrosis in 2005. McGowan's book can be purchased directly from her for $12, plus a $3 shipping fee. To reach McGowan, send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or call (706) 449-2863.
Columbia County 4-H board member and volunteer Jean Embry, author of The First Piece of the Puzzle and The Seven Brothers from Siesta Laprie , released her third book, The Second Piece of the Puzzle, in May. The book, a mixture of prose and poetry, is available from online bookstores.
For those who prefer fantasy fiction, consider Martinez resident Benjamin Towe's two fantasy series about the Lands of Donothor and Parallan. The most recent installment, released in October, is The Wandmaker's Burden . The novels are available at online bookstores.
Home for holidays
For a little holiday pampering, consider handmade soap from Asparagus Soap Co. Evans soapmaker Charles Ronen creates natural soaps in a variety of collections, including Provence, Spicy and Citrus collections. Individual soaps cost $4.99 to $7.99. Specialty soaps are available, including small and large wooden bowls of shaving soap, for $9.99 and $13.99. Gift baskets feature several soap products ranging from $26.99 to $41.99. Asparagus Soap Co. products also can be purchased at The Greenway Store on Washington Road in Evans and at New Life Natural Foods in Fairway Square Shopping Center in Augusta. Visit www.asparagus-soap.com.
Botanical bath and body treats are available from Luna Bug. Grovetown soapmaker Leslie Carson handcrafts all-natural soaps with themes including My Georgia!, Traveler, Plantetary and Seven Wonders series. The holiday-theme soaps -- 'Tis the Season and Merry Mint -- also are available. Most soaps are $6. Balms, salves, lotions, shampoos, dog soaps and Luna Baby-sensitive skin products also are available. Luna Bug products can be purchased at Herbal Remedies on Columbia Road in Martinez or at www.lunabugsoap.com. Call (706) 309-9563.
Keep warm this holiday season with an afghan featuring scenes from Columbia County sold exclusively at Strictly Country, 4313 Washington Road, Evans. The afghans regularly cost $69.95, but the store is running sales through Christmas. Call (706) 868-1348.
Get a little extra holiday 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 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 1-5 p.m. Sunday. Call (706) 868-5500.
Have Columbia County news delivered with an annual subscription to The Columbia County News-Times . The subscriptions, which also can be mailed out of town, cost $52 plus tax. Call (706) 868-1222.
On the move
Get moving around the yard, neighborhood or golf course on a Club Car golf car. Manufactured in Evans, the cars 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 and street-legal, low-speed electric vehicles 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.
Some models of John Deere tractors and mowers are made in the company's Grovetown plant. Augusta Turf and Tractor sells a full line of John Deere mowers starting at $429 and tractors starting at $10,900. Call the business at 2804 Wylds Road in Augusta at (706) 737-9191.
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 News-Times office at 4272 Washington Road in Evans for $5. Proceeds benefit Columbia County Arts Inc.
For the animal lover on your list, consider a gift donation to the Columbia County Humane Society. The society is raising money to operate the low-cost spay/neuter clinic Dogwood Park at 6100 Columbia Road in Appling, and for construction of a dog park and shelter. For information, call (706) 541-2911.
CSRA Happy Tails Rescue Inc. offers a 2011 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 such as weekly adoptions, 1-4 p.m. on Saturdays, at Tractor Supply on Bobby Jones Expressway. Proceeds benefit the animal-rescue operation. Visit www.csrahappytails.com or call (706) 955-0438.
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 lifetime family membership. Call Pat Hardaway at (706) 312-7254 or Vermill Bexter at (706) 541-1683.
For the disc golf enthusiast, consider a membership in the Professional Disc Golf Association, based at Columbia County's Wildwood Park. Memberships range from a $75 annual professional membership to a $25 junior membership. Discounts are $5 per each person for family memberships. The shop also sells discs, T-shirts and caps featuring the International Disc Golf Center logo. Call (706) 261-6342 or visit www.pdga.com.
Avid readers 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 20 percent discount at Borders Books. 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, performances and exhibits by Columbia County Arts groups, including Stage III Ltd., the choral society, civic orchestra, artists' guild, Columbia County Ballet and the Laurel and Hardy Museum of Harlem. Memberships start at $25. Visit www.columbiacountyarts.org.
Two Web sites feature many Columbia County artists and their works. The Columbia County Artists' Guild site, www.artistguildcc.org, features online galleries of county artists, including painter Jill Gunn, photographer Dwain Shaw, potter Betsy Borgatti and multimedia artist Cyndy Epps, as well as links to their personal Web sites.
A Web site designed specifically to showcase products and arts created in Georgia, www.gamadegagrown.org, also features many Columbia County artists.
Military members or supporters 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.
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