By Brian Schommer
As we get more into the season of hustle and bustle, finding the perfect gifts for the ones that you love is on the minds of many. While the online shopping craze has taken center stage for many shoppers, and even the big “Black Friday” sales have become more of a season instead of a day, with a focus yet again on online purchasing, many still enjoy the age-old tradition of going shopping and finding that perfect gift for someone who has your heart. While online shopping has decimated the small “Mom & Pop” type shops in general, there are a few such places around our area that have hung on and within the confines of their walls, might just have the exact special gift that you are looking for.
Gifts Galore, located at 207 East 2nd Street is an amazing little shop in the heart of beautiful and historic Downtown Hastings. From various collectible lines, jewelry, music boxes and more, Gifts Galore offers many great gift ideas not only for the holidays, but for birthdays, baptisms, anniversaries, and just about any other gift giving need you may have. The items are of high quality and are affordably priced. If you are seeking a gift for a baby or child, Gifts Galore has some items that you simply will not find anywhere else and talk about cuteness overload. Even if you are not looking to buy anything for a baby, a walk through this department at Gifts Galore will warm your heart, bring a smile to your face, and take care of that baby fix which may have been inching its way into your thoughts. It happens a lot at this time of year. Their hours are Sunday through Friday from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. and Saturday, from 10 a.m. until 5p.m. and you can find out more about their products at www.giftsgalorehastings.net. As their website states, “There’s always something new to discover…” and there are new items all the time, in every season.
Newport, Minnesota, and The North Pole (Restaurant) are synonymous with each other for many folks in the area while out and about. On a recent trek north of Hastings, we decided to stop and engage in some of the home style cooking that this area landmark is known for. Located in the Newport Center, the family-owned joint is well worth the stop and while you could pick up a gift certificate or two for those in your life who enjoy dining out of this type, you can also stop at the attached Newport Drug and pick up a special gift or two. If you have never been to either business, you should make it a planned stop next time you are out and about in the Newport area.
Newport Drug has some great gift ideas too which some beautiful scarf and hat collections may have received a hint or two on the recent excursion. While the store is a pharmacy which also appeared to be a location where various medical devices and parts could be purchased, the abundance of Abdullah Chocolates and other candies to gift items and holiday décor on the shelves help you realize that you are not in the typical pharmacy of today. The experience is a true transcendence to the drug store of days gone by. Between the restaurant and the drug store, a bit of Americana still exists and is available for those who just might not be fully ready to give way to the impersonal, online operations so often experienced in our world today.
Another place in our area that provides that step backwards in time is Boondocks Vintage Boutique, located at 7402 Lamar Avenue South in Old Cottage Grove. The shop specializes in unique, vintage items and might just be the place for you to find that one-of-a-kind, special gift. Their hours are Thursday through Saturday, from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. and Sunday, from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.. They offer some great apparel lines mainly directed towards the woman in your life, some beautiful vintage and up-cycled furniture pieces, fun home décor and much more. If you are looking for a “leg lamp,” you might even find one of those as well. Check them out the next time you are on Facebook… you will be glad that you did.
Next week, we will bring you some places that may just help you and yours brighten the season a little bit more and light up the lives of those near and dear to your heart. So often, it is not the gifts we give people but the gifts we are to them, and the experiences that we are able to share when we are out and about. If you know of any places like this in our area, please be sure to share them with us at [email protected] and we will investigate them.