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Christmas Idea List Part 2

(25) A bird feeder or suet feeder or thistle seed feeder. I get a 25 lb. bag of bird seed at the local elevator, or buy a bucket of seed at Wal-Mart, it costs a lot less. The thistle for some reason is cheaper by the pound at Flower Nursery places.

A red plastic or glass hummingbird feeder is a good gift! Perky Pet (online) has them that look like huge red strawberry or apple and hummers love them. For places online to buy bird feeders etc. cheaper or on sale, try my Feeding Humminbirds Page I list the top 3 hummer feeders with pictures and recipe for making the nectar from white sugar.

One person I had on my list years ago, was in a nursing home, I convinced the manager there to allow me to put up a bird feeder for the residents, by the community room window. Wow, did I start something!

Before long all the residents were telling me about the "critters" they saw, and it brought the residents together more.

You might check, if you have someone in a nursing home. I was lucky, the administrator there filled the feeders himself, to make sure it got done all the time. I gave them a large metal can with 50 lb of seed to get them started.

One of the bird/wildlife books I gave my nursing home resident was in high demand! Her room was always full of people to see her book and tell her what was going on at the feeder. Neat way to make someones' day start out better, and they have something to talk about....

I did find a "Squirrel Pole" at Walter Drake one year. You have a small board on a swivel with a "corn holder" on each side. You put it on a tree, by a window & they have to make you laugh! This is good for Shut-ins' or kids that are bedfast. I put one up at the nursing home I was visiting & they loved it. The ear corn can also be found at any elevator/feed store.

(26) Mini-Greenhouse 6"x8-10". They are electric & usually sell for around $20.00. The grow light is another good gift; they have them mount on the pot (for large plants) or on the wall. If someone likes plants but can't seem to grow them, this helps. The grow light can be a gift on its' own or a plant book included or any plant given with it. Winter is dreary, & most people enjoy seeing something green by then.

(27) Old Timer brand pocket knives; they range from $15.00-$30.00 & really hold an edge. (Wilkerson are good also & usually come with a diamond knife sharpener that can't be beat.) Cheap knives are not tempered & won't hold an edge. The Swiss Army knives sold, are some of the best around. You find them at shhhhhh the malls.

(28) A basket can be filled with jam, Christmas candy or cookies in a tin, items the person can use to feel spoiled: Bubble bath, candle & candle holder, a magazine you've told them about, anything you think of. I added a spice basket one year with spices I found that I like: Onion Butter Saute' (69 cents) Andria's Steak Sauce ($3.99) samples of products I used & liked. If you make things, this is the perfect way to give them as gifts.

(29) For the guys that prefer the old-fashioned way: shaving brush & mug & soap. You'd be surprised how many still like to use the mug & soap!

(30) A Genealogist is easy: Paper, pens, order self-stick address labels, third cut file folders. Envelopes sell by the 100 for under $4.00; they need the large size. There are 2 wonderful How-To books in paperback: How To Trace Your Family History by Bill R. Linder ($5.00) & Finding Your Roots by Jeane Eddy Westin ($5.00) For advanced tips: Text Book II from the Southern Gen. Exchange Society, PO Box 2801, Jacksonville, Florida 32203. This book really helps when you've reached a dead-end in your research. It is easy to read, not dry text book stuff & has very good tips. ($8.00)

(31) If someone on your list has trouble reading or reads fine print alot this is great. The Magni-Bar, by Bausch & Lomb (SP?) is an 8" long magnifier that rests on the page you are reading - no more trying to focus the old type. Book shops carry them: around $8.00 for the 8" one.

I bought one on my list an adjustable magnifier light; they have a magnifier around the light. I'll never forget Harry being able to read his cards for the first time in years! They aren't cheap, but you can't put a price on a loved ones' comfort!

(32) Senior Citizens are easy to buy for if you stop and think about their needs. Robes are great, if they snap down the front or have larger buttons. Avoid the 1/2 zipper down the front type, that have to be stepped into or pulled over the head! I buy what they wear- some hate small buttons, things that fasten down the back, pull over blouses etc. If you think about it, all of us have likes & dislikes...if someone noticed, they would be happier with their gift.

My Mom had a closet full of clothes, but she wore few of them, because people bought things she had trouble putting on! She didn't want to hurt their feelings, & never told them! SO she got alot more of the same type things!! It isn't that people save things, so much as they can't use what was bought for them!

(33) Swiss Colony, Hickory Farms & a few others will directly ship your selection of cheeses, beef logs, candy, etc. This makes a nice gift for a family that lives far away or friends that are hard to buy for. If someone likes a product that is "local" to one area, get the name/address & write or call & see if they will ship it.

When on vacation someone I knew fell in love with Gardetto's Snacks, NOW you can buy them anywhere. Then, it was a "local" food. I wrote the name of the bakery down & called them & asked if they would ship me several bags. They were happy to, & glad someone took an interest in their bakery products. I ordered a case!

Same held true with a wine from Missouri. They sent it UPS & it was a surprise gift for them, their favorite wine & the fact I paid attention, may have helped make it special.

(34) Brookstone Company (603-924-9541) has a Measure & Mark 16 foot tape measure for $20.00. This tape has a built in pencil to mark your cuts while you measure. No more trying to hold your tape steady & accurately mark something.

(35) Sewing Basket; Sears & Penneys sells them for $20.00, they have padded tops and are large enough to be useful. A good pair of scissors!

(36) Artists' supplies for those children or adults that love to draw. Many art supply shops have a clearance area: you can put together a kit that would please any artist. Sketch pads, pastels, or paints books, etc. If you need help figuring out the difference between art supplies...ask! Acrylic, oil, pastels, water color. Sams' had a neat gift set in their book department: a kit with art book, the paints, all for under $10.00.

If I had kids on my list & had a Sams Wholesale Card, This is one good buy. They also had: Pressed Flower kits, Japanese Scroll Art kits, Paper Cutting, & a Window Box Garden kit, the one that was for Vegetable Design was my least favorite, but for under $10.00, passable.

(37) A Crossword Puzzle Dictionary for those that love to work crosswords. Any book store has them. You can also buy various puzzle books: The New York Times Puzzle Book is a good one for "Pros". If they like doing jigsaw puzzles, you can buy a puzzle board: this folds up so it can be put away without losing the work they have done or without pieces moving when stored.

(38)Photo buffs that use 35mm would appreciate a slide viewer from Lillian Vernon (914-633-6300). It is cordless, holds a stack of 32 slides, and sells for under $20.00. (This viewer "sticks" until used a few times!) Also, photographers can always use film and book on how-to. If you know the brand of camera & model, there are tons of filters, gadgets, and books for their camera. A small 6-12" expandable tripod is useful for 35mm photographers, especially handy for setting on a car or tree trunk or whatever is handy to keep the camera steady.

(39) The Vermont Country Store, PO Box 3000, Manchester Ctr., Vermont 05255-30000 (802-362-2400) has all the old products you just can't find anymore. They have Army socks (Hunters love them), cotton clothes, Penny Candy Mixes, & everything in between. This catalog is worth getting just for ideas. It's black & white, so don't expect tons of glossy photos.

(40) Last but not least... My favorite type of rare, unusual, and one of a kind gift store. (For those of you that insist on the best quality this should be your first stop! Larger cities have dozens of used/ new thrift shops and boutiques. Federation For The Blind, Jewish League, Am-Vets, schools, churches, & symphony groups usually have a thrift shop that is top quality. There is also, Goodwill & The Salvation Army that has shops in "better" areas that carry antiques, rare prints, and items that make wonderful gifts.


Many don't take time to discover what is in these shops. Here are a few gifts I've found "junk" shopping:
(1) Thorens disk music box for $7.00... retail, $1200.00
(2) Collection of enamel kitchen ware for $6.00; I added a book on collecting kitchen items for someone that loved the older kitchen items. For under $15.00 I had one hard to buy for done.
(3) Iron Skillet (seasoned & black) $3.00
(4) Roscoe Misselhorn print: $10.00, signed & framed.
(5) A set of bone china $85.00 Retail....$800.00
(6) Fireplace Brass Tools (new, in box) $12.00 Retail...$50.00
(7) Baskets from 1850's-1900's, $3.00 each.
(8) White House Cook Book $15.00
(9) Older tins, bottles, & glassware. This is great for those needing pieces to complete a set of Grandmothers' China also!
(10) A "New" 35mm slide projector for $20.00. No one knew what it was! My Dad had one exactly like it, so I knew what it was & had a gift to buy for a photographer. Perfect!

Many large stores donate new items to thrift shops by the seni-truck Full. My favorite thrift shops are in areas where a Rolls Royce is in every garage! I've found more fantastic books, picture frames, glassware, & household items at these shops.

Every year the Jewish Ladies' League has Designer Fashion Sales (used) I bought a signed Dior for $30.00 & it never goes out of style. You may find TV or Hollywood stars shopping next to you. This is where many find the clothes you drool over in your favorite TV Shows/Movies. They sell vintage clothing that will make you look twice.

I've been told the Jewish Ladies' have these sales in other states, so you may want to check on it. The one in St. Louis, Missouri is every Sept. or October. If you are lucky enough to live around Parma, Ohio: try Value City. Shottensteins' in Indiana, used to have the same chain there. You have to pick carefully, some are flawed! But, for the savings, it is worth it.

Take care & remember: "If you don't find Christmas in your heart, you won't find Christmas under your tree"! Merry Ho Ho!!



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Ye Olde Homestead