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The Flatlander

Gifting Recommendations Include Flannel, Bear Claws


Government statistics say it costs almost 7 percent more just to live today than it did a year ago. Groceries. Fuel. Automobiles (if you can even find them). Everything costs more.

And I don’t know about you but my family’s not getting any smaller. We’ll have two weddings this year and grandchildren can’t be far behind.
I’ve always loved giving gifts and tend to go a little above and beyond at Christmas, but this holiday season it’s just wise to shop and not splurge on every great deal that pops up in your social media feed. We’ve all agreed to cut back a bit this holiday season, But just because the gifts may be a little smaller doesn’t mean they are necessarily less thoughtful.
Here’s a list of great gifts I’ve compiled during the last several weeks all under a hundred bucks each.

• Zeppoli classic kitchen towels 15-Pack - 100% natural cotton dish towels - reusable cleaning cloths - super absorbent - machine washable hand towels - 14” x 25” for $16.99 on Amazon. While working in the kitchen, nothing pleases me more than having an ample supply of clean dish towels. This 15-pack is attractive white with blue trim and they are super light and super absorbent. I’ve used them for two years and buy a new pack at every opportunity. You won’t find a more practical, affordable gift.

• My literary colleague Mary DeMuth has some great calendars, postcards and other work worthy of framing and featuring her original artwork, most under $25. This in her Etsy shop located at Etsy.com and search “Mary Demuth.” She has some great holiday deals going on calendars and postcards. She has authored more than 40 books, so I’d also suggest visiting Mary’s Amazon page featuring titles such as: Ordinary Mom, Extraordinary God, The Most Misunderstood Women of the Bible and Healing Every Day.

• Artist Patricia Sablak Korzek has produced an amazing adult coloring book (completely suitable for kids as well) feature beautiful scenes from America’s national parks.
This 14-page coloring book contains images of Korzek’s sketches of Yosemite, Sequoia, Grand Canyon, Joshua Tree, Zion, The Grand Tetons, Yellowstone, Arches, Glacier, Denali, and Acadia National Parks. A brief description of each location accompanies each page. She encourages everyone to use their own imagination in recreating the beauty and color in each of these landmark locations. Cost is $10 plus tax and shipping. Visit sablak-korzec.com to order.

• Bear claws for the family grillmaster. An experienced griller knows the perfect moment to dig into a pork shoulder and create the perfect pulled pork for sandwiches. Problem is, that perfect moment is when the meat is super hot after 10 to 14 hours cooking time. Bear claws are handles with multiple sharp points, and are perfect for tearing apart well-cooked meat. They’re available for $7 at Walmart or you may find slightly more expensive versions for $12 or more on Amazon.

• Ruvanti 100% cotton four-piece flannel warm and super soft flannel bed sheets. The set includes flat sheet, fitted sheet and two pillowcases in colors red and blue). Are you kidding me? I’ve used these flannel sheets for two years now and they are the bomb. No more screaming when you get into bed on a frigid Ozark night. At $57.98 on Amazon they are an investment you’ll be glad you made for years. Word of caution, the blue plaid did cause my body to turn blue a couple of times early on and we believed I had some rare disease, but I’m fine now.

• For $99 the Apple Airtag 4-pack is another practical gift. Each tag has an adhesive backing that will stick to your keychain, iPhone, inside your purse or billfold, or just about anywhere. Use the Find My app to relocate just about any displaced item.

• We’ve learned that taking cleanliness precautions is more important than ever. The OXO Good Grips large salad spinner holds six quarts of freshly washed produce and spins it dry in seconds. I use this on my garden spinach and lettuce, and I do believe a spin through this device helps produce stay fresher longer. Plus, it’s kind of fun spinning lettuce around in this bad boy. You may put it in your cabinet for $30 and change.

• Nothing “bugs” me more than flies at an outdoor picnic or potluck. So, I’m stocking up on this five-pack of Anco food cover pop-up food tents that are one of the simplest and most brilliant ideas of the century. They are functional and store easily. And they’re a great price at $23.99. No more flies in great-grandmother’s Watergate salad.

• Just a few nights ago we experienced an earthquake in the middle of a thunderstorm. To say Arkansas weather is unpredictable is an understatement. The Midland NOAA emergency weather alert radio is a great thing to have at your bedside for $29.99.

• Two-pack Miady USB portable charging packs for $21.99. Small, portable and practical. On Amazon.

(Steve Watkins is a staff writer for the Stone County Leader. Write him at steve@stonecountyleader.com)

Stone County Leader, Mountain View AR


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