It’s one of those things that nobody says anymore. Who knows; maybe nobody ever actually did say it. Maybe it’s just one of those sayings that people say people said, if you know what I mean.
“Good things come in small packages.”
If anyone ever did really say that, it was probably a frazzled mother who had two children and one of them was crying and pouting because his sister had a gift under the Christmas tree that was bigger than any of the boxes with his name on it.
The adage was likely proven to be true on Christmas morning when the sister’s box turned out to be a new winter coat and the brother’s little box turned out to be a nifty, shiny, speedy new Hot Wheels car.
I can’t truthfully say that I think of that old proverb when I do my Christmas shopping, but I can testify to the fact that I try really, really hard to buy gifts that the recipient will love.
This is not easy to do.
Most of the people on my list have the annoying habit of buying things for themselves throughout the year. Even if I am fortunate enough to find out about something they want, next thing I know, they’ve already bought it.
(There ought to be rule about that: No fair buying anything for yourself from October to December.)
Another gift-giving staple has involved contributing to a recipient’s hobby or collection, but again, this scheme has been thwarted by the easy availability of even the rarest item, thanks (or no thanks) to the advent of online shopping. Amazon, eBay, Barter & Trade … The thrill of the hunt has now been reduced to just another dull click of the mouse.
But saddest of all is the fact that a drive-by glance at megastore parking lots anytime during the final months of the year will tell the forlorn tale that many people – too many – take the easy, lazy way out, surrendering to what they may consider “convenience,” and just do all their shopping at one big, huge, impersonal box. Turkey for the table, talcum powder for grandmother, a tie for Uncle Thomas and toys for the kids … no thought required, no effort, just mindlessly pick up one box from among the dozens just like it, toss it in the cart, and you’re done.
Except your Christmas will look just like everyone else’s.
So this year – let’s think outside the big box mindset.
Peel away from the herd and find the unique stores with unique gifts – for your unique family and friends.
Head down to the Senior Center and browse the Pincushion Gift Shop, and find a handmade gift that will bring back memories for your recipient. (Let’s be honest: We all need to replace that worn, frayed towel that hangs off our refrigerator doors!) And if you’re looking for unique, inexpensive outfits for your granddaughter’s favorite dolls, this is the place! Who knows, it might even inspire her to take up sewing herself! And who wouldn’t be thrilled with the gift of a handmade quilt?
Ignite what may become a lifelong love of music by buying a simple instrument for your grandchild at Owensboro Music Center. (Ukelele, anyone?)
Our community is blessed with several specialty shops that offer a wide selection of delightful gifts – items you won’t find anywhere else! As one of the “service specialists” at Baker’s Rack told me one time, their items are “immediate heirlooms” – quality items that are designed to last a lifetime and beyond. Go to Rebecca’s Gift Gallery just to breathe in the amazing fragrances … but allow plenty of time to browse the almost infinite collection of gift items. Then swing over to East 18th Street to Kuntry Kutter – another charming gift shop where the service is as personalized as the selection.
If you have a special guy in your life and haven’t checked out Byron & Barclay downtown – go now. Your guy will know he’s special with a gift from their collection!
And while you’re at it … swing by Party Paper Place to pick up plates, napkins and giftwrap that reflect your personality and style. They have it!
Well, I could go on and on. Go with me! Find more locally owned businesses in all categories on the Greater Owensboro Chamber of Commerce website. Just click “Member Directory” at the top of the page, then select a category from the menu at left.
You – and your gift recipients – will be glad you did.
Because after all, “good things come from small stores.”