Stress-free holiday shopping

If you’re looking for one more reason to shop indie, the parking lots outside the big-box stores this week ought to provide plenty of motivation.

As you plan your holiday shopping excursions, here are a few stress-free ideas from Tulsa’s independent business scene:

1. The Learning Shop, 1116 S. Yale. This indie teacher’s supply emporium offers a wide array of educational toys, games, books, and art supplies. I stopped in Wednesday to do some shopping for my nieces and nephews. I found a set of giant cardboard blocks, several books, puzzles, a Noah’s Ark shape sorter, all manner of science projects, a math game, musical instruments, and a spectacular assortment of art supplies. Prices were very reasonable, and I couldn’t have asked for better service: One of the two clerks on duty was kind enough to keep my selections separated into four bags — one for each child on my list — and the other grabbed a shopping cart and hauled my purchases half a block down the street to help me load them into my car.

2. Lee’s Feed & Supply, 19015 E. 11th St. In addition to feed, garden supplies, and animal equipment, Lee’s offers a nice assortment of gift items, from colorful rainboots to candles, purses, birdfeeders, Watkins products, handmade soaps, jars of honey and sorghum, and greeting cards with seeds embedded in the paper so the recipient can plant the entire card and grow flowers.

3. Kiddlestix, 3815 S. Harvard Ave. Simply my favorite toy store. Educational toys are the primary focus, but there are plenty of cuddly plushies and cute dolls here as well. Free gift wrapping is available, and service is fast and friendly. The crowds get a little heavy around Christmas, but the store is small enough that you can still park close and get in and out relatively quickly. Unless you’re me, in which case you can park close and then spend the entire afternoon playing with toys and trying to decide between the ant farm and the Sea-Monkey aquarium.

4. Starship Records, 13th and Lewis. I bought a copy of Neil Diamond’s new CD for my best friend, a set of Beatles coasters for another friend, and funny Christmas cards for the more irreverent individuals on my list. Band T-shirts, posters, patches, stickers, afghans, metal signs, jewelry, and a plethora of other items are also available.

5. The Gadget Company, 104 E. 15th St. Located next door to Mrs. DeHaven’s Flower Shop at the corner of 15th and Boston, the Gadget Company sells hunting and fishing gear, Swiss Army knives, books, watches, Life Is Good products, Man Candles, and all manner of gadgets and gizmos to amuse the proverbial “person who has everything” on your shopping list. Prices are a little steep, but the clerks are friendly and helpful, and the products are interesting and unusual.

6. The Route 66 Nut House, 26677 S. Highway 66, Claremore. Although this business has a Claremore address, it’s actually located in a pecan grove at the east end of the Bird Creek Bridge in Catoosa. If your gift list includes homemade candy or cookies, the Route 66 Nut House is an ideal place to pick up locally grown pecans. The gift shop also offers toys, Route 66 souvenirs, small gift items, and a nice selection of gourmet treats, from freshly made fudge to canned salsa, pickles, pecan butters, jellies, and the like. Nut House and Blue Whale T-shirts are also available. Well worth the short drive to get there.

There are plenty of other great indie shopping options in and around Tulsa. What are your favorites?

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~ by redforkhippie on November 29, 2010.

One Response to “Stress-free holiday shopping”

  1. Don’t forget to support your local bead shops and bead workers!
    Have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, Mom K

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