Ever think what Christmas morning would look like if Santa shopped in north Alabama? It might look something like this.
The Daily's holiday gift guide features unique and original gifts made by Alabama artists or offered in local stores. Expect to find suggestions for fashionistas, foodies, art aficionados, voracious readers and outdoor enthusiasts.
“An All New Light” by Prentiss Douthit
With paintings, photographs and stories, Decatur native Prentiss Douthit shares his experiences traveling to Croatia, Mexico, Spain, Italy and France. Available at prentissdouthit.com or Carriage House, 115 Johnston St. S.E., which will hold a book signing and reading on Tuesday, 4-7:30 p.m. $75.
“Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge” by Thomas V. Ress
For the history and nature lover, Athens author Thomas V. Ress examines the history of the Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge and how the protected area came to be. Available at Second Read Books and on Amazon. $23.99
“Monstrous Men” by MJ Boshers
Penned by Hartselle author MJ Boshers, the book tells the story of a group of orphaned teens who come together after one witnesses a murder and another is adopted by the murderer. Mjboshers.com. $2.99 Kindle version.
“What Happened to Mary Faye Hunter” by Brad Golson and Glenda Yarbrough
Written by Trinity author Brad Golson and Hartselle author Glenda Yarbrough, the novel based on a true story focuses on the unsolved murder of Mary Faye Hunter in 1967 in Decatur. The book examines Hunter’s life, ambitions and dreams. Available on Amazon, $9.99 Kindle version, $17.95 paperback.
“Goodnight Decatur” by Vickie Spangler and Tracy McCann
The picture book bedtime story features images of some of Decatur’s iconic places, including the Morgan County-Decatur Farmers Market, Big Bob Gibson, Morgan Price Candy Co. and more. Available at Morgan Price Candy, Kathleen’s and Second Read Books.
For more books written by Alabama authors or about Alabama, stop by Second Read Books on Second Avenue Southeast. The books include “Scottsboro Boys” by Decatur’s Peggy Towns, “Hidden History of North Alabama” by Jacquelyn Procter Reeves, “Alabama and the Civil War” by Robert C. Jones and “Decatur” by Jonathan Ford Baggs.
Knockbox Coffee Roastery owned by Trinity’s Jared Gibson has Honduras dark and medium roasts available. $7. knockboxcoffeeroastery.com.
For those who can’t make a decision — especially when food is involved — the Tennessee Valley Pecan Company offers a combo gift with six two-ounce bags. Choose from toasted, spicy, praline sugar, honey-glazed, key lime, praline crunch, cinnamon, milk chocolate, dark chocolate and white chocolate. $25. tnvalleypecan.com.
Made at Elkmont’s Humble Heart Farms, flavors of the goat cheese include plain, French with garlic, rosemary and thyme, honey, Rio Grande with garlic, onion tomatoes and jalapenos, Tuscan with sun dried tomatoes, basil and garlic, Mediterranean and chipotle pimento. $7. farmtoyourtable.us.
Give a taste of Decatur’s first microbrewery with libations from Cross Eyed Owl. Find a variety of beers, from lagers to ales to goses to porters at the brewery on First Avenue Northeast. Not sure what to buy? Ask one of the bartenders. xeobrewing.com. Prices vary, $18-28 for a growler.
Spicy Cheddar Biscuits
Created at Alabama’s sole keto-only bakery, the spicy cheddar biscuits are a favorite among regulars at Fathead Fanny in Priceville. Shannon Wheatley, who also operates Clover Coffee, opened the bakery last year after she started following the ketogenic diet. $12 for eight biscuits. Fatheadfanny.com. 717 Alabama 67.
Sweeten up the holidays with candy from Morgan Price Candy Co. on Sixth Avenue Southeast. From chocolate-covered cherries and toffee to heavenly bites (a combination of milk chocolate with pecans and marshmallow) and angel bites (a combination of milk chocolate with almonds and caramel), you will find something to satisfy any sweet tooth. Prices vary.
For the pet lover who also loves fashion or sports or America, Country Book Designs in Moulton offers a range of designs for dogs and cats. Designs include collegiate colors, flowers, snowmen, skull and crossbones, hearts, sports and the stars and stripes. Starts at $7. cbpetz.com.
Displaying the orange and blue of Auburn University and the crimson and white of the University of Alabama, the State Traditions belts at Bennett’s Clothing in Athens offers a fashionable way for fans to show their allegiance. $55. 215 Washington St., Athens. bennettsclothing.com.
Made from cotton grown in Lawrence County, the Moulton-based Red Land Cotton apron brings style into the kitchen. The striped-apron features two pockets. $45. redlandcotton.com.
Inspired by the river banks, pine forest, cotton fields and wildlife refuge of Decatur, Atlanta jewelry designer Kristi Hyde brings elements of her hometown into her art. Hyde’s collections include orchid leaves, hydrangea blossoms, ginkgo, birds and more. Available at Carriage House on Johnston Street Southeast. Prices vary.
These stylish hair ties available at The Paper Chase on Second Avenue Southeast double as stackable bracelets. They come in animal prints, tie dye, solids and more. $7.99 for small, $9.99 for large.
Created by Peter Goodwin, formerly of Decatur, Groove Life, a Spring Hill, Tennessee-based company creates comfortable and stylish watch bands. Cost starts at $40 for watch bands. Rings, which feature camouflage, sports, animal print and nature designs, start at $30. groovelife.com.
High school students can show off their school pride with earrings made by North Alabama-based Studs & Stuff. Featured designs at Urban Atlas on Second Avenue Southeast include the logos of Decatur High and Austin High. $8.
Home and Health
Bath Bombs and Soaps
Hartselle maker Anita Holt brings humor to the bath with hand-painted bombs and soaps. Designs range from “Star Wars” characters and cartoons to musicians and superheroes. Prices range from $7-10. Available at Urban Atlas on Second Avenue Southeast and Unique hand painted bath bombs and soaps. Rainbow embeds are also available for purchase for other bath bomb makers.
Perfect as a hostess or friend gift, these trinket trays offer encouraging statements, such as “You are amazing, remember that” and “thankful for you.” Available at Trinity’s, 204 Market St. West, Athens. $10.99.
Found at Graves Grocery in Lacey’s Spring, wooden items created by Valhermoso Springs-based Smoking Goat Art provide a natural look to bowls, pens, bottle toppers and more. Prices vary.
Crafted from walnut, black heart, sapele, curly cherry and more, the wooden boards serve as cheese boards, charcuterie boards or party boards. Created by Decatur’s Penny Linville, the boards start at $150. Available at The Cupboard on Bank Street.
Recently named Amazon’s woman-owned small business of the year, Natasha McCrary of 1818 Farms in Mooresville creates a line of bath and beauty products, including essential oil, shave oil, beard oil, shea crème and more. Available at 1818farms.com or at The Cupboard on Bank Street.
Christmas Ornaments and Figurines
With hundreds of ornaments and figurines, Brenda Hill, owner of The Gathering Place in Decatur, devoted one room of her shop on Danville Road Southwest to all things Christmas. The ornaments start at $2.
Handmade nativity scenes from Africa, Nepal, Haiti, Palestine and Israel offer unique artistic interpretations of the birth of Jesus. One set was crafted by seventh generation Palestinian Christians, said Tammy Eddy, owner of Tammy Eddy Antiques on Bank Street Northeast. Prices vary.
Give an early gift to the kids this year with a visit to the Carnegie Visual Arts Center’s ornament workshop. During the come-and-go activity on Tuesday and Wednesday, 3:30-5 p.m., children will create Christmas ornaments. The workshop takes 20 minutes. The workshop costs $5. While at the Carnegie, shop for marbled Christmas ornaments created by local artists. The marbled ornaments cost $5. 207 Church St. N.E. carnegiearts.org.
For the lover of Alabama, pick up “Alabama It’s a Wonderful Life” holiday hand towels at Chel’Den’s on Corsbie Street Southeast. The items vary in price. For a hand towel that celebrates Decatur, stop by Miss Muldrew’s on Second Avenue Southeast. The item features iconic spots in the River City, including the Princess Theatre, Point Mallard, the Carnegie Visual Arts Center, Old State Bank and Dancy Polk House. $18.
Shows at the Princess Theatre
From bluegrass to country to big band to Americana to comedy, the Princess Theatre will host notable performers early next year. The schedule includes Grammy Award-winning country singer Kathy Mattea on Jan. 10, $35-45; Clabe McGuire and the Rocket City Ridge on Jan. 18, $12-14; the Glenn Miller Orchestra on Feb. 7, $25-45; Grammy Award winner Bruce Hornsby on March 20, $55-85; and The Capitol Steps on April 3, $25-45. Princess theatre.org. (photo)
Tennessee Valley Old Time Fiddlers’ Concert Series
Geez Louise: Dangerous Dames and their Killer Songs on Jan. 23 at Athens State’s McCandless Hall. Features Louisa Branscomb, Jeanette Williams, Pam Gadd and Wanda Vick. Tickets cost $15. tvotfc.org.
Rocket City Trash Pandas T-shirt
In four months, minor league baseball will return to the Tennessee Valley with the Rocket City Trash Pandas. Get geared for the team’s debut season with gear for the entire family. Pair the shirt with a certificate for tickets to a game. Prices vary. trashpandas.milbstore.com.
Commit Game Call
Made by a father and son duo in Danville, the calls are crafted from maple, cocobolo, walnut burl, ivory and more. Pair the call with a weekend hunting trip. Alabama’s waterfowl season ends on Jan. 31. For more information, call 256-221-5341 or visit facebook.com/commitgamecalls/
Portable coolers at Wiley’s Trading Company on Sixth Avenue Southeast will meet the needs of outdoor enthusiasts and picnic-goers. Along with the cooler, organize a camping or kayaking trip for the recipient. Prices vary.
Music and Art
Local Color Art
Celebrate local art with a visit to Local Color on Second Avenue Southeast. Artists Dawn Callahan, Leigh Ann Hurst, Denise Maurer, Johanna Littleton, Scotty White, Marshall Horton Wise, Tina Swindell, Bonnie Hurst, Lynn Weatherford, Mary H. Reed, Brian Corry, Joe Shutt and Tara Stone create jewelry, stained glass pieces, paintings, mixed media pieces, encaustics and photographs. Prices vary.
Riverside Designs, a Decatur-based company, pairs a love for art and for the outdoors with “The Mountains Are Calling” and “Adventure Awaits” steel signs. Starts at $40. goriversidedesigns.com.
Released in September, the album by Brittany Howard, the former frontwoman of the Alabama Shakes, pays tribute to Howard’s older sister, who died at 13 after being diagnosed with a rare form of eye cancer. The album’s songs, which mix funk, soul, blues, gospel and hip-hop, address sexuality, religion, racism and tragedy. Since the album’s release, Howard, a Limestone County native, appeared on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert,” “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” “Today” and “The Daily Show with Trevor Noah.” The single “History Repeats” earned Howard two Grammy nominations for best rock performance and best rock song. $10 digital download, $13 CD, $23 vinyl. Brittanyhoward.com.
Cigar Box Guitar
Give the gift of music this holiday season with a cigar box guitar created by Cullman County’s Keith Crumbley. Prices range from $75-100 for acoustic guitars and $175-250 for electric guitars. facebook.com/CrumbleyCaster/