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OPINION: Top 10 gifts to purchase locally this holiday season

Top 10 Gifts to Purchase Locally

The following contains no sponsored content.

Happy holidays, dear readers! This marks the second year I have given my take on the top 10 gifts to purchase locally for your loved ones during the holiday season. I foresee it becoming a tradition for The Post.

I love this piece because it gives me the opportunity to dive into our local businesses and share some truly unique finds. It's all too easy to oversee some real treasures found in your own community. Plus, Christmas Day is almost here and that window of time needed to order and ship the "perfect" gift to your doorstep is all but gone.

The following are the top 10 gifts I found locally that may just take a little bit of stress out of your upcoming holiday week.

Maxwell Blade's Magic Kit — $30

A magic kit from your neighborhood magician would make the perfect gift for any child, or childlike spirit, in your life. Kits can be purchased from the Malco Theatre, located at 817 Central Ave. Make the gift one big magical package by including a few tickets to see the magician himself.

Locally-Made Bowls — $60+

Whittington Gallery and Studios has a variety of gifts that would make a beautiful addition to anyone's home. But for me, it was the Morse Craig handmade bowls that caught my eye. You can place these masterpieces on display, or show them off at your next dinner party. These bowls, made from locally-sourced wood, range from $60-175. Whittington Gallery is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday-Saturday and 12 -4 p.m. on Sundays.

Earrings for Every Personality — $3+

The RetroFit has brought so much spice to the community since it came along on Ouachita Ave., and I knew I wanted to feature one of their many unique, fun products on this list. Their earrings were just the thing. Ranging from $3-7 find a pair for every personality in your life among the dozens of pairs they keep in stock.

100 Things to Do in Hot Springs Before You Die — $17

Photo by Pam Clark

Disclaimer: I authored and sell this book. So, is this shameless self-promotion, or do I actually think the book I wrote on the 100 best things to do in Hot Springs is one of the best gifts to purchase locally? The answer is both. For the holidays I have taken 200 copies of my book published earlier this year, signed each, stuffed them with coupons from the businesses featured and wrapped them in holiday paper. This makes a great holiday gift because as we approach the new year, what's a better aspiring resolution than experiencing 100 of Hot Springs' best features? The books are available online, or, to save on shipping, local pickups can be coordinated by reaching me at

Witch Balls — $34+

It's said that witch balls ward off evil spirits, witches and ill fortune. But at the very least these hanging glass spheres are beautiful. And The Parlour, located at 340 Ouachita Ave., has a variety. The 4" witch balls are $34, and the 6" balls are $49.

3-D Wooden Puzzles — $5+

Downtown's RoboWorld, located at 810 Central Ave., has a variety of hair-pulling wooden puzzles for both children and adults. Ranging from $5-50, choose from something as simple as a friendly octopus, to something as animated as a working clock, moving chocolate factory or music box. Give more than just a 2-D image for the puzzle-lovers in your life this year.

5-Pound Gummy Bear — $35

These 5-pound gummy bears available at the long-loved Candy Craze inside the Hot Springs Mall are the classic gummy bear reimagined. At over 9-inches tall, the giant bear is equivalent to 1,400 normal-sized gummy bears. This is the perfect gift for all candy lovers and those who appreciate the ridiculous in life.

Hand-Crafted Shun Knives — $134+

Surfas Culinary District, located at 510 Ouachita Ave., has no shortage of gifts that will amaze the chef in your life. The one product that caught my eye was the Shun Knives, handcrafted in Japan. Ranging from $134-$280, these are the only knives I have encountered that make me want to use the adjective "beautiful" in their description. Make the gift complete and add one of the Teak Haus cutting boards also pictured and sold at Surfas.

A Month-Long of Unlimited Fun — $48

So you have a child to buy for in your life, and you're considering, what? Another toy to add to their collection? Get a bang for your buck and gift them a $48 month-long pass to TNT Fun-Play, the indoor playground that opened earlier this year. It's a win-win because you're giving the gift of hundreds of toys that won't litter the home. This gift is s godsend to the parents of said child.

Six-Pack of Whacky Soda — $14

At just $13.99, head down to Rocket Fizz, located at 718 Central Ave., and choose a custom six-pack of soda that will meet all nostalgic, sweet and sick desires. There are hundreds of sodas to choose from, meeting all kinds of desires.

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