Discover Oklahoma: Keep local with your holiday gift-buying

My goodness, November is here, and that means Christmas is not far away. For you last-minute shoppers, you have plenty of time to procrastinate. We all know gift giving in the holiday season can be fun, yet stressful and even somewhat tedious. Sometimes, the joy of gift-giving is diminished by the time the holiday arrives.

Figuring out what is the perfect gift takes some thought. Sociologists have done studies about what is called gift giving anxiety. Through all the studies, they discovered a few key rules: Gifts must be given to the right person, at the right time and of the right type.

We all know people who are hard to buy for, especially when it comes to holiday gifts. So, may I present an easy way to help you and help the Oklahoma economy at the same time.

Give the gift of Oklahoma this year.

Giving music as a gift may almost seem old-fashioned, but music lovers have a lot to love in Oklahoma. We are all proud of Oklahoma performers such as Carrie Underwood, Toby Keith and Reba McEntire, but there are also dozens of very good local bands and singers who haven’t quite found that one big break. Independent music stores, in many cases, have sections dedicated to local talent. Guestroom Records, with stores in Norman and Oklahoma City, and Starship Records in Tulsa are very good places to look. Find out what kind of music your loved one or friend likes and ask the always-helpful store staff for suggestions.

If you have a family member or friend who loves the outdoors, chances are good they would appreciate an Oklahoma state park gift certificate. For example, a cabin or a lodge room at Beavers Bend State Park, Broken Bow, could be combined with a winter trout fishing experience that is unique in the state. Oklahoma state parks with lodge rooms and cabins can be found all over the state, so it would not be difficult to find an enjoyable destination, near or far, that’s perfect for a getaway. Oklahoma’s bed-and-breakfast inns also offer some fun, unique getaways, and several have gift certificates.

There is something very pleasant about receiving a bottle of wine as a gift from a friend or family member. Oklahoma wines are winning awards, as well as many new fans. A bottle for a friend can be a great introduction to locally produced vintages.

Giving the gift of locally produced salsa, jams and jellies, baked goods, pillows, key chains is also a smart idea. Several of the Travel Information Centers across the state, such as the one at NW 122 and Interstate 35 in Oklahoma City, have a generous selection of gifts, not only for the holidays, but year-round.

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