Countdown to Christmas: American-made stocking stuffers

Wade H. Hall

If you are looking for American-made products this year, here are some ideas that might help you fill those stockings!

The New York Times dubbed zkano founder Gina Locklear the "Sock Queen of Alabama," and for good reason. The organic sock company is located in Fort Payne, which was known as the Sock Capital of the World until offshoring sent jobs overseas. Locklear drew on her family's own sock making history to launch zkano in 2008, proving you can still keep it Made in America. Look for them online.

Red Land Cotton Sheets are made from cotton grown in Lawrence County, Alabama. They are sent to South Carolina to be milled, then to Georgia for the material to be finished, and back to Moulton, Alabama to be cut and sewn at the Cowan Sewing Factory on Main Street. You may purchase these fantastic sheets, made from a formula reverse engineered from century old sheets, online at or by appointment at the Yeager Gin Office on Alabama Highway 157.

Check Red Land Cotton on Facebook for photos and more information.

The following list comes from a site for American-made products.

  • Made in America, 1888 Mills Made Here Towel Collection is manufactured in Griffin, Georgia. Purchase a set that includes a wash cloth, hand towel, bath towel and bath sheet for less than $40:
  • The Alfi American-made kitchen knife set is a handy gift for anyone who likes to entertain.  These knives are simple, sharp and sturdy. They are perfect for everything kitchen chore, from cutting steak to slicing lemons. Holiday 2016 Alfi deal- Get the $45 12-piece knife set for $30 with promo code LOVELIST at checkout.
  • Manufactured from handmade premium black leather, the elegant Gladstone Mouse Pad from Douglas & Co Detroit, $42, will add definitely add style to any office.
  • Blind Barber is a barber shop with four locations throughout the USA that has its own line of American made grooming products for men. The Blind Barber Lemongrasss Tea Shampoo (which doubles as a body wash), $18, is sulfate free and not tested on animals. Pair it with the Blind Barber Lemongrass Tea Conditioner for a $36 gift.
  • Who doesn’t love comfy pajamas? Lala Land by Brian Nash pajamas are the perfect gift for adults who area kids at heart. LaLa Land two-piece PJ sets are made from 100 percent cotton material that features LaLa, a funny bunny character created by artist Brian Nash. LaLa Land pajamas are available in both men’s and women’s sizes. Made of 100 percent soft, breathable cotton material.
  • EOS Lip Balm (those little spheres) are fun stocking stuffers. They even have special editions for the holidays. The list of flavors continues to grow and all the formulas are fabulous at $3 each.
  • For kids, check out Made in USA Kids’ Pajamas Ultimate Source List at


For those on your list who love to read, check out the following books published in Alabama by NewSouthBooks; you may order them from the publisher at or purchase them from your local bookseller.

“Shlemiel Crooks” by Anna Olswanger
Based on a true story, Shlemiel is an imaginative introduction for young children to the history of Passover, as Pharaoh and a town of Jewish immigrants play tug-of-war with wine made from grapes left over from the exodus from Egypt.

For middle-school readers:

“A Yellow Watermelon” by Ted Dunagan
A Yellow Watermelon takes place in 1940s and is the story of a 12-year-old boy who shows enormous courage in befriending a black child and then stepping forward to uncover the duplicity and racist attitudes of the town's leading citizen criminal activity.

“The Salvation of Miss Lucretia” by Ted Dunagan
In the deep, dark woods of remote southwest Alabama in the late 1940s, Ted and his best friend Poudlum return for the fourth installment of their big adventures. This time they confront a fearsome voodoo queen, bobcats and panthers, and dangerous snakes of both reptile and human variety.

“Longleaf” by Roger Reid
"Longleaf" is a thrilling adventure for boys and girls—and an excellent introduction to the plants and animals of the Conecuh region, written by Discovering Alabama producer Roger Reid

“Space” by Roger Reid
Set at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, "Space" is a fast-moving story that incorporates factual information about astronomy and America’s space program into its intriguing tale of suspicion and pursuit.

“Time” by Roger Reid
Set at the Steven C. Minkin Paleozoic Footprint Site in north Alabama — the richest source of vertebrate trackways of its age in the world — Time is a fast-moving story that incorporates factual information about geology and paleontology into its intriguing tale of suspicion and pursuit.

“Halley” by Faye Gibbons
Halley is the story of a family living in Depression-era Georgia mountain country. The 14-year-old protagonist lives with her family under the tight reins of her fundamentalist preacher grandfather. Halley longs for an education, which she firmly believes would eventually allow choices. Little does she suspect that such dreams might actually come true.

“Hoggle's Christmas” by Rick Shelton
A boy, his younger sister and some of their playmates find a boring summer made interesting by Hoggle, who lives down the street. Then he moves away. But he sends them a surprise package that leads to a magical Christmas.

“In the Company of Owls” by Peter Huggins
Set in the hills of rural Tennessee, "In the Company of Owls" tells an exciting story of courage and the triumph of family loyalty in the face of danger.

“Ernest's Gift” by Kathryn Tucker Wyndham
A man’s lifelong love of books and reading overcomes the hurt of a childhood humiliation in this touching true tale related by Alabama storyteller Kathryn Tucker Windham on the occasion of the Selma Public Library’s 100th anniversary. As a child in the 1930s, Ernest Dawson loved books but was denied use of the library in segregated Selma. He grew up and became a teacher, and after segregation had ended, he left money in his will toward a children’s wing of the Selma library so that children of all races could read and learn.

For adult history buffs or people who love the art found on old postcards, “Greetings from Alabama: A Pictorial history in Vintage Postcards” by Wade H. Hall, walks readers through the history and importance of post cards. Lovely soft pastel scenes from the Mobile Bay to the foothills of Appalachia and the rivers of the Tennessee Valley to the shores of the Gulf of Mexico, these historical picture postcards tell the story of our state. Hall, a teacher, writer, poet, critic, interviewer, folklorist and documentarian, spent most of his 50-year career in Kentucky, but he was born in Bullock County, Alabama, and his roots called out to him. The book features hundreds of his collection, some of them dated from the late 1800s to the mid-20th century. They offer a fascinating picture of the state.

“Greetings from Alabama” is available through your favorite online bookseller or retailer, or through NewSouth Books, 334-834-3556, for $24.95.


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