CULLMAN, Ala. – Christmas is almost here and last-minute shoppers are out and about or online looking for the perfect gifts for family and friends. Luckily for Cullman shoppers, there are many unique local shops that can help you find the best gifts this holiday season. The Tribune set out to find what’s hot this year and what unique finds are right here in Cullman.
First, a stop by Werner’s Trading Company to see the must-haves for 2020. Owner Rob Werner pointed to the large selection of On Cloud shoes and TRUE knives as two of the most popular gifts this year. Also popular for outdoors are disc golf equipment and ENO hammocks.
“All the grilling supplies and spices are popular, and for stocking stuffers- crickets! They are high in protein and environmentally-friendly,” said Werner, who said the dried crickets come in a variety of flavors. “Great stocking stuffers for kids.”
Werner’s also has a selection of toys including the Dreamcatcher Sky Swing and a hop-on swing.
Beer and wine have been popular gifts for the adults on your list. Werner’s has kits and supplies for making your own beer, wine and cheese. Locally made items and goodies are hot item this year as well, including socks made in Fort Payne and Smith Lake T-shirts.
Over at the Mary Carter Store, several shoppers were perusing goods for the anglers on their lists. Fishing gear is a big seller there this year.
“The rods and combos are popular, especially the Zebco 33 combo,” Mary Carter’s Jeremy Young said. He said another great gift for the guys (or girls) on your list is a Case knife. “They are made in the U.S. and they are one of our more popular items for gifts.”
If you like a bit of nostalgia when shopping, Mary Carter has the classic red Radio Flyer wagons, tricycles and bouncy horses. They also have the famous Red Ryder BB guns- but don’t shoot your eye out!
In the housewares department, infrared space heaters and pressure canners are popular.
Said Young, “We have a little bit of everything. We have hardware and paint, but we also have the fishing gear.”
Framed photos and art are always great gifts, and Mary Carter can take care of your framing needs, too.
Down in Cullman’s Warehouse District, the road remains closed, but the merchants are definitely open. They have some great one-of-a -kind gifts and stocking stuffers for everyone in the family.
Some of the most popular holiday gift items at Ashley Mercantile are the hot chocolate bombs.
“We’ve sold over 1,200 of them and can’t keep them in stock,” Owner Ryne Ashley shared. If you can’t get your hands on one of those, don’t worry, they have lots of great items.
Ashley said, “Our candles move all the time, especially around Christmas, and our mixes. You are going to be around family, and they are going to want to make things so those are popular.”
Ashley Mercantile also has a large collection of Crow Canyon enamelware.
For a more localized gift, Ashley has etched glassware featuring Cullman County, Smith Lake or Alabama and Auburn, along with beautiful decanters and accessories for whiskey lovers. Puzzles featuring the many beautiful sights and stories of Alabama are another great gift idea.
Old-fashioned toys are a fun treat for the little ones. Paper dolls, puzzles, games and other toys are perfect for building special Christmas memories.
Across the street at O-Baby Children’s Boutique is perhaps everything you will need for the babies and toddlers on your list. From fun holiday outfits to the very popular Bamboo baby clothes, these outfits are sure to please and are incredibly soft.
“PELLO (floor pillows), Bamboo and bows are hot right now and our big sellers. PELLOs are for babies to lounge in or for tummy time. It’s for a quick nap, and they can use it all the way up until they are 5 or 6,” Store Manager Sarah Muller said.
Sleek and stylish diaper bags have been a popular gift for new moms. These diaper bags are designed to look more like a purse than a traditional bulky diaper bag. Books, hats, bows and soft plushies are great stocking stuffers for the little ones. If it has a sloth, giraffe, bison or llama on it, it’s hot this year!
Next door at Kernel Kullman is a one-stop candy, popcorn and soda shop with several gift arrangements available. Gourmet popcorn buckets have been a hot seller. So much so that the store is likely only taking orders for the next day or two. The vast assortment of candy, popcorn seasonings and craft sodas offer great last-minute ideas and treats to round out this year’s stockings.
Kernel Kullman carries Jelly Bellies, Pocky, Pop Rocks, gumballs and countless gourmet and popular candies including vintage brands that you won’t find in other stores. Check out the adorable gumball machine ornaments on the front counter for a whimsical and colorful addition to your tree.
Our last stop, If the Shoe Fits, is a great shop for the young girls on your list. Hot this year are the star-design tennis shoes.
“Any of the fashion tennis shoes, they are the most popular for teens and women. They are all different brands,” Owner Shannon Witcher explained.
Also popular are fuzzy house slippers and SOREL boots. “That’s what we sell the most of,” said Witcher.
If the Shoe Fits sells items for boys and girls, but accessories such as leggings, jewelry, bows and socks are the more popular stocking stuffers and gifts. Animal and snake prints are hot in girls’ and women’s fashion.
Those are just a few of the unique shops and items that can easily be found right here in Cullman. Most local stores have gift certificates and gift cards available for purchase, too.
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