What's in Store: Stuff stockings, get party props and exchange with ease

Holiday Specs are a fun, inexpensive gift to slip in somebody's stocking.

The arrival of the Hickory Farmsstand at Apache Mallsignals that it's time for holiday cheer.

"Hickory Farms is a family tradition," said Jason Rausch,Hickory Farms store manager. "It goes hand in hand with the holidays."

For stocking stuffers, Rausch says, "Meltaway mints are awesome, small summer sausages in turkey, spicy-savory, and traditional."

Hickory Farms participates in No Kid Hungry, Show Our Strength, a charity that keeps money local to provide food for those in need.

Family time


"It's always so good to look at things that will last with your family," said Kirsten Dodds, manager at ABC Toy Zone,in Miracle Mile Shopping Center. She recommends gifts that have families interact and spend time together.

"Bean Boozled is unique because it's a fun game of chance on flavors of jelly beans," Dodds said. While playing, one might bite into Jelly Belly's most popular flavors or one of its craziest. A black jelly bean might be Black Licorice or Skunk Spray — who's to say?

"Spot It! is one of our best-selling games and it fits in a stocking," Dodds said. "Thinking Putty comes in two different sizes. It's similar to Silly Putty, only it changes colors, glows in the dark."

During the holiday season ABC Toy Zone is open for extended hours: 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.

Fun specs

"We were driving down Highway 52," Peg Arnoldbegan as she shared the fun of her favorite stocking stuffer of this season: Holiday Specs. For $1.99, these simple cardboard folded glasses have a selection of images that will pop up in 3D when one views lights through them, whether they are car lights or Christmas tree lights. They are available at Arnold's store, A Child's Kingdom,at Northbrook Shopping Center.

(For the record, Arnold wasn't behind the wheel when she was donning the glasses as she and her husband traveled down the highway.)

What else might be popular? You might have guessed: "'Frozen,' period," Arnold said. Tattoos fit for a stocking featuring the characters of "Frozen are available." "Frozen" glitter tattoo kits are expected to arrive today or tomorrow.


Smaller stuffed Olafs are great as stocking-stuffers and the slightly larger one has been finding its way into the Toys for Totsdrop off at A Child's Kingdom.

"Olaf," Arnold said pointing to him in two different sizes, the smaller one selling for just $5.99. "A lot of people are buying those and donating them."

One more tip for your stockings: "Plush Craft Holiday Ornaments," Arnold said. "They're easy-peasy for kids 5 and up."

Another top recommendation for little ones on your list who like to build: BricTek figures and kits. The figures are compatible with Legos and the kits come with 58 pieces including a figure to build with.

Stuff for friends

"Some of these will make great Secret Santa gifts," said Georgia Schulz,sales associate at Eagle Drug, presenting a basket full of fun stocking stuffers and holiday gifts to look through. Eagle has fun little gifts, ranging from traditional giant candy bars, mitten and hat sets to novel, little Jolly Jingle hair ties with bells on them and Jolly Jabber pens that have eyes that glow red to match the boxing gloves.

Check out Glitz See, a motion-activated purse light shaped like a diamond that any shaking or rattling will cause to glow. All one has to do is set it to on and it will wait to light up until the purse is shaken a bit or it bumps against something in the purse to make it glow. Finding keys and all of those other little things just became easier.


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