Above: Chad Thompson, owner of Gamez & More, lights up a light saber in the store last week. Photos by David Richards
By David Richards
There are 21 shopping days left until Christmas; 21 days to scope out that perfect present for that aunt, son, daughter, husband, wife, cousin, neighbor, mail man, housekeeper, dog or cat.
Black Friday, or Black Thursday, or Black Wednesday, depending on the day, has now come and gone, and for those sick of braving long lines and forgetting where he or she has parked, for those wanting to shop in Byron or simply wanting some unique gifts, here is the Byrons Review's annual list of 50 ways to shop local this holiday season.
In honor of the near completion of Byron's Frontage Road renovation, the list this year begins at one end of the road, near 10th Avenue, and continues down through the opposite end.
Football great John Madden used to say, "Ace is the place," in his old television commercials for Ace Hardware.
He may not have been far off.
While, Byron's hardware store certainly stocks gift ideas adults, The Big Green Egg Smoker (1), for instance, that comes in three different sizes, a Craftsman tool chest (2), frost breaker gloves (3), a Yo-Ho snow shovel (4) and a Black Series by Shift automatic wine opener (5), the store also stocks items for kids.
Stocked in Byron are the Lumber Jax log building set (6), the "My first Craftsman" heavy duty work bench (7) and the unbreakable helicopter (8).
At Gamez & More, in stock gifts include a Luke Skywalker light saber (9) that makes the authentic "vroom vroom" sounds and turns blue, Nomination charms (10), Nintendo DS titles from "Captain America (11)" to "Fashion Studio Paris Collection (12)", and special edition holiday Barbies (13).
Snap Fitness offers single (14), joint monthly memberships for couples (15) or family memberships (16).
Last year in this article, we compared getting gift cards for Christmas to railroads on Monopoly. Some people love them, some people don't.
For those who do, Byron Market Place offers a rack full of them, including Mastercard (17), iTunes (18) and Amazon (19).
In addition, the grocery store also stocks Byron Bears gear, including sweatshirts (20), hats (21), T-shirts (22), aprons and kids wear (23).
Hair Games Etc. offers gift certificates that can be used for a massage (24), a manicure (25), a pedicure (26), tanning (27) or a new hair style (28).
Next door, the Market Place liquor store sells holiday gift packs of 2 gingers Irish Whiskey (29), a product made in Minnesota, as well as shelves stocked full of white and red wines, including a Justin Cabernet Sauvignon from California (30).
Up and down the Frontage Road, Byron's restaurants offer gift certificates and ideas for catering for the holidays, including Happy China (31), McDonalds (32), The Bears Den (33) Subway (34), Margaritos (35), Dairy Queen (36) for those folks who enjoy eating a blizzard during a blizzard, and Kwik Trip (37).
At Otto's Bakery, Ann and Otto Hemmah offer a variety of baked goods that could add to any feast, including Rosettes (38) and a brandy N rum fruit cake (39).
Just down the road, Fixtreme Power Sports offers Klim parkas (40), jackets (41) and goretex (42) gloves for the outdoors enthusiast.
At Earl's Small Engine Repair, ideas include a selection of Ariens snow blowers (43), Stihl chainsaws (44); and protective chaps (45) for wearing while using the chainsaw.
Outside of Byron's Frontage Road, Leashes and Leads, 6214 14th St. N.W. is home to everything one might think of for your family pet, including chew toys (46), for instance, baked doggie treats (47), leashes (48) and collars.
And it doesn't end there.
A chamber Rewards Card (49) can bring discounts to area businesses, while the Byron Review (50), (507) 775-6180, can keep the family up to date with the happenings of Byron.