Want a keepsake from the street you grew up on? Delafield is
selling old street signs for decorative purposes.
Charles Auer/Freeman Staff
DELAFIELD - There’s always one person on
everyone’s holiday shopping list who is hard to buy gifts for
and another person who shuns the traditional gifts bought at the
big box stores. Local retailers - and even a municipality - have
unusual and quirky gifts for sale this holiday season.
What’s more unusual and even sentimental than a
sign bearing the name of your childhood street? The city of
Delafield is selling its old street signs and other traffic
signs like “no parking”, arrows and stop signs that it had to
replace when the federal guidelines changed.
Available for $15, the signs can be a fun and
Delafield Public Works Foreman Paul Zellner said
a lot of people have bought the signs as gifts. It’s the second
year the city has been selling them, and while the signs are
available year-round, the city clerk puts a reminder about them
being for sale on Facebook and in the city’s newsletter, which
stirs additional interest. Last week Zellner said he sold about
six or eight of them.
When the federal government changed the laws on
sign sizes and reflectivity, Delafield began to systematically
replace them to meet the mandates, Zellner said.
To learn more about purchasing a sign, call City
Hall at 646-6220. A list of available signs is also posted on
the city’s Facebook page.
The Gallori in Oconomowoc carries various gift
items that could be given to the guy looking to complete his
“man cave” to a person still in touch with her inner child.
Owner Lori Boldig said she has the Ultimate
Cookie Spoon for sale for $3.25 that allows the eater to dip a
cookie into a glass of milk without getting their fingers wet.
The made-in-the-USA spoon has a curved part that fits around the
cream of the cookie. The Ultimate Cookie Cup, made with cookie
dunking in mind, is also on sale.
These unique guys are made by
two sisters in Maine. The Gallori in Oconomowoc sells them
as well as a wide variety of gifts the big box stores won‘t
Ryan Billingham/Enterprise Staff
Another unusual item The Gallori carries is a
rock dispenser for liquids with a stainless steel tapper that is
perfect for the man cave, Boldig said.
Other fun items are tavern puzzles made of forged
steel that come in a variety of skill levels, and which truly
capture a person’s attention, she said.
Whether it’s a handmade item like animal-shaped
pillows made by a woman in Montreal or elves made by two sisters
from Maine, Boldig likes to sell the unusual.
“I think it’s the uniqueness that people don’t
know where it’s from,” she said of why these items make great
gifts. “When I am giving a gift, I want to make sure it’s unique
and unusual and it’s not seen everywhere.”
A gift from
When people shop for gifts at Fox Lake Country
Antiques Mall in Oconomowoc, they often gravitate toward items a
person had as a child.
“It seems like people still like what reminds
them of their past Christmases,” owner Cindy Budde said.
Whether that’s the big, sparkly ball ornaments
that hung on their childhood Christmas tree or the toy Santa
left for them when they were 6 years old, such as a vintage
version of a Barrel of Monkeys game or Cootie game, they like to
recapture memories, Budde said. Toy purchasers often like to
simply display the old toys under the Christmas tree as
The Ultimate Cookie Spoon allows
people to dip cookies into a glass of
milk without getting their fingers wet
Ryan Billingham/Enterprise Staff
Sometimes what sells surprises Budde. She said a
lot of women have been buying rusted toolboxes and similar items
that have worn paint and are in “original condition.”
“That is the stuff that sells first. The rougher,
the more banged up it is and in original condition, they want
it,” she said. “That rustic simplistic look is still really
Other popular gifts are vinyl records, such as
classic Santana or The Beatles, especially with turntables back
in style, Budde said.
For holiday decorating, Budde said people like to
buy original department store boxes with Christmas illustrations
and keys that they repurpose into gift tags.
Jon Rasmussen, owner of Great Harvest Bread Co.,
wants his business “to be the farmers market when the farmers
market is not up and running.”
For the holidays, people can purchase gift
baskets full of treats made by Wisconsin and northern Illinois
food artisans, such as soups and honey.
Items made in-house that also serve as fun
hostess gifts include animal-shaped breads and bread trios.
The honey bear is made of honey whole wheat
bread, which Rasmussen said is also versatile because people
will carve out its belly to place dip inside.
“We have gotten some nice reception in that we
have been open for three years and we have customers who come in
and request those,” he said, adding they are festive and kids
enjoy seeing them.
Another delicious item is Great Harvest Bread
Co.’s trio of sweet breads: pumpkin chocolate chip, ginger and
Rasmussen encourages people to shop local and
find unique items.
“Obviously it supports the local. When you are
shopping downtown Delafield, it benefits the local community,”
he said. “The trend is people are stepping away from the big box
In fact, Rasmussen said, he sold out of bread on