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The Top 30 Oklahoma Gifts (or, how to keep your sanity during the Holiday Season)
....It's beginning to smell a lot like Christmas...
That's right, the smells of burnt turkey and honey scalded ham have finally been replaced by the wonderful aroma of Christmas. That blissful smell of Christmas pine wafts through the air as you set beside the fireplace sipping mulled wine. Closing your eyes, you can almost feel the Christmas joy just radiating out from your entire being.
Of course, that was before your cat decided to use the tree as a scratching post. Still, it’s not entirely Bitzie-Pookums fault. After all, cats were made to climb trees, and it was time for your mother’s prized pink flamingo ornament to visit that great green yard in the sky. No, it’s not the cats fault that the crash startled the dog and sent him jumping into the fire.
These things happen – ‘Tis the season! – just hose down the dog, stop the cat from drinking spilt wine, and get on with life.
Yes, indeed, it is beginning to smell a lot like Christmas.
This time of year is Chaos – with a capitol “C” – and we need all the help we can get. And so, as I try to do with everything, I present you with the best Oklahoma gifts ever made! (Or, at least, the best Oklahoma gifts that I can personally suggest.)
Yes, indeed, it is beginning to smell a lot like Christmas.
Oklahoma: Off the Beaten Path is an excellent guide to all things Oklahoma. This book includes a plethora of the little known Oklahoma attractions, ranging from a trip through the collection of bonsai trees at Lendonwood Gardens to a reenactment of an historic Wild West show at Pawnee Bill Buffalo Ranch. What's more, since it is part of "Off the Beaten Path" series, it's essentially a guaranteed hit.
I have used Roadside History of Oklahoma as a reference point to many of the Oklahoma articles I have written. This book is a gem among gems. As the authors guide you along the state's highways, you will be amazed at the rich history and unique attractions that Oklahoma has to offer. Some of the topics in this book include: The corpse of an unidentified drifter that was taxidermied and passed off as John Wilkes Booth to paying tourists. A con artist that convinced an entire town to plan a big reception for a coming circus, makes off with hundreds of dollars in ticket sales, and the townsfolk, after realizing the circus was a hoax, celebrate anyway and begin a tradition that continues to the present day, and much more...
The Historical Atlas of Oklahoma is perhaps the best historic atlas to be found for the state. The maps detail out the events that helped shape Oklahoma, while the in-depth descriptions paint a vivid picture of what life was like during that time. I have found myself pulling out this book time after time, both for research as well as entertainment. For the person that can't get enough of Oklahoma History, this book is a "must have."
While Historic Photos of Oklahoma more of a coffee table book, it does a wonderful job at bringing Oklahoma's history to life. Since modern photography developed along the same general timeline as Oklahoma, the states history is well recorded. This book contains stunning photographs of pre-statehood Indian Territory, Old Forts, Schools, and homesteads, as well as many more modern photographs from the 50's on.
It Happened in Oklahoma chronicles the development of Oklahoma from the early days of the Indian Territory to statehood. It offers a unique look at intriguing people and episodes from the history of the Sooner State. While I wish I owned this book, I've checked it out from the library numerous times. The authors easy writing style and detailed accounts truly bring the story of Oklahoma to life.
Oklahoma Treasures and Treasure Tales is one of my all-time favorite books. Even though I've never been big on treasure hunting, this book really brings out Oklahoma in a new and fascinating way. Adventure tales from the days of the early Spanish explorers to those mighty wild-west outlaws such as Jesse James fill the pages of this book. It is certainly one to have in the collection!
Ghost Towns of Oklahoma offers more than a glimpse into the states history. The author does an excellent job of finding long abandoned towns, many of them leaving only ruins behind. It is a testament to the glory of the boom years, and a sad reminder of what we've lost.
The movie Oklahoma! is a classic. From IMDb: "A couple of young cowboys win the hearts of their sweethearts in the Oklahoma territory at the turn of the century. Despite the interference of an evil ranch hand and a roaming peddler." This is simply one of those movies that everyone should own. It has a great storyline, amazing actors, and musical scores you'll be singing for weeks.
Review from Amazon.com: "This is a review of only the Todd-AO version of the movie included in
the recent 50th anniversary edition of Oklahoma. The main Cinemascope
version on Disc One is outstanding and deserves 5 stars and more.
However the accompanying Todd-AO version on Disc Two looks abysmal in
For those who are unaware, the producers filmed two versions of Oklahoma simultaneously, the one commonly seen which is the Cinemascope version and the other, the Todd-AO version which is the one that Rodgers and Hammerstein preferred. It is seldom seen because theaters did not possess the special equipment to project these Todd-AO movies (extremely widescreen with curved edges to give an enveloping effect)...."
The selections to the right represent the best Oklahoma! related products I could find. The movie set is supurb, but for those who already have the movie, I have also listed the soundtrack as well as downloadable MP3's.
Of course, no collection of Oklahoma Westerns can be complete without a copy of John Wayne in the War of the Wildcats. From Amazon.com: "This is a good old western, the kind they just don't make any more. John Wayne is wonderful as always and so young in this role as the good cowboy on the side of the Indians. The plot involves John Wayne against a greedy oil tycoon. Of course good triumphs (I hope I didn't spoil the ending!) But of course John Wayne always comes up smelling like a rose in these grat movies. Hollywood should go back to its roots and make fun romantic adventures like this."
The Oklahoma City Bombing
The world watched as the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in downtown Oklahoma City came crashing down. April 19, 1995, Timothy McVeigh, an American militia movement sympathizer, detonated an explosive-filled truck parked in front of the building.
In ABC News Classics: The Oklahoma City Bombing, news reports are recounted as the events played out. This documentary covers the first terrorist attack on American soil.
Conspiracy? - Oklahoma City Bombing delves a little deeper into the Oklahoma City Bombing as it asks hard questions. Many of the events that lead up to the bombing still remain unanswered. This video attempts to answer the unanswerable.
Discoveries America: Oklahoma is essentially a tourists guide to Oklahoma. This documentary covers many of the major attractions in Oklahoma, as well as the history behind them.
Oklahoma Rocks! is a celebration of the billion year history of the 46th state. Geologist Devin Dennie travels across Oklahoma to learn the secrets of the state's origin through its sand, stone and soil. Along the way he visits some of the parks, museums and tourist attractions that make Oklahoma such an interesting travel destination.
Tulsa Oklahoma, 1955 guides the viewer through the history of Tulsa. Experience both the boom and the bust of Oklahoma's second largest city. From Amazon: "Experience the American Journey through our country's visual heritage in this historical recording provided by the National Archives of the United States. A USIA documentary on the history and role of Tulsa as a marketing center for Oklahoma's farm region and the oil industry. Discusses Tulsa's emergence as a boom town after the discovery of oil and its development into a meatpacking, grain and cotton center. Scenes of downtown Tulsa."
Oklahoma Gifts for the Home
For these Oklahoma Gifts, I have simply included the Amazon.com descriptions. I have found that the maps of Oklahoma and Tulsa have always gained the most interest. I have both hanging in my office, and they seem to always feature in any topic of discussion about Oklahoma.
Made to Official State Design Specifications
Colorful tapestry throw featuring landmarks, icons and more from Oklahoma! Includes horse racing, green pastures, oil rigs, and native American Indian culture.
Approximate measurements: 50" x 60"
Material: 100% cotton
Oklahoma Gifts for the Sports Lover
It is in great respect for my health and well-being that I leave my personal thoughts aside. I remember once being pummeled because I placed my support in the "opposing team", so once again, I will leave the descriptions of these products up to Amazon.com.
Ride 'em Cowboys, ee-yah! Oklahoma State University's mascot is a cowboy named Pistol Pete. The school colors are orange, black, and white. This product features such legendary OSU players and recent superstars as Heisman Trophy RB Barry Sanders, RB Vernand Morency, TE Billy Bajema, the late CB Darrent Williams, DL Ryan McBean, OL Charlie Johnson, OL Corey Hilliard, and many more greats of college football and the Oklahoma State Cowboys.
While still a great DVD to have on collection, this video serves as a brief introduction to OSU football.
Experience the early days of leatherhead football through never-before-seen footage and rare interviews from the OU archives. Take an in-depth look into the legendary coaching career of Bennie Owen as he built the foundation for one of the most storied programs in college football history.
This one-of-a-kind collection of complete game broadcasts honors Oklahoma football from a magical, unforgettable era under the leadership of Coach Barry Switzer, and provides countless remarkable moments as they unfolded through the years.
These heirloom quality throws are a tribute to American craftsmanship. Tapestries are amazingly detailed and colorful. This throw can be used at the game, on a picnic, the bedroom, or cuddle under it in the den while watching the game. Use it as a room accent, bed covering, throw blanket, or wall-hanging. Measuring approximately 48-Inch x 60-Inch they are fringed on all four sides and contain 100% acrylic.
And the Best Oklahoma Gift is...
This 28"x40" banner flag is great for displaying your OU team pride! Flag has a slide thru loop for vertical display and it's perfect for the home, dorm or office.
My apologies to the OSU fans out there, but it was a must - I simply couldn't resist.
Have you tried any of these Oklahoma Gift Ideas? If so, I'd love to hear what you thought of them..