Once the Thanksgiving turkey has been gobbled, you’re entitled to take a long winter’s nap. But don’t oversleep because there’s shopping to do! These good tidings will put some sugar and spice into your favorite country fan’s Christmas.
Yes, He’s Got a Big Head
Brought to you courtesy of the red, white and blue — oops, make that the Toby Keith Fan Club. This seven-and-a-half inch bobblehead is too heavy for a dashboard, but it looks mighty good on the bar. It also looks eerily like Ricky Van Shelton. ($20, tobykeith.com)
Have a Ball with Blake
The “Ol’ Red” singer puts some red on the Christmas tree with his second collectible Christmas ornament. The back of the ornament says “A Smile for All Seasons,” and it’s hand-numbered, too. Perfect for “The Baby” in your family. ($20, blakeshelton.com)
Love Me, Tender
That’s all right, mama, if you want one of these Elvis accessories. Little sister, there’s one for you, too. Choose from the TV Guide-inspired purses or the black-and-white totes and wallets. ($12.99-$24.99, Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, (800) 852-6437, ext. 2101)
Hot Off the Presley
These two new books are welcome additions to the Presley canon. Elvis Presley, part of the Penguin Lives series, revisits his rags-to-riches story, with help from Southern author Bobbie Ann Mason. It’s a quick read, yet captures the highs and lows of his brilliant career. Alanna Nash’s The Colonel describes how Presley’s carnival-trained manager reined in the King to protect his own sketchy background. ($19.95 for Elvis Presley; $25 for The Colonel)
At every turn, something literally leaps from the pages of The Country Music Pop-Up Book, whether it’s a guitar, Cain’s Ballroom, the Ryman Auditorium or a mechanical bull. This is no bedtime book, though. Instead, it’s a genuine treasure of historic photos and essays from the Dixie Chicks, Vince Gill, Dolly Parton, Trisha Yearwood and Dwight Yoakam, among others. ($45)
Saddle Up, Buckaroo!
Go ahead, let your babies grow up to be cowboys … and cowgirls, too. The Cowgirls Rule! T-shirt also comes in white. The sharp-looking cowboy hats are from the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, too. ($9.99 each, (800) 852-6437, ext. 2101)
These Western-themed lunchboxes are perfect for the cowgirl on the go. Of course, the bottle opener, flask and cigarette lighter will be our little secret. (Lunchboxes, $10; bottle opener, $15; lighter, $18; flask, $30. Available at Katy K’s Ranch Dressing. (615) 297-4242)
How’s this for an all-star acoustic lineup: Vince Gill, Patty Loveless, Nickel Creek, Lucinda Williams, Earl Scruggs, Kelly Willis, the Derailers, Gillian Welch. … You get the idea. Meet your faraway friends at MerleFest, held April 29-May 2 in Wilkesboro, N.C. ($35-$175, merlefest.org)
What Would Willie Buy?
One man, one year, four CDs! Go Willie! Crazy: The Demo Sessions features some of Nelson’s earliest material with very little ornamentation — a good choice for the old-school traditionalist on your list. Run That by Me One More Time (with Ray Price) is for the hipster who says obnoxious things like “I only like the old stuff.” Live and Kickin’ goes to the all-around music fan, with appearances from Eric Clapton, Paul Simon, Wyclef Jean, Norah Jones and Steven Tyler. Finally, everybody should be crazy for the must-have 2-CD set, The Essential Willie Nelson. (various prices)