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Take a little Mississippi home with you

There are plenty of places to shop and things to buy on the Mississippi Coast. Why not take home something that will leave a lasting impression?

What visiting shoppers are looking for, says Anna Harris, curator at the Ohr-O’Keefe Museum Gift Shop, "are items that will remind them of the Magnolia state and the Mississippi Coast in particular once they are back home."

And some of those Mississippi-made items will even grace Christmas trees around the country this year.

Ohr-O-Keefe Gift shop, which has relocated to 1596 Glen Swetman Street in Biloxi (two miles west of the Biloxi Lighthouse) reports that the fastest moving items have been ceramics by local potters, publications featuring the history of Ohr, as well as T-shirts and postcards.

Martin Miazza Gifts in Gulfport offers one item appreciated by many visitors — a silver-plated Christmas ornament that the shop has produced since 1988. Inscribed on the ornament are the year and the phrase "Christmas in Mississippi." Each year, the ornament features a new theme.

That Cute Little Gift Shop at Waveland (634 U.S. 90) is the name of one of Hancock County’s favorite tourist stops. Kate Solome, manager, said a top seller among tourists is pottery made at Edwards, Miss., bearing localized inscriptions such as "Riding the waves." There, the shopper will find "Mississippi" in a wide variety of styles on the ever-popular T-shirt.

Southern Pastimes at Edgewater Village in Biloxi (near Books-A- Million) has attracted crowds all summer as visitors look for (and find) ceramic magnolias and the state flower of Mississippi, all hand-made locally; photos of the Coast tourist sights (with a selection of area scenes that can be specially ordered, such as shrimp boats and pelicans). Here they will find "Mississippi Coast" all over the place — on dolls, mailboxes, toothpick holders and postcards. Add to that, statues of dogs, cats, candles coffee cups, Mississippi cookbooks, serving trays and wine glasses.

Co-owners Pamela Doyle and Ronny Wicker have wasted no effort in showcasing virtually every conceivable take-home gift a visitor might seek.

Just Duit at 401 U.S. 90 in Bay St. Louis goes into and well beyond the tourist souvenir of Mississippi-made T-shirts, pottery and souvenirs to include The Thymes, for madame’s lotions and soaps.

But don’t forget the shop also offers its usual array of T-shirts, pottery and decorations designed to make visitors remember the Mississippi Coast continually until their return visit.