December 19, 2001 | By: Laura Skillman

For some, the choice was a difficult one, while other children knew exactly what would make the perfect gift for their family members.

With their eyes shining and concentrated looks on their faces, Lyon County Head Start students were treated to a shopping trip at the Lyon County office of the University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service.

Areas were set up where the children could shop for mom, dad and siblings. They even got to choose one present for themselves. The "pretend store" was filled with real gifts that the three-, four- and five-year-olds could take home for Christmas gifts.

The gifts were donated by the Lyon County Homemakers. One county resident, aware of the event from a homemaker member, donated her entire set of Beanie Babies for the children to have, said Laura Wilson, Lyon County Extension agent for family and consumer sciences. Another donor gave gloves for all the children and a third donor provided large plastic lady bugs for them.

Each child was given a hand-decorated plastic tub to use as a shopping basket and to take home with them after their shopping spree. Tickets were given to each child as they entered to represent the number of family members. After selecting a gift, they gave their ticket to the shop keeper in payment.

Judy Wolfe was in charge of giving the tubs and tickets to the children.

"My husband and I really enjoy working with children and doing special things at special times," she said.

After the children made their selections, with the help of homemakers, the gifts were wrapped and sent home with them.

Wilson also made the children a nutritious snack, an orange smoothie containing milk and concentrated orange juice and a holiday cookie. They ate their snacks while watching a video and waiting for their classmates to finish their shopping.

Connie White from the Fairview Homemakers Club was acting as a shopkeeper at Tuesday's event, helping the children with their selections and collecting their tokens for the gifts they selected.

White helped two years ago with the store and planned to last year, but the event was snowed out.

"I think it's fun and it's what Christmas is all about - giving and sharing of love," she said.


Laura Wilson, (270) 388-2341