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Unique Christmas gifts to buy locally

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CNY/NNY/S. Tier: Unique Christmas gifts to buy locally
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During the holiday season, finding the perfect gift for a loved one can be stressful. But sometimes, you don't have to look too far. Small business owners say the best gifts can come right from your hometown. Our Cara Thomas tells us about a couple of unique items made in the Mohawk Valley.

ONEIDA COUNTY, N.Y. -- For Mohawk Valley residents, young and old, Christmas isn't Christmas without their favorite treat.

"It just became a tradition and they're really good. It's good quality chocolate and it's just good," says Caramel Secor, a Rome resident.

A sweet candy made completely by hand, a chocolate and brazil nut infill with a sugar coating. They're called Turkey Joints.

"It's a boney looking thing. It's a five inch stick, the brazil nuts create a knot in there like a knee or a joint or whatever you want to call it," says Sharon Haritatos, co-owner of Nora's Candy Shop.

Now, there are a variety of flavors. Chocolate coated, peanut butter filled, dark chocolate cashew, coconut and almond, even orange truffle mini turkey joints just for the holiday season.

But what's so special about these delectable treats is that you can't find them many places. Nora's Candy Shop is one of the only places still making them.

Haritatos said, "It's Rome made, it's something that the community sends out as gifts, this is something from where I am or here's something from home for those that have moved away."

So while a jar full of Turkey Joints will bring the sweet taste of Rome to your taste buds, another unique gift will bring Utica to your living room.

Paul Hage, President of the Landmark Society of Greater Utica, said, "They're good quality and people love it, it's a collectors item."

Beginning in 1980, the Landmark Society of Greater Utica has created an ornament each year, highlighting different historical homes and buildings. In the past they've depicted the old Hotel Utica, Union Station, the Stanley Theatre and many more.

This year, their ornament is a representation of the Daniel Tompkins Memorial Chapel.

"It's history and I think it's very emotional for many people since it goes back so many years and there's so much significance for every single one of these buildings," said Hage.

Of course, these aren't the only unique gifts available in the Mohawk Valley. Many small businesses have something special to offer.

For information on how to purchase your own jar of Turkey Joints go to www.turkeyjoints.com.

To buy an ornament from the Landmark Society of Greater Utica, go to www.uticalandmarks.org.

You can also reach out to your local Chamber of commerce to find stores in your area.

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