Volume 1, Issue 29
By Angel Zobel-Rodriguez
The holiday season is in full swing, and one thing that everyone seems to need more of is time. So please let me make some simple suggestions for quick, easy gifts for the bowlers on your list (some don't even require entering a mall!). That way you can enjoy the time doing more important things like practicing your ten pins.
Hallmark every year has a tree ornament with a bowling theme. One year it was a bowling ape, another year a mouse, and once it was an old-style bowling bag. Funny how the only people who know about this ornament series are the nonbowlers. I've gotten several of them, and never from people within the bowling community. Priced at under $10, they make a wonderful stocking stuffer or gift exchange.
For logo or theme apparel, the store of choice is still the Warner Brothers Studio Store. The other stores and catalogs (Disney, Coca Cola, M&Ms, for example) must not be interested in our disposable income, because WB is the only store who carries a steady stream of shirts with embroidered cartoon characters. Right now, Scooby, Taz, and Wile E. Coyote grace T-shirts for about $20 (I've heard they're on sale now too), and Taz is featured on a one-ball bag that is a bit pricey at $28, but will be a hit with kids (or adults who think like them). The nice part is that you can shop from home by going to www.wbstore.com - Warner Bros. Studio Store.
Want a perfect gift for a teammate? How about making a gift bag of all the little things that bowlers lose right away? Or for the person who is always borrowing tape from you? I have my name on everything, and I still go through supplies like crazy. Try a collection of new skin, bowler's tape, rosin bag, small metal brush, some aspirin or Tylenol, and throw in a few pens for signing score sheets (if they're like me, the pens always seems to disappear). If the pro shop doesn't sell a simple case, get a mesh pencil case from a stationery store and slap a bow on it, and your present is finished.
While you're at the pro shop, consider splurging the up-and-coming bowler in your family with a few lessons to go with (or better yet before) that ball that's been dancing in their head. New equipment works so much better when a bowler is on top of their game. It may even change the ball they were dreaming of. Since many times pro shops go crazy this time of year trying to drill up the blank balls given as gifts, when time comes to drill that new ball, the pro shop can give your bowler the time and attention they deserve.
If you want to personalize someone's bowling experience, there are several ways to go about it. I have heel plates on my bowling shoes that read HALO on the left shoe and BABY on the right. These look a lot like personalized license plates for your bowling shoes. Variations abound, including lace plates that sit at the bottom of your laces, near the toes. I've seen them sold at tournaments and in bowling newspapers for under $10.
Sometimes I find cool "bow biters" to hook the bow through. Originally used to keep children's laces tied, these have evolved into the heads of cartoon characters, and the laces go through the mouth. These can be picked up at toy stores, sometimes on sale for under a buck. Cool laces can be found in many shoe stores. When I first bowled adult, we would have unofficial contests trying to outdo each other on the lace/bow biter front.
Want a gift for a far away bowler without needing to add postage? Subscribe them to one of the bowling magazines. Bowling This Month and Bowler's Journal come to mind. BTM even offers a free trial copy so you can see what they're getting. Check out the sites: www.bowlingthismonth.com and www.bowlersjournal.com and you can subscribe online--another trip to the mall averted.
Now the only thing I will highly recommend this season is please fight the urge to put little jingle bells on your bowling shoes. These are cute enough on regular shoes, but the MOST annoying thing in the world while bowling. I bowled an entire season with a secretary that insisted this was "her thing," but needless to say, when she was voted out of office and chose not to bowl the league, there was a collective sigh of relief. The thought of an entire team of ding-a-lings is enough to give me nightmares for months.
Happy holidays, and may you find a parking space wherever you go this season!