‘Tis the season to make lists. For the moment, let’s just assume everyone is on the “nice” list. Sure, you can do all your shopping online these days, but why not put your money into the hands of a local business owner? Here are our ideas to keep your money in Austin and light up the faced of your loved ones this holiday season:
Alcohol – Is he a Tito’s kind of guy? Although many new vodkas have entered the market, Tito’s is still a favorite. Enter in your zip code here to find out where to purchase him some vodka. Does he prefer cider? Argus is America’s first cider made from apples produced by Texas and Arkansas growers and the tasting room is located near the Y in Oak Hill. To see where you can purchase Argus, click here. Tequila more his style? Republic Tequila is also based here in Austin. To see a map of where it is sold, click here. For more ideas, check out A Taste of Koko’s list of Austin-made liquors here.
Barbeque – This Salt Lick shirt has always made me chuckle. Skip standing in line and try out the famous Franklin BBQ sauces in the comfort of your own home. You can even get a whole case of the original 1932 dry rub from Black’s.
Star Wars – Star Wars-themed gifts are everywhere. One that caught our eye was a double-sized collector’s issue of Birth. Movies. Death, featuring special cover art, articles and more. Check it out here.
Anything at Atown – I make a point of stopping there every holiday season and walk away with more for myself than anyone on my list. See a sampling of the types of items the store carries here.
Art – There are so many talented artists in this town that it’s impossible to suggest just one, so one place to start is Generous Art, an organization started by mama and artist Jennifer Chenoweth. Purchase a work of art through Generous Art and 50% of the purchase price goes to the artist, 30% goes to the nonprofit of your choice and 20% goes to Generous Art.
Chocolate – Cocoa Puro is roasted whole cocoa beans covered in layered dark, milk and white chocolate. In other words, heavenly. Find it at Breed & Company.
Jewelry – Leighelena on South Congress is full of lots of cool stuff, but the cuffs and bracelets make great gifts.
Shoes – There is no reason to feel bad about another pair of shoes when TOMS will send a product to someone in need. Plus, we have our own retail location on South Congress, complete with a coffee shop. Check out the new styles here.
FOR THE KIDS:
Bikes – Been wanting to introduce your kid to a bike, but not sure where to start? Woombikes are high-quality and lighweight bikes designed in Europe and available locally at Austin Bikes, Nelo’s Cycles, Cycleast and All Things Kids. The WOOM 1 balance bike can give your kids a way to ride as soon as they start walking – without training wheels. When your child outgrows the balance bike, you can take advantage of the Upcycle Sytem to get a WOOM 2, the ideal link between the balance bike and a pedal bike. Check out the other bikes in the collection here. Take advantage of free online delivery and receive a free pair of WOOM full finger gloves when you use the “LiveMom” online discount code.
Books – Sue Patrick is selling Goodnight Austin: A Bedtime Book For All Who “Heart” Austin (signed by the author). There is a section at BookPeople in the kids’ section with local authors. You can also browse the bookstore of the Austin Society of Children Book Writers and Illustrators here.
Playhouse, Plus – PopUp Play is a new, developed-in-Austin play experience targeted to kids ages 3-9 that lets parents and their kids build a customized fiberboard castle (and coming soon: gingerbread house) on a free iPad app called the “Build Lab.” Kids become mini-engineers as they choose where the windows, drawbridges, castles and graphics are placed. The playhouse arrives within a week of placing the order and spurs imagination and creative play within minutes of opening the box. When the house is not in use, it stores flat. More info here.
Wooden toys – A store that has been around Austin for over 40 years is closing its doors on December 12. Rootin’ Ridge sells handmade, wooden toys that are made right in the shop, as well as a small sample of other items. Puzzles, wheeled toys, blocks and personalized items are one of a kind and a treasured keepsake. In January, Rootin’ Ridge will re-open as an online store only.
FOR AUSTIN & TEXAS FANS:
Austin City Limits Holiday ornament – There is something nostalgic about the iconic skyline that serves as the backdrop for the show, and now it’s immortalized as a decoration for your tree. Check it out here.
Austin snow globe – I’ve always thought these are great gifts. The University Co-op has one showing some local landmarks, complete with bats.
KGSR Broadcasts CD – Everyone knows that we love our music here in Austin, Texas and fans far and wide can enjoy a CD with all of KGSR’s favorite recordings from their Music Lounge performances and other events. Plus, money from each purchase goes to support SIMS and the Seton Medical Center. You can purchase a copy at all Austin-area HEB locations, Antone’s, Central Market, Pirahna Records, Waterloo Records and Wild About Music. To take a listen to the tracks, click here.
Keep Austin Weird shirt – You can find these at the Austin Gift Company. Click here to order.
Texas wall art – Hemlock & Heather makes reclaimed wood wall hangings, which are on sale at Mockingbird Domestics. You can meet the artists and see their work at a store event on December 5th between 11am and 3pm.
For more ideas of places to go to find the perfect holiday gifts, check out our roundup of Holiday Markets and Craft Fairs.