If you celebrate Christmas, I don’t need to remind you that it’s crunch time. As someone who used to go shopping on Christmas Eve, this is a heart-pounding week for me. It will either get done…or it won’t. I’ve checked my list more than a dozen times, and I still need to make some final forays out into the retail space. While I’m at it, as always, I’ll make every effort to buy local. Here’s my list of places to make your final push less painful. I won’t tell if you stop off at Tiff’s Treats on the way home (they do walk-ins, y’all!) for a cookie or two (or three) to reward yourself for a job well done. Without further ado, here are my suggestions:
Blue Genie Art Bazaar: The Blue Genie Art Bazaar is a great way to get lots of unique, locally-made gifts in one stop. There is free parking and admission, and although it’s close to Highland Mall, it’s a little out of the way of most of the holiday shopping craziness. Blue Genie has everything from jewelry to scarves to art to purses to t-shirts to…well, lots of stuff made by local artisans. The downside of shopping here is that I want everything for myself.
HOURS: Daily from 10am-10pm (closing at 6pm on Christmas Eve)
BookPeople: Hopefully you shop here all year long, but BookPeople has you covered for all the literature lovers in your house. On their website, they have gifts lists, including for young readers. Then, of course, there is all the fun stuff on the steps heading up to the children’s area…and the off-the-beaten-path toys. BONUS: BookPeople is open late, so you fellow night owls can rejoice in being able to get there after you cross your other things off your to do list!
HOURS: Daily from 9am-11pm (Christmas Eve: 9am-9pm)
Edible Walls: For those of you with brownish thumbs or no yard (or both), Edible Walls offers vertical gardens, stocked with edible and ornamental plants. Since there is no bricks and mortar location, so you can do this shopping in your jammies. Although the deadline for shipping in the continental US by Christmas Day is today, Austinites can order by the 20th from these items (or purchase a gift certificate so the recipient can choose from the company’s entire line).
Kerbey Lane: You certainly will need some fuel while you rush around and pick up last minute gifts, so while you are at it, stop at Kerbey Lane and pick up some of their famous pancake mix. You can get buttermilk, pumpkin, apple cinnamon and gingerbread — and now Kerbey Lane offers gluten-free mixes. Call ahead if you want to make sure the location you visit has what variety you prefer. The mixes are also on sale at HEB, Central Market, Whole Foods, Grapevine Market, Wheatsville and Fresh Plus.
HOURS: 24 hours a day, seating last guests at 3pm on Christmas Eve
Mockingbird Domestics: I won a craft night gift certificate at Mockingbird at a school silent auction and finally redeemed it a few weeks back. Not only was it was a fun excuse to hang out with a friend, but I was able to make a tree topper for my mama (and another one for us) and check out the store for the first time. Mockingbird has all kinds of gift items, from planters to glassware to furniture to one-of-a-kind vintage items. The store will ship, but if you order now, you may need to pay for expedited shipping. The craft night schedule for the next few months will be posted soon on their Events page, but you can purchase gift cards for that online, over the phone or in the store.
HOURS: Monday-Wednesday and Thursday-Saturday, 10am-6pm, Wednesday 10am-8pm, Sunday 12-5
Nature’s Treasures: What appears from the outside to be relatively nondescript — putting aside a few large boulder-like rocks of different colors — is quite the wonderland for rock and gem lovers inside. This place is seriously brimming with all sorts of sparkly stuff. Geodes, bookends, jewelry, salt lamps, fossils and lots more.
HOURS: 12/17 10am-6pm, 12/18 10am-9pm, 12/19 10am-6pm, 12/20-12/22 10am-8pm, 12/23 10am-8pm and 12/24 10am-6pm.
Open Arms: We wrote an article about Open Arms a while back. This social enterprise employs refugees at a living wage to upcycle t-shirts to make skirts, scarves and other products. Open Arms is also doing 12 days of giveaways right now on the company’s Facebook Page. You can find their products at over two dozen local retail locations or order online. The last day for holiday shipping is this Thursday, December 19th.
Terra Toys: One of the things I still need are some items to fill stockings, so I’m heading to Terra Toys to see what I can find in that virtual wall of bins with all kinds of fun items. One thing I bought last year which was a big hit was a matchbox-sized music box. If you need to give your littles something to do over their winter break, you can have them decorate paper bags for some extra holiday $. Now, just need to decide when to get over there!
HOURS: Monday-Saturday 9am-9pm, Sundays noon-6pm
Valentina Shoes for Girls: We featured Valentina Shoes’ founder Tina Hambly last year, prior to her appearance at the Texas Conference for Women. Valentina Shoes gives girls the ability to express themselves through designing their own shoes, and business has been booming. Just last month, Tina and her team closed up a crowdfunding campaign to launch a new line of shoes and donated over 100 shoes to the Austin Children’s Shelter. For Christmas delivery, you must order today.
In case you missed it, Melanie also wrote a post with some great suggestions for the peeps on your list.
Where’s your favorite place to buy local during the holidays?
[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]http://www.livemom.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/Nicole-Basham-Sara-Marzani-Photography-livemom.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]A native Austinite and soccer-playing mom, Nicole uses her 7-year-old son as an excuse to rediscover her hometown through his eyes. In Thoreau’s words, her mission is to “suck out all the marrow of life”, or in her son’s words, to cultivate in him a love of “advenchers”.[/author_info] [/author]