While a generic gift card with some cash thrown on it may be the easiest way to shop for the holidays and, believe me, I’ve done it. I do think a well-thought-out present can really leave a lasting impression for years. Since I’m familiar with a whole lot of this great state, I thought I’d create some ideas you might want to consider as the gift-giving season arrives. Of course, you can also buy these items any time of the year so you might want to bookmark this blog post for the future.
Texas flag boots Nocona Boots in Nocona M.L. Leddy Handmade Boots in San Angelo. Nothing says Texas like a pair of cowboy boots. You can certainly go with a less expensive pair for a gift, but if you want to make a big holiday WOW, a custom-made pair would impress just about anybody. Here’s just a small sampling of boot companies in Texas. Check out Lucchese in El Paso, Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio; M.L. Leddy’s in Fort Worth and San Angelo; Nocona Boots in Nocona; J.L. Mercer & Son in San Angelo; and Rios of Mercedes in Mercedes. Hand-Made Gifts
Chicken Farm Art Center Wimberley Glassworks Chicken Farm Art Center Chicken Farm Art Center Chicken Farm Art Center I love handmade gifts. With so many artists, makers, and crafts people out there, finding a beautiful painting, ceramic piece, a piece of hand-made jewelry, metalwork, blown glass, and other items is pretty easy. Choosing the perfect gift is where the hard work starts. A couple of my favorite places to shop for one-of-a-kind pieces is the Chicken Farm Art Center in San Angelo and Wimberley Glassworks in San Marcos. KITCHEN ACCESSORIES
Texas cast iron skillet Texas dishes Waffle made with a Texas waffle iron Texas cutting board When it comes to the kitchen, I’m doing pretty well in the Texas-shaped item department, which are great gift ideas. From cast iron skillets and waffle makers to cutting boards and baking dishes, if it’s shaped like Texas, you can find it in a lot of places including Texas grocery chain H-E-B and cleanest-bathrooms-in-Texas convenience stores Buc-ee’s. ( Cornbread and waffles not included.) 🙂 UNIQUE AND HUMOROUS
Speaking of Buc-ee’s, I LOVE their histerical markers. You may be able to find them somewhere else but I’ve purchased two from them. I’m also not ashamed to say I’ve purchased many a last minute gift at Buc-ee’s and have no doubt that will happen again. We have this one on our shed. COWBOY HAT
From young to old, loads of folks I know love a cowboy hat. Lots of hats can be ordered on line but I would highly recommend you go into the shop to size the person’s head you want to purchase a hat for, as you want to ensure it fits. A few options are Resistol Hats in Garland, Catalena Hatters in Bryan, JW Brooks Custom Hat Co. in Lipan, Cody’s Hats & Boots in San Angelo, and Texas Hatters in Lockhart. Just a caution to you once somebody is proudly wearing their Texas cowboy hat, their attitude changes a little. In the words of the great Texas singer/songwriter Lyle Lovett in his song , “you can have my girl, but don’t touch my hat.” Don’t Touch My Hat WILDFLOWER SEEDS
If former FLOTUS
Lady Bird Johnson was still alive, she’d definitely recommend you buy wildflower seeds to beautify the lives of your loved ones. Wildseed Farms near Fredericksburg is the best place I’ve found to purchase seeds. After all, they produce them. T-SHIRTS
Victory or Death from the Alamo Gift Shop in San Antonio Found this beauty after I did exactly what the shirt said at Enchanted Rock near Fredericksburg Love Peaceful Valley Donkey Rescue in San Angelo I love a great T-shirt and these are a few of my favorites. You can find shirts on many Texas attraction sites or in stores or restaurants across the state. BOOKS & MAGAZINES
I love books! I’ll read them in print and on my Kindle or even listen to them on audible.com. These are a few of my favorites. Here’s a shout-out to my favorite book store, the C actus Book Shop in San Angelo. Felton is the store owner and he knows his stuff. If you like books about Texas history, he’s probably got it. Goodbye to a River by John Graves is one of my favorites, as is, Isaac’s Storm by Erik Larson. I recently finished Willie and Bobbie Nelson’s Me and Little Sister. GREAT BOOK!
If you know avid readers who like to get something monthly, maybe consider purchasing subscriptions to
Texas Highways, Texas Monthly, Ride Texas, or Authentic Texas.
TEXAS COUNTRY REPORTER
While you can’t buy a branded SUV from
Texas Country Reporter, you can purchase items from their on-line store. Fans of TCR will really enjoy a little something to remind them of the adventures of Bob and Kelli Phillips. TEXAS-MADE MOVIES AND GAMES
I love movies! I still play them on my DVD player in the house and in the RV. I also purchase them online. The photo above shows a few of my favorites. Lots of great movies have been filmed in the Lone Star State. Here’s a list from the Texas Film Commission. If you have gamers to buy for this year, you can also purchase video games made in Texas. Here’s a list of those. So many choices! DOMINOES
A good set of dominoes is always a great gift idea, especially for a lot of Texans, who grew up playing moon, 42, double six dominoes, and train. I have my grandparent’s dominoes and they’re in great shape so if you buy a good quality set, they can last a lifetime. In this photo, you can see my domino hand when I was playing a game of moon in the lobby of the Holland Hotel in Alpine with my Aunt Ruth and Cousin Wanda. Pretty sure I lost every game.
DID YOU KNOW…
The domino game of 42 was invented in 1887 by Texan William Albert Thomas of Garner when he was 11 years old. ATTRACTION TICKETS, GIFT CARDS, AND ANNUAL PASSES
Bass Performance Hall in Fort Worth Fort Concho in San Angelo Space Center Houston Frontier Texas in Abilene London Museum in New London American Windmill Museum in Lubbock George H.W. Bush Presidential Library & Museum in College Station Quinta Mazatlan World Birding Center in McAllen American Freedom Museum in Bullard Charles and Mary Ann Goodnight Ranch State Historic Site in Claude War Eagle Museum in El Paso Sugarland Skeeters Baseball in Sugarland Monahans Sandhills State Park in Monahans SeaWorld San Antonio Big Bend National Park American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame and Museum in Amarillo Many small museums in Texas offer an annual pass for a relatively small amount of money. Why not purchase one from one of your favorite places and share it with your family and friends so they can enjoy it, too? You can also buy gift cards from State Parks and National Parks, which are great for families to use to purchase park passes and enjoy time together outdoors. Attraction passes, sports tickets, concerts, and theater performances are also nice stocking stuffers. JEWELRY
While I’m not a big jewelry person, I love my concho pearl from Legend Jewelers in San Angelo. While concho pearls are pretty rare, you can still find them there but they also offer some other Texas-themed jewelry. Or get a special gift of spur clips from San Angelo’s Holland Jewelry, recently celebrating their 100th anniversary. Other great jewelry stores in Texas include James Avery Artisan Jewelry in Kerrville or Kendra Scott in Austin. WEEKEND GETAWAYS
Renaissance Worthington in Fort Worth Lajitas Golf Resort Gage Hotel in Marathon San Luis Resort & Spa in Galveston Hotel Settles in Big Spring Hyatt Hill Country Resort near Bastrop San Angelo Visitor Center on the Concho Riverwalk If you know someone who likes to travel and stay in hotels, why not give them a gift certificate for a weekend’s stay somewhere? These are some of my favorite places. Of course, I would encourage you to come for a weekend in San Angelo, since that’s where we live. Who can resist the a walk along the award-winning Concho Riverwalk? TEXAS MUSIC
Scott Joplin mural in Texarkana Buddy Holly statue in Lubbock Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys bus in Turkey Jim Reeves bus in Brady Billy Bobs Texas in Fort Worth Sherman Jazz Museum Selena Memorial in Corpus Christi Willie Nelson bronze in Austin Music…music…music…from Texas musicians. Of course, you can also buy songs about Texas, too. I support all music and the Lone Star State isn’t lacking in that category. Just check out the Texas Music Office directory of musicians. If you need some inspiration, listen to my Apple Music that I created for our perimeter tour of the state. How Big is Texas playlist
Bronzes of Buddy Holly, J.P. “the Big Bopper” Richardson, and Ritchie Valens Janis Joplin car and broze B.J. Thomas Blind Willie Johnson Tex Ritter ZZ Top If I still haven’t convinced you that Texas music is incredible, check out the great musicians who came from southeast Texas at the Museum of the Gulf Coast in Port Arthur. The Music Hall of Fame showcases history of more than 75 Gulf Coast artists. Once you’ve seen their list, I’m certain you’ll be buying music for family and friends, as well as yourself. The great Janis Joplin alone should inspire you! Of course, she might suggest a Mercedes Benz as a gift. TEXAS-SHAPED ITEMS AND TEXAS FLAG STUFF
Alamo Business Card Holder and coasters Texas night light Texas flag shirts Texas Flag Shirt ornament Texas mood ring Texas flag rug Texas Heritage Sachel Pretty much anything you can find with the Texas flag on it or in the shape of Texas will work for most Texans.
SHOP ACROSS TEXAS
Still looking for ideas? Maybe you can find some inspiration at
ShopacrossTexas.com and see if that fantastic website might help you along. Photo credit: ShopAcrossTexas.com MY WISH LIST
This RV is actually only a few inches tall. If I had my Christmas wishes come true, I’d have the real version of a vintage camper that I could use when traveling the great state of Texas to share my How Big is Texas story. For now, I’ll settle for this adorable tiny version.
Hope these gift ideas help you complete your holiday gift giving for your friends and family. If not, stay tuned in a few days for my Texas culinary gift guide!