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Holiday Gift Guide

Houston-inspired Gift Guide: Great last-minute presents that evoke the Bayou City spirit


Buying the right gift is hard to do. Oftentimes we resort to picking up a best-selling book or rare wine to satisfy our recipients. When you're giving to a proud Houstonian, however, the gift ideas are near limitless! Find the perfect gift in our Houston-inspired gift guide.

Custom Shirts

For over a 130 years, Hamilton Shirts has been sewing, stitching and selling some of Houston’s finest men’s shirts. Whether it’s casual, dress or Western wear, Hamilton Shirts has a design in mind for any occasion or event. Publications like GQ, Esquire and Men’s Health turn to this Houston maker to feature an array of their one-of-a-kind designs, including the Texas-inspired Lyle Lovett Western Wear shirts.

Crave Cupcakes

Sometimes the best gifts disappear within seconds of being received. Crave Cupcakes is the go-to local bakeshop for sweet fiends around the city. The cupcake shop utilizes high-quality ingredients like pure Madagascar Bourbon vanilla and local dairy to produce their brightly frosted, awe-inspiring treats.

For those who are looking for a quick gift for co-workers or friends, these Christmas cupcakes are sure to hit the spot. Specialty options include eggnog with nutmeg butter cream frosting and gingerbread with cream cheese frosting.

Tea Reservations

Cocktails are old hat. Places like the Four Seasons and St. Regis offer a delightful tea service equipped with petit-fours, tea sandwiches, fresh-baked scones, cream and hot tea.

Treat friends or family members to a seating at one of these business casual afternoon tea services. Keep in mind: reservations at the St. Regis are high in demand, so it’s best to make a reservation weeks in advance.

Black Angus Beef Jerky

As the largest Black Angus producer in Texas, 44 Farms has become a source of beef for many restaurants and carnivores around Houston and the state. Owner Bob McLaren used to be the president of business operations for the Houston Astros, so his local pride runs deep.

Through the 44 Steaks’ website, individuals can purchase USDA prime and choice meats like New York strips, Angus ground beef and my personal holiday favorite: the chewy, all natural Black Angus beef jerky made without the bane of preservatives or artificial ingredients.

Boyhood

Richard Linklater’s newest film Boyhood has generated a lot of Oscar buzz, and we Texans couldn’t be prouder of the Houston-born, Austin-residing director. The University of Texas Press recently released a new book, Boyhood, detailing the making of the movie over a 12-year filming period (some of the key scenes were shot in Houston.) Filled with gorgeous photography by Matt Lankes and brief commentary, this work is sure to be a perfect coffee table book for any diehard Linklater fans.

Spa Luxuries

The Trellis Spa at the Houstonian Hotel boasts a host of luxurious services like the Trellis Facial, Swedish massages, body bronzing, waxing, manicures and pedicures and more. The most popular Trellis Gift Card is the Spoiled Beautiful Package, which includes the Trellis Facial, Swedish Massage, Classic Manicure, Classic Pedicure, Special Moments Makeup Application and Lunch or Dinner (5.5-hours for $400).

While the relaxing, soothing packages are pricey, they’re the perfect gift for the health and beauty fiend on your list.

Ballet Subscription

Houston has access to some of the most artistic performing arts organizations in the nation. The Houston Ballet is one of America’s most celebrated ballet companies, showcasing spectacular productions like Romeo & Juliet, Modern Masters, Swan Lake, The Nutcracker, Aladdin, Peter Pan, The Taming of the Shrew.

One of the greatest packages the Ballet has to offer is the Spring Series Subscription, which allows guests to purchase tickets to 4 shows at a discounted rate.

Leather Goods

This year, Houston native Abigal McKenzie picked up and moved to Brooklyn to expand her leather goods company, but that didn’t stop her from using Texan inspirations in crafting her accessories business.

Made In Rye features a selection of custom-made leather workings, such as clutches, wallets, bags and more. You can catch a selection of McKenzie’s goods at local places like The Tinderbox, but there’s also a beautiful online store

Membership to Space Center Houston

We live in such an arts-driven city that we often forget about a wondrous place like Space Center Houston. While it’s hard to make the trek out to the scientific center every few months, it is always offering new and exciting exhibits and activities for patrons to enjoy.

An individual or family membership to Space Center Houston affords guests free admission, free parking and discounted rates for shopping and eating.

Donation to the Houston Food Bank

Not everyone longs for the material goods during the Christmas season, and that’s why it’s always nice to donate to a charity in someone’s name. The Houston Food Bank is the largest and most successful food bank in the country, servicing countless individuals in Houston and its surrounding areas. If your gift receipt is a generous and a do-gooder, they’re sure to appreciate a donation to this local charity on their behalf. 

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