Local Holiday Shopping
If you would like to avoid the the malls and chain stores during the holidays Austin is rich with great local shops, bazaars, and markets. From December 11-24 is the Armadillo Christmas Bazaar at the Austin Music Hall. The bazaar features music by local musicians such as Marcia Ball, Jimmy LaFave, and Van Wilks while you peruse one-of-a-kind pottery, jewelry, soaps, candles, paintings etc from local artists.
On December 2nd from 6pm to 10pm is First Thursday on S. Congress. Traditionally the First Thursday during the month of December is packed and many of the merchants are hosting holiday events and lots of live music and beer. Get there early to park or ride your bike–the Trans Texas Alliance hosts valet bike parking at JO’s.
Every Saturday morning is the Westlake Farmers Market open 9:30am to 1pm. Not only can you feel great about supporting local farmers (who are required to grow their own produce to attend) the market is full of holiday gift ideas.
The Austin Independent Business Alliance provides a directory of local businesses in town.
Some of my personal favorite local businesses that have unique items include:
Dr. Chocolate–best chocolate in town-try the chocolate-covered popcorn
Wardrobe–for your holiday outfit (note: they have moved to 35th street next to Dr. Chocolate)
Ecowise–non-toxic gifts, clothing, paint, and co-operative games
Tesoros Trading Company–art and crafts from 15 different countries
Bookwomen— Books by and for women
Celebration–Good selection of jewelry, rocks, musical instruments, and gifts
Cheapo–An overwhelming selection of used CD’s and DVD’s.
Toy Joy— The store is packed with pure delight–give yourself an hour for your first visit
Terra Toys–Toys from around-the-world. (note: they moved to Anderson Lane)
Things Celtic–for all your kilt-loving friends
or if you do not have time to leave the house and would like to use a local online company– Your Gift Shopper.com offers unique items such as a full line of designer Koozies including the Cow Koozie, and designer pet accessories.
My List of Favorite Gifts This Year:
Utilikilts–these are not your clan’s kilts. These are kilts for the modern man and women. Including survival kilts, party kilts and short kilts for women.
Banana GUARD— Tired of your bruised bananas? The Canadians have solved the problem. Available in 9 colors including glow!
Crazy Cat Lady Action Figure–Toy Joy may carry this great gift item too.
Swiss Memory USB— Your geek friends will love you. A Swiss Army knife with a built-in flash drive- ohhhh yeah!!
Red Swingline Stapler–Yes, the same one in Office Space. “Have you seen my stapler.”
Bubble Wrap Terrorist–Whaaaaat?