Posts Tagged ‘Lammes Candies’

Last-minute shopping for presents

Hours at the main Lammes Candies store today and tomorrow are from 8 am until 6:30 pm, and on Christmas Eve the doors will be open from 8 am until 5 pm. This is the home of Lammes famous proprietary specialties: Texas Chewie Pralines, Longhorns, sherbet mints, and more. The pralines are available in a new variation for the first time this year, with habanero chiles. Lammes is where to find chocolate coins wrapped in christmas colors as well as the usual gold, silver, and copper, some stamped with armadillos. Lammes is where to find fresh almond and pecan nut barks, both in milk and in dark chocolate. Lammes is where to find Boston-style intensely flavored fruit slices and its own chocolate-covered orange peels with a choice of light or dark chocolate. Confectionery is available both in bulk (pick your own) and in various prewrapped boxes and novelty containers, ready for giving.

At BookPeople, we found that all the free Chronicle anniversary calendars have been carried off. It appears that there’ll be few if any Christmas and New Year’s greeting cards available when the post-holiday sales arrive, because almost everything has been sold. My favorite tee-shirt says something like “BookPeople: zombie-free since 19xx” but I can’t be more specific since the size that we wanted is sold out right now and we didn’t come home with one. BookPeople is where to find your “Keep Austin Weird” gifts, as always. BookPeople will be open on Christmas Eve from 9 am to 9 pm, and on Christmas Day itself from noon to 6 pm so that we can use our BookPeople gift cards and divest ourselves of all the surplus cash giftery.

Pick up state maps and guidebooks free at the Capitol Visitors Center in the old General Land Office, right in the Capitol grounds at Eleventh Street. The gift shop has something for everyone, from the very inexpensive (post cards, plus magnets of everything from the Texas state seal to the Gonzales flag [“come and take it”]) to the more expensive but very reasonably priced Capitol annual souvenir ornaments, books about Texas, and much, much more. People were buying baby bibs in the form of the Texas flag and, for older children, sheriff-type toy badges with personalized names. Don’t be surprised if you’re asked to take a photograph of a group of visitors from out of town or from another country entirely, so that everyone in the group may be in the picture.

Wheatsville Co-op is another fine last-minute venue for the last-minute shopper or the shopping-shy. Although it’ll be closed on Christmas Day itself, Wheatsville will be open on Christmas Eve from the usual 7:30 am right up until 7 pm. Once that fresh organic turkey is in the cart, those taking a little time to look around will see many Austin- or Wheatsville-specific presents (tee-shirts, reusable shopping bags, locally produced salsas, and way more). Wheatsville always has a fine selection of bandannas, in colors not always easy to find elsewhere.

I forgot to check about holiday hours at Tesoros on South Congress, but this is another stress-free place to find presents (milagros, ornaments for Christmas trees, calendars from Mexico, and textiles from around the world, to name just a few) for the hard-to-please people on your gift list, along with presents for yourself that you didn’t even know you were seeking.

Don’t spoil your mood; go where people are happy and friendly, staff and shoppers alike. Buy local, free of frazzle, and buy jolly.

Last-minute shopping

Disliking holiday crowds as I do, plus wanting to shop locally, and with renewed inspiration and spirit, I headed for Northwest Hardware Store (3916 Far West Boulevard, telephone 345-6691). I can’t report a lot about what I bought there; that would be divulging the secrets of Santa Claus. I will, however, say that this is a great place to go for Radio Flyer wagons of all types, three sizes of old-fashioned children’s tricycles, slingshots, Daisy air rifles, garden tools, and much, much more, all in a small store with two knowledgeable people to answer every question. I will say that I had two keys made and came away with a handsome adjustable offset pair of lawn shears. If you edge and trim yourself, you know what I’m talking about.

Headed home, we couldn’t resist a stop at Lammes Candies, open until 6 pm today. As always, in addition to the usual pralines, sherbet mints, nut barks, candied orange peel dipped in dark chocolate, fruit slices, divinity, and other old favorites, this year’s gelt (chocolate coins in silver, gold, and copper foil) included coins with an outline of Texas on one side and an armadillo with personality on the other. There were also milk-chocolate shapes wrapped in festive colored foil that included three-dimensional stars in dark chocolate as well as an assortment of “wrapped packages.”

We were happy to be sidetracked by Lammes. If we hadn’t been able to cross the last items off our lists at Northwest Hardware, it would have been on to Zinger and then to Breed & Co., both of which have more additional temptations beyond hardware. Now, I’m fortified to write the last remaining holiday letters. What a beautiful day!

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