It’s our favorite time of year, when we get to look across the state and beyond to cull gift ideas sure to please all the Texans, Texpats, and Tex-stans in your life. Some of these items are made in the state, while others were designed or inspired by standout Lone Stars. Others we’ll just call Texas-adjacent. These 24 suggestions are ordered in terms of price, from the sensible to the splurge. Happy holidays, y’all.
Hunter’s Bar, Wild Boar Man Soap, $10.99
While working for Broken Arrow Ranch in Ingram, near Kerrville, John Michon found himself with a surplus of lard. Remembering how his farming great-grandmother would take the lard left over from the wild pigs and turn it into soap by adding lye, he did the same. A hunter himself, he launched Wild Boar Man Soap almost seven years ago. His line of “certified boarganic” soaps and beard and lip balm products uses other local ingredients such as Texas olive oil and beeswax. This six-ounce bar of soap is made with Texas cedarwood oil, which Michon promises is a game changer for itchy, flaky scalps and skin. Gift the bar with a soap deck made of cedar ($13) for safe storage on the sink.
Centennial Celebration Mug, Texas Parks and Wildlife, $14.95
One of the best ways to enjoy our beautiful state is by visiting one of its many state parks. The Texas Parks and Wildlife system marks its hundredth birthday in 2023, and it will celebrate with all kinds of fun activities throughout the year. This month, it released a special Centennial Celebration line of products, many of which make fun gifts for the outdoors lover in your life. The good people in the parks department somehow managed to get the names of all 89 state parks on TPWD’s fourteen-ounce, green-and-white ceramic coffee mug, a feat so impressive that the mug sold out online just a few days after it was released. It’s still available in some park stores, and TPWD is working to restock for web sales. Until then, consider other items in the collection, such as the one-hundred-page, spiral-bound Centennial Edition Passport ($12.95), for collecting unique stamps from each park.
My Town / Mi Pueblo, Nancy Paulsen Books, $17.99
This delightful new hardcover picture book, by Austin writer Nicholas Solis and Colombian illustrator Luisa Uribe, explores the beauty of border towns through two cousins, one who lives in Mexico, the other in the U.S. Although it’s recommended for three- to seven-year-olds, its message of love, respect, and acceptance is appropriate for all ages. Written in both English and Spanish—the facing pages translate each other—it’s also a great vehicle for learning another language.
Black Country Music, University of Texas Press, $24.95
In her groundbreaking work, deemed the first book written about Black country music by a Black author, DePaul University professor Francesca T. Royster explores the past, present, and future of the genre. Black Country Music: Listening for Revolutions is a must-read for any music fan—and Texans (native and honorary), including Beyoncé, Mickey Guyton, and Charley Pride, figure prominently.
Plates, Lovegrass Designs, $27–$49
“Farm to table” gets a whole new meaning with these whimsical dishes inspired by North Texas ranch life. Created by Lubbock’s Kim Jeffers, who was raised on a ranch in Matador, these Southern-inspired porcelain canapé, salad, and dinner plates manage to be both nostalgic and contemporary at the same time. We also love the names of the designs: think Over Yonder, How’s Your Momma ’n ’em, and Oh My Stars. You can mix and match or give a complete set.
Cake Stand, Wanda June Home, $27.94
This year, Grammy-winning country music icon Miranda Lambert, who was raised in the charming East Texas town of Lindale, unveiled a line of dishes, serving ware, and kitchen goods exclusively for Walmart. Named in honor of Lambert’s mother and grandmother, Wanda June Home recently launched a collection specifically for the holidays. This ten-inch Gimme Some Sugar cake stand in pale pink—a few shades lighter than the singer’s signature color of hot pink—is perfect for showcasing the sweetest creations.
The Big Texas Cookbook, Harper Wave, $37.50
We know—it’s not polite to brag. But when your colleagues create something as wonderful as The Big Texas Cookbook: The Food That Defines the Lone Star State, how can you not include it in a Texas-related gift guide? By the editors of Texas Monthly, this baby is packed with essential recipes for dishes and drinks that are a part of our state’s culture and history, such as quail with fig mole, competition-ready chili, banana pudding, and the Mexican martini. It comes with beautiful essays from our writers and tantalizing photos from Jody Horton. The cookbook pairs well with, ahem, our other book from Harper Wave: Being Texan: Essays, Recipes, and Advice for the Lone Star Way of Life. Cheers!
Lingerie Gift Subscription, Underclub, starting at $45
Everyone needs good underwear, but giving it might feel a little, well, intimate. Enter Underclub, a female-founded lingerie subscription service based in Austin that delivers underwear and bralettes. Designs range from the practical to the saucy, and sizes run from XS to 4XL. Gift recipients take a short quiz to determine their preferences, taking all the guesswork out for the giver. There are three-, six-, and twelve-month subscription plans available.
Children’s Pj’s and Housedresses, La Paloma, $52–$58
Everyone deserves decent loungewear, and kiddos are no exception. Austin-based La Paloma offers lots of great options in organic cotton, from comfy striped pajama sets to ridiculously cute housedresses—we’re particularly drawn to the red Scandi Shapes print. Even more adorably, many of the dresses come in matching designs for Mom. The line was launched two years ago by Jen Pinkston, a University of Texas alum who spent close to a decade as a wardrobe stylist in Hollywood before returning to her home state, where she lives with her husband and two young daughters. La Paloma’s pieces are sold online, at boutiques across the country, and in collaboration with J.Crew. A portion of the proceeds goes toward Friends of the Children, a nonprofit focused on fighting intergenerational poverty.
Deep in the Heart Dress and Shorts Set, Ann + Reeves, $58-$61
Getting your kids to dress up can be a struggle, but Elizabeth Kendrick makes it a little easier with her children’s clothing designs. Born and raised in Houston, Kendrick named her line after her mother and father. Ann + Reeves features options for all kinds of special occasions, but for some of us, every day is a day to celebrate being Texan, which makes the Deep in the Heart dress or shorts set a practical purchase. The Deep in the Heart collection also includes onesies for the newest Texans.
Cocktail Napkins, Tribute Goods, $70
Founded by interior designer Karen Pulaski, Houston-based Tribute Goods specializes in luxury Italian linens. It’s one of those brands that other interior designers patronize, which means Pulaski has excellent taste. Known for its bedding collections, which are designed in Houston and produced in a mill outside Milan, Tribute Goods also offers gifts for the discerning host. These Wisdom & Purity cocktail napkins, which come in a set of four, feature an image of a beautiful hummingbird reproduced from an oil painting that was commissioned specifically for the collection. They are made of 100 percent Italian Provenza linen. (Perhaps these should be served exclusively with white wine or aperitifs made of clear liquor—just a suggestion.)
Passport Cover, Bell’Invito, $90
Now that many of us are back to exploring the world after the long pandemic shutdown, it’s time to brush off those passports. This cheery coral cover both protects its precious cargo and makes your passport easy to spot in your purse or bag when you need it. It’s part of a line of smart leather accessories from Dallas-based stationery purveyor Bell’Invito, which was founded by Heather Wiese Alexander, an etiquette expert who learned the crafts of letterpress and engraving after finding a collection of nineteenth-century printing presses among family heirlooms.
Pair of Stemmed Wine Chillers, VoChill, $99.95
Nothing beats a glass of refreshing white wine or rosé on a blazing hot Texas summer (or fall) day. But unless you guzzle it—which we don’t recommend, because we are civilized people—it will warm quickly, which isn’t good for you or the wine. Enter the VoChill, a genius product from Austinites Randall and Lisa Pawlik that allows you to enjoy your wine—and your wineglass—the way it was intended, thanks to the Chill Cradle, which you freeze in advance. Not a fan of the stem? Stemless options are available too. Chill Cradles for everyone.
Pet Me Heart Pocket Onesie, Yitty, $99.95
If you’ve ever coveted those comfy one-piece pajamas designed for toddlers, all we can say is, it’s about damn time: Lizzo has brought us the Pet Me Heart Pocket Onesie, complete with a hoodie. It’s part of Yitty, the shape-wear line the Houston-raised Grammy winner launched with Fabletics this past spring (Yitty is a nickname one of Lizzo’s aunties gave her). True to the body-positive ethos behind the line, the onesie comes in sizes XS to 6X.
Throw Pillow, Circa1975Chainstitch, $110
Lockhart’s Sara Thompson uses the chain stitch—a traditional stitch that creates a ropelike effect—to create everything from embroidered jackets and shirts to wall art and throw pillows. A vision in burnt orange, yellow, and brown, this 1970s-inspired mountain scene would be at home on a wicker sofa or a modern sectional. Cue Carole King either way.
Portable Chair, Trippy Outdoor, $132–$225
Be a style-sitter (get it?) with a maple-wood outdoor chair from this new start-up based in Fort Worth. Weighing between five and ten pounds, these portable seats, which fold flat for easy storage, can hold up to one thousand pounds and are built to withstand the Texas elements. The brand’s many colorful options include the landscape-inspired Daybreaker and Totally Nubular; designs by area muralists, including Dora Zeneth Reynosa; and team logos. Alternatively, go for the “bare chairs” or have one custom-made (discounts are available for multiple orders).
Women’s Midland Boot, Hari Mari, $170
Since launching Dallas-based Hari Mari, the only major Texas-based flip-flop company, a decade ago, Lila and Jeremy Stewart have continued to expand their original line. They now sell a vegan flip-flop made of cactus leather, for example. And this fall, they entered the women’s boot market with the Midland, made in Mexico using leather sourced in Texas. This trend-forward pair of boots, especially in the two-toned Autumn color, is designed to get better with age.
Large Paperclip Chain Necklace, Kendra Scott, $198
It’s been a big year for Kendra Scott. The jewelry designer, who is based in Austin but has stores all over the country, celebrated her line’s twentieth anniversary this year and published an inspirational memoir, Born to Shine: Do Good, Find Your Joy, and Build a Life You Love. She also just announced a new limited collaboration with Barbie that features pink pieces ranging from $65 to $198, with 20 percent of the proceeds from the collection’s friendship bracelet going to the Barbie Dream Gap Project in support of Girls Inc. And she continues to produce on-trend must-haves, such as this adjustable-length chain necklace in eighteen-karat gold vermeil, ideal for wearing solo or layering.
Rosa Perfume, Cultus Artem, $225
Founded by Holly Tupper in San Antonio in 2015, Cultus Artem sells handcrafted fragrances that are blended, batched, and bottled in a San Antonio laboratory housed in a century-old building. The scents, which are sold online and at luxury retailers such as Neiman Marcus, are stunners, both in how they smell and how they look: the elegant bottles, made of recyclable glass, will glam up any vanity. Indonesian clove and patchouli add a kick to the earthy Rosa fragrance, sweetened a bit by Egyptian honeysuckle.
El Paso Shearling Baba, Sabah, $235
Texan Mickey Ashmore started his shoe company in 2013, when he began hosting “Sabah Sundays” to sell handcrafted shoes inspired by Turkish slippers. Soon, the shoes—made of vegetable-tanned saddle leather—were appearing on the feet of celebs such as Bad Bunny and Kamaru Usman. Since opening his first dedicated retail store, in Dallas, in 2016, Ashmore now has six around the world, as well as a new factory in El Paso to complement the original in Gaziantep, Turkey. The first product out of the U.S. factory, the El Paso Baba, became the brand’s fastest-selling shoe ever when it launched this year, so the new shearling version—ideal for winter and available in both men’s and women’s styles—stole our hearts when it was added to the lineup. (Also new this year: a Sabah collaboration with Austin’s Hotel Saint Cecilia designed specifically for travelers, which comes in an eye-catching cerulean).
St. Charles Yacht Tote: Drawbertson, Barrington Gifts, $280
You’ll have room for everything you need for a trip to the Texas Riviera (a.k.a. Port Aransas) with this St. Charles Yacht Tote from Dallas-based Barrington Gifts. Many patterns are available, including a colorful Longhorn print, and everything can be monogrammed. Order by December 11 to be sure it’ll be under the tree by Christmas.
Butcher Block, Fifth & Cherry, starting at $299
Ideal for the weekend barbecue warrior or home chef who is serious about protecting their knives, this butcher block is no ordinary cutting board. Rockwall-based Fifth & Cherry is a veteran-owned family business that’s serious about producing sustainable products. Made of responsibly harvested American black cherry wood using a special 28-step process, the blocks are reversible and come with lifetime warranties as well as free refinishing. Choose from the most compact size, at fourteen by fourteen inches, or splurge on boards designed especially as accessories for the Big Green Egg. Personalization add-ons start at $35.
Botas Para Llegar al Cielo Print, El Fin SATX, $350
A featured artist in the 2021 Texas Biennial, San Antonio’s José Villalobos is a talent to watch. Through his multimedia works, the artist, who grew up gay in a conservative household in El Paso, explores masculine stereotypes. “I protest the toxicity of machismo through the use of objects that carry a history, specifically within the Norteño culture, by deconstructing and altering them,” he says in his artist’s statement. This signed, special-edition 18-by-24-inch serigraph of winged boots features hand-applied fringe and is based on Villalobos’s series of boot sculptures.
Chisos No 2. Boot, Chisos, $545
Founded by Will Roman, Chisos is a four-person operation in Austin dedicated to designing comfortable boots, which are handcrafted in Mexico. West Texas lovers will get a literal kick out of the Chisos No. 2, a men’s square-toed cowboy boot—available in Brushed Brown, Magic Black, or Roughout—that features stitching inspired by the petroglyphs in Big Bend National Park. They’ll also appreciate the fact that part of the proceeds of each sale goes toward land conservation in Texas.
A Round of Jack Daniel’s, $36+
Find the right flavor with Gentleman Jack, Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel, and more from Jack Daniel’s this season. Learn more about each batch’s defining finish to fit the whisky aficionado in your life.
Sherpa Favorites From Wrangler®, $49+
Brave the winter weather with a cozy holiday-ready look from Wrangler® with sherpa-lined items perfect for layering. Learn more about what western winter looks Wrangler® has to offer this holiday season.