Another year’s worth of Texas Monthly stories has inspired another roundup of the best items, objects, doodads, trinkets, and splurges to give to your favorite Texans, whether they were born here or just arrived last week. (You’ll find last year’s suggestions right here.) Ranging in price from $3.48 (for a shaker of our resident foodie’s favorite steak seasoning) to many multiples of that (for, say, an Airstream in which to roam around the state), most all of the gifts included in this list are made in Texas by Texans specifically for Texans, so you can do your do-gooding with a clear conscience. Happy giving, y’all.
Gifts For Taco Lovers
As you make your way through the 120 tacos you must eat before you die (how’s it going? You holding up?), take a moment to think about your fellow taqueria enthusiasts, all of whom would likely appreciate a taco-minded token of your mutual masa interests. The best gifts in life may be wrapped in tortillas, but we think these come in at a close second.
Texas Humor Taco Time t-shirt ($21.99)
Austin-based Siete almond-flour tortillas ($29.49 for 3 packs)
Marfa Brand Topo Chico glassware ($60 for six) for the Topo Chico you can now order from HEB
IMUSA tortilla warmer ($4.88 from HEB)
“God Bless Puffy Tacos” bumper sticker ($3.50)
IMUSA tortilla press ($25.95 from San Antonio’s Melissa Guerra)
Austin Breakfast Tacos ($14 from No. 4 St. James)
Fort Worth–based Mrs. Renfro’s Ghost Pepper Salsa ($3.95)
Gifts For Texas Drink Enthusiasts
To reiterate the opening line of our big, boozy “Drink Like a Texan” guide, we’re a thirsty bunch. And, if we’re being honest with ourselves, we tend to get even thirstier around the holidays, what with the abundance of festive feasts, office parties, and in-law sightings. Truth is, we deserve a little something—like the following gifts—to raise our spirits.
Big Bend Brewing Co. 64-oz. stainless steel growler ($75)
Halo Home emoji napkins ($48 for set of 4)
McPherson Cellars wines (left to right: 2014 Reserve Roussanne, $22; 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon, $18; 2013 Les Copains Red, $16; plus, check out the other five Texas wineries that made our wine expert Jessica Norman Dupuy’s list)
No. 4 St. James Chocolate Chip Bourbon Bombs, made with Garrison Brothers Texas Straight Bourbon Whiskey ($10)
Barbecue Wife Bloody Mary Mix, infused with Stiles Switch BBQ sauce ($15)
Hops & Grain Brew Biscuits for man’s sober best friend (prices vary by retailer)
Gift certificate for the 290 Wine Shuttle, in Fredericksburg ($24.99 for an all-day pass)
Gifts For Texans, By Texans
Lauren Smith Ford has the enviable—but also unenviable—task of picking a talented Texan to feature each month in her popular “Made In Texas” column. There’s such a multitude of homegrown makers in this state that it’s sometimes hard to know where to start. Here, a few wondrous wares from some of the Texas companies she’s showcased this year.
Circle 21 Candles // Trophy Room candle ($25)
Jarvis Boards // Rio Grande Lone Star edition ($2,300)
KKDW handmade furniture and housewares // plant hanger ($200)
Campfire Quilts // custom Tiny Star quilt (starts at $475)
Elefant Press // “Thank You” letterpress card ($5)
Bexar Goods // Porter leather satchel ($680)
Cat Spring Tea // As American As Apple Pie loose leaf yaupon tea (from $9.95)
Hey Murphy // kyanite arrow cuff ($70)
Gifts For Texas Foodies
Our resident Vittles enthusiast, Courtney Bond, knows that the most direct way to our hearts is often through our stomachs. The authentic Texas recipes she digs up each month make for excellent gifts on their own, but paired with the following kitchen gadgets and foodstuffs, they’ll become presents your nearest and dearest will undoubtedly eat up.
Biscuits recipe // Blissful Folly Homegrown Texas Honey (from $8)
Enchiladas recipe // Enchiladas: Aztec to Tex-Mex by Chris Waters Dunn and Cappy Lawton ($39.95, Trinity University Press)
Pecan pie recipe // Berdoll Pecan Candy & Gift Company squirrel nutcracker ($19.99)
Grilled Gulf oysters recipe // M Grills Texas-shaped grill (from $650)
Cornbread recipe // Lodge cast iron wedge pan ($26.50)
Chicken-fried steak recipe // TexJoy’s Saltgrass 7 Steak Spice ($3.48)
Viet-Cajun crawfish recipe // a YETI cooler (prices start at, well, a lot, but don’t those crawfish deserve to go out in style?)
Gifts For Texas Wanderers
One of the hazards of Wanderer-ing around the state for a living is that window shopping often turns into actual shopping. I can’t resist a good souvenir, like the following ones I’ve spotted on my recent travels, but it’s experiences that make the best gifts of all. To that end, we’ve rounded up all of our Texas Trip Guides (more coming soon!) so that you and yours can treat yourselves to a new adventure or two in the coming year. Happy travels!
Abilene Trip Guide // a mini pocketknife necklace ($59) or Texas charm necklace ($45) from Betty & June
Reasons to Stop in Hico // Wiseman House Chocolates almond toffee (from $6.50)
Dallas (a new Trip Guide coming soon!) // Read Between the Lines holiday card boxed set ($30)
Houston’s Museum District Trip Guide // African Art from the Menil Collection ($65)
Los Fresnos Trip Guide // a Save Texas Ocelots license plate (from $30)
Everywhere // an Airstream 2 Go rental, picked up in El Paso (from $1,920…a wanderer can dream, can’t she?)
Gifts For Newly Minted Texans
Even if you’ve been here since birth, you likely know a newly minted Texan or two—or two dozen, if you live in, say, Austin. In many ways, these newcomers are the easiest to buy for, as they probably don’t yet have staples like cowboy boots or their own copy of Lonesome Dove. But don’t think the gift-giving stakes are low. This is your big chance to offer some guidance on just what it means to be a Texan, so pair our Ultimate Newcomer’s Guide from the April 2015 issue with any one of these fine welcome-to-Texas items.
Regions of Texas candles from No. 4 St. James ($22 and $42)…because each of these seven scents underscores the distinct character of the state’s diverse regions.
The Stars at Night T-shirt ($24.99) from Texas Humor…because that’s what J.J. Watt wore when he graced our September cover.
Crazy Water (from $18 for a 12-pack)…because you’ll need plenty to survive those summer days when it’s “hot as fahr.”
Beyoncé T-shirt ($40)…because you now share a home state with the world’s greatest performer.
Ruby Reds…because if you don’t already appreciate the glory of the grapefruit, you soon will.
TMBBQ Club membership ($50)…because it’s perfectly acceptable to have barbecue for breakfast.
Texas State Parks pass ($65 if purchased by 12/19/15)…because you could (and should) spend a lifetime finding pretty pockets to visit.
Sponsored: Ryan Michael
You’ll definitely want to cozy up with this Amelia Reversible Headdress Shawl! This garment is a poly/wool blend, so it’s soft and super warm. It features a Southwestern motif, with an Aztec border in contrasting white. A comfy way to keep warm as the cooler weather approaches.
Available in Indigo