You made up a list and checked it off twice.
You’ve cruised around Google for buying advice.
The presents all finished, it’s time to relax.
When holiday madness mounts an attack.
A knock on the door from your cousin Hannah
That last-minute party, a work Secret Santa.
Panicked about all the season what-ifs?
Here are six local places for last-minute gifts!
1/ Unexpected Guest: A-Town
Random visitors can be half pleasant surprise, half panic-inducing. A-Town makes it easy to snag a last-minute gift that shows your unexpected visitors you truly care. Everything from boutique clothing to local art is on offer at this long-standing Burnet Road shop.
And did I mention local? A-Town specializes in hard-to-find and one-of-a-kind gifts made by Austin artisans. And the best part is, it’s mostly stuff your guests can wear or use. From cool coasters with ATX landmarks to handmade jewelry, you can avoid the knick knacks and get your loved one something they’ll truly enjoy–all while supporting local brands and businesses. A win for everyone.
5502 Burnet Road – Website
2/ Last-minute Party Invite: WhichCraft
Tired of running to H-E-B for that boring bottle of wine? When you get an invite to a last-minute get-together, then grab some craft beer! WhichCraft, one of Austin’s premier bottle shops, excels in both service and selection.
The X factor is an extremely knowledgeable staff. Whether you’re headed to a holiday potluck or traditional Christmas tamale feast, the WhichCraft crew will pair the perfect beer to your food stuff of choice.
Here’s a pro-tip: if you can’t find something on the shelf that suits your mood, then get a couple of tastes (or pints if you have the time) from one of the 30 on-tap beers. Once you find a favorite, grab a couple crowlers to go, and you’re officially set for the soiree. A hip alternative to that plain old bottle of red.
1900 Simond Ave. #200 – Website
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3/ You Forgot Your Cousin’s Kid: Terra Toys
From toy cars and trains to mind-bending puzzles and furry friends, Terra Toys is an oasis of enriching playthings for kids of all ages. Nearly everything in the store is designed with hands-on play in mind. You won’t find video games or electronic gizmos on the store floor.
This fits perfectly when it comes to last-minute gifts. The Terra team members are pros at helping customers select the best gift for a kid you may not know very well. And with their focus on ensuring stock is filled with mentally-nourishing toys, you can feel good that your gift will not only entertain, but also enrich.
2438 W Anderson Lane – Website
4/ Company White Elephant: Toy Joy
Need a dopamine hit of pure holiday happiness? Wander into a Toy Joy location and prepare to be delighted. An explosion of lights, sounds, and color, I’d recommend swinging by even if your shopping is done for the season.
In the context of gifts, Toy Joy shines with pure variety. When I worked downtown, every company White Elephant came from these masters of holiday magic. It’s the epitome of Austin weird, sure to make your random gift one everyone is lobbying to steal.
403 West 2nd St. / 4631 Airport Blvd. #114 / Austin Airport by Gate 11 – Website
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5/ For the Geeky Loved One: Game Over Videogames
Have a gamer on your holiday list? Instead of running to GameStop or Amazon, considering swinging by Game Over Videogames for all your button-mashing needs. While many of today’s hot titles are on the shelf, the bulk of the shop is dedicated to retro experiences.
From ancient Atari 2600 games to classic Super Nintendo titles to the original X-Box, Game Over is a old school gamer’s dream. They also sell retro consoles, including modern machines that can play every game in the box stuffed into your best friend’s closet.
And everything can be tried before purchase, so you can get your game on before making the buy. An easy one-stop shop for all your last-minute gamer needs.
110 N I-35, Round Rock / 911 W. Anderson Lane / 3005 S. Lamar, #B105-B – Website
➡️ Keep reading: Game Over Videogames Keeps Retro Gaming Alive
6/ A Little Something for Yourself: Lammes Candies
In the bustle and rush of the holiday season, it’s easy to forget the most important person on your list: you! One of the oldest businesses in Austin, Lammes Candies is the perfect place to treat yourself for being an incredible gift giver.
With multiple locations all over town, you’re guaranteed to be near one. And the instant sugar rush will help fuel you through that final push of holiday shopping. An excellent way to take care of yourself during this stressful yet wonderful holiday season.
5330 Airport Blvd. / Lakeline Mall / Barton Creek Mall / 2927A W. Anderson Lane / Market at Round Rock, 110 I-35 – Website
@BillTuckerTSP wants to know:
What are your go-to local stores for last-minute gifts?
The original version of this article was published Dec. 11, 2014.
Thanks for the great ideas! I love eclectic shops and unique gifts.