Let’s face it — Austin is just one of those places that finds a special place in your heart and never moves out. For those unlucky few who have to move away from Austin, no matter how brief their stay, the lack of Austin struggle is real. And with the million and one things to do in Austin during the holidays, this is a time for those heartstrings to get tugged and the homesickness to really kick in. One way to help fend off the illness is with a special gift that is oh so Austin. Of course, it’s not really possible to shove a hike up Mount Bonnell or a night at Alamo Drafthouse into a FedEx box, but these gifts should help bring back some fond ATX memories.
Truly Texan Foodie Stuffs
Not too surprisingly, the thing that people tend to miss the most about Austin is the food. Taco Tuesdays just aren’t the same outside of the Lone Star State. And though we don’t have the monopoly on barbecue, we tend to do it pretty well. Pack up a box of these items with a big dash of love and your person will know how very much you care.
One Word: Barbecue
They may not be able to make their pork ribs fall off the bone quite like places like Salt Lick and Franklin BBQ, but they can at least get those flavors close when cooking at home. Items like Stubb’s BBQ sauce and the Salt Lick cookbook should do the trick. And if you’re looking to really spoil someone, get them a BBQ party in a box with this special Are You Yeti? BBQ Package from Rudy’s BBQ.
Everything’s Spicier in Texas
Austin has some great homemade hot sauces, and nothing puts a little extra kick in someone’s homesick step like a bit of Yellowbird Sauce (including a great, limited edition holiday gift pack with five varieties) or some very necessary taco topper — the Torchy’s Diablo Sauce. You could also show your love (or hate) with some downright ridiculous sauces from Tears of Joy, including their 1 Million Scoville Pepper Extract. Yikes.
HEB/Whataburger Care Package
They aren’t lying when they say “here, everything is better” — just try shopping at other grocery stores after having an HEB in your life. Hell, you can be living driving distance from Kona coffee growers and still not be able to find anything Texas Pecan or Taste of Austin flavored like those from the Cafe Olé line. Just go crazy on those aisles to put together a care package of HEB brand goodies.
While you’re there, grab some Whataburger snacks, too. You may not be able to ship a Whataburger or a dozen taquitos and have them still taste great, but those salt & pepper fries sure are yummy. And the condiments? Oh man, once you’ve had Whataburger spicy ketchup, there’s just no going back.
Wake and Bake — Some Treats
You can never go wrong with pancakes in the morning, and the Kerbey Lane pancake (and baking) mix hits that comfy spot. They even have a gluten-free version! Your gift recipient could also get creative and mix up a batch of honey butter to spread on some biscuits with a gift from Two Hives Honey. Have them mix in some pecans from Austinuts, and it’s a truly Texas morning.
New on the blog: 4 Decadent Ways to Upgrade Plain Pancakes (link in profile). Featuring recipes from @fitkimtv, @coupleinthekitchen, Just In Queso and @girlgonegrits.⠀⠀ • ⠀⠀⠀ Purchase mixes online at kerbeylanecafe.com/store, in-store or at retailers @heb and @wholefoods (select flavors & stores).⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ • • •⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ #atxbrunch #atxeats #austinfoodstagram #austin #austintx #atx #austineats #austinfood #pancakes #pancakemix #pancakerecipe #recipe #recipeideas #recipeinspiration #breakfast #breakfastfordinner #brunch #brunchtime #atxblogger #kerbeylane #heb #wholefoods #foods4thought⠀⠀⠀⠀
Because You Can Never Give Enough Sugar
At the risk of getting Maroon 5 stuck in your head all day, sugarrrrrr is almost always a great gift, and Austin has some wonderful confectioners with sweet treats to offer. Of course, Lammes Candies is the classic Austin sweet shop, and pecan praline packages are as Texas as you can get. If you’re looking to really dazzle that special someone, Maggie Louise Confections makes chocolates so beautiful, they may never actually want to eat them. They have some lovely holiday gift boxes including Hansel & Gretel, Starry Nights for Hanukkah, and the Texas-themed Happy Holidays Y’all. And if you really want to get your person chocolate wasted, you’ll want to shop at Delysia Chocolatier — their holiday section combined with a Texas boot made of chocolate will make you a friend for life.
Because Food Won’t Last Forever
Of course, food is great, but some people really want something that will last. These gifts will certainly help to bring back some cherished memories.
What starts at UT changes the world, and spreads out into it. Can you just imagine how hard it is to find a Longhorn hoodie or a burnt orange beverage bottle in Australia? Send a HookEm-gram across the pond (or just across state lines — Oklahoma, maybe?) with one of our many choices of gifts for Longhorn fans.
Day 2 of 5 Days of Giving! Austin accessories are the perfect gift for every Austin-o-phile (which let’s face it, is everyone!). Enter to win this Tower candle and Tower Socks from Legend Socks by 1️⃣ following @legends_socks on Instagram and 2️⃣ following @universitycoop on Instagram and 3️⃣ tag your favorite Austin lover in the comments! (📷 @boloratheexplorer) #5daysofgiving #hookem – Yesterday's winner will be chosen shortly!
Austin Snow Globe
We know that you hold Austin in a very special place in your heart, but with this Sue Patrick snow globe, you can hold Austin in your hands or in a very special place on your mantel. The globe features the Zachary Scott Theatre, State Capital, UT Tower, Penneybacker Bridge, Frost Bank Tower, Sixth Street Music District, 2nd Street Area, and Austin bats. Of course, it wouldn’t be an Austin snow globe if it didn’t play “Deep in the Heart of Texas” — which it does.
At Homesick Candles they want to “fill your house with home.” They offer up a range of hand-poured candle scents for all 50 states. The Texas Homesick Candle “includes a hint of leather, a bit of fresh cotton, and just a touch of sage.” It may not be as accurate as BBQ and beer smell, but it should do the trick.
Oh Austin, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways… OK, so these poems from Austin Haiku may not be Elizabeth Barrett Browning-level prose, but they sure are cute. You can get them all gathered into one with this coffee table book that includes photos of Austin with haiku tributes or these haiku holiday greeting cards.
Austin City Gift Baskets or Batch Austin
Thanks to Austin City Gift Baskets you can “give the gift of local Austin flavor.” There they fill each basket full of Austin goodness by combining the authentic, original, and diverse tastes of Austin. Holiday baskets include the Austin Ornament Basket, the “35th Street Lights” Holiday Basket, the Austin Reindeer Basket, and the Austin Gingerbread House.
Batch USA makes gift baskets from Nashville and Austin. Though they don’t make specific holiday baskets, the Don’t Mess With Texas gift batch and the Welcome Home, Austin gift batch would make any homesick former Austinite feel cozy with memories.
Featured photo from Homesick Candles