12 Days of Christmas, Market Style

(Above – Gifts from Her: In addition to Julia Puig’s baked goods, she makes a wide variety of jams, jellies and sauces, which can be combined to make a custom gift basket.)

The English Christmas carol “The Twelve Days of Christmas” is a joyful telling of a series of increasingly grand gifts given on each of the twelve days of Christmas. But if ten Lords-a-Leaping or four Calling Birds aren’t your thing, come out to the Westchase District Farmers Market any Thursday and you’ll find a selection of great gifts for family and friends, plus most of the fixins’ for your holiday celebrations.

Gifts for Him: These hand-turned razors and exotic wood pens are crafted by Brady Orand at his Richmond wood shop.

Your first stop should be Monica Charles, a relatively new market vendor selling handmade Texas cutting boards, hand-crafted pens, and all-natural soaps, lotions, balms and oils made by the husband and wife team of Charles “Brady” and Monica Orand. Brady makes the cutting boards and cheese trays using walnut, cherry and maple woods, accented with purpleheart, yellow heart and padauk woods. All are finished with Brady’s special “board butter” made from bee’s wax and mineral oil.

Brady also makes hand-turned razor handles using local and exotic woods, plus hand-crafted pens, some made with rifle cartridges. “Nothing says Texas like a bullet pen,” says Brady.

Monica’s soaps are made with a variety of oils, including olive oil, palm oil, castor oil, sweet almond oil and coconut oil. She has pre-packaged gift sets featuring her soaps, lotions, body butter and lip balms for $20 to $50. Or you could buy individual products for stocking stuffers. You can pre-shop their products at www.monicacharlesdesigns.com. But don’t buy online; come meet them at the market and learn first-hand about their unique and quality products.

Great Gifts for Foodies and Friends

A few steps away, you’ll find the Texas Hill Country Olive Company. Floyd Force is always happy to let you taste his extra virgin olive oils, some infused with jalapeno, lemon, or garlic. He also has Balsamic Vinegars, from the traditional to those infused with blackberry, blueberry, fig, mandarin, peach and many more flavors. Special holiday gift packages are also available.

A beautiful dried fruit and nut package from Brenham Kitchens could be gifted to all of your co-workers. Brian Smith from Brenham Kitchens says October to December is his busiest season. In addition to all the farmers markets they serve, they also work many holiday shows. His dad makes all the product, so they stay particularly business throughout the holiday season.

Have a holiday party or open house to attend? Any hostess would appreciate some of Anadil Bham’s gourmet desserts. She’ll package tasty French macarons in special gift boxes. She’s perfected this classic recipe, baking macarons in a dozen flavors, including the classic almond, chocolate ganache, pistachio and blueberry.

Food for your Holiday Table

Our farmer vendors (Apollo Farms, PEAS Farm, Atkinson Farms and Heirloom Organic Farms) can provide you with all the produce you need for your green bean casserole and sweet potato pies. Speaking of pies, pick up a fruit pie from Julie Puig’s European Bakery and save yourself the trouble of rolling out the dough yourself.

So sing along: On the 12th day of Christmas, my true love gave to me – a dozen tamales, eleven chocolate croissants, ten Oreo Cookie cupcakes, nine cups of coffee, eight jars of jam, seven pounds of shrimp, six kinds of honey, five bars of soap, four pounds of green beans, three dozen eggs, two Cattleya orchids, and a handmade wood cutting board. Yes, you really can find it ALL at the Westchase District Farmers Market.