Time's ticking away, but there's no reason to fret. Last-minute shoppers can still find some fabulous Christmas gifts, even for the hard-to-shop-for guys and gals. The best part about it is, you don't have to leave town to get your hands on these thoughtful gift ideas. 

In hopes that everyone has a very merry Christmas, The Huntsville Item newsroom crew has made a list to help folks who still have some shopping to do.


Shopping on the Square for vintage clothes

Over the last few years, a number of trends and styles from decades past have been making a re-emergence. To score authentic vintage from decades such as the 1960s, ’70s and ’80s, head to your local antique store to find only the most unique clothes, shoes and accessories. 

A few key items to search for include vintage boots and pants, such as bell bottoms and Justin’s. Other key items includes jewelry made from turquoise and other beautiful gems and stones, and now that it’s getting colder, coats and jackets.


What else can be found downtown?

Antiques are always a winner in the gift-giving department. Who doesn't love a cool piece of vintage art to hang on the walls or houseware to display in their homes? 

Fortunately, Huntsville is home to a number of wonderfully unique antique stores. The downtown square is the perfect one-stop place to do all of your shopping and find that antique gift for loved ones on your list. 

Have a music lover in the family? Some of the antique shops in Huntsville have a wide selection of vinyl records that will get any music enthusiast excited this holiday season. Check it out. You're sure to find something that will bring smiles to the faces of the people you love most.


Unleash their adventurous side 

The weather outside might be frightful, but it won't be that way for long. Why don't you give the gift that keeps on giving all year long. 

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department offers yearly passes that allow the outdoors person in your family free entry into all of the 90 state parks, from Balmorhea to Caddo Lake and all the points in between. Besides opening the door to endless hiking, biking, boating and fishing opportunities, a season pass will also get an entire carload into state parks as long as the card holder is present.

A pass costs $70 and a second pass for someone who lives at the same address can be purchased for only $25. When the warm weather comes back in the spring, head out to Huntsville State Park and see if you can spot an alligator or other wildlife.

If you have a hunter in your family or just a some one who enjoys firearms, think about getting a gift card to a shooting range or help them get their wild game turned into tasty sausages with a gift card to a meat processing place.


Get him some professional help 

We've all done it, and some of us maybe even succeeded. As a thoughtful Christmas idea, or a New Year's resolution perhaps, we tried joining a gym so we could take off a few pounds and start to feel a bit more fit. 

For most of us, this idea didn't work very well. We spent money on new workout clothes, started looking the part, but we couldn't get our hearts into the fitness routine. 

This year, what about giving the golfer(s) in your family something that produces results, something that'll put more than one smile on their faces, something that may help them make more birdies and shoot lower scores in the new year.

Give your golfer golf lessons this Christmas. The golf professionals who work at Huntsville's courses are all terrific teachers. They work with players of all ages and all skill levels. They can help them shave strokes off their scores. Stop by the pro shops at Elkins Lake or Raven Nest and they can take care of the golfers on your list.


Tickets to the games

For the sports fans in your family, another option is tickets to see the Bearkats in basketball and baseball.

With conference season about to start for the basketball Bearkats, there are a couple of intriguing games to take in, as the Islanders of Texas A&M-Corpus Christi come to Huntsville on Jan. 21 and three-time defending conference champion Stephen F. Austin visits Johnson Coliseum on Feb. 2. Tickets range from $5 to $15, so this is an affordable and fun gift for the entire family.

For the baseball lovers in the family, how about season tickets for the 2017 Bearkats? The defending regular-season and Southland Conference tournament champions play 34 home games this season. Among those, there are some super matchups early in the season with a three-game series against Louisiana-Lafayette scheduled on Feb. 24-26, plus a rare visit from the Texas Longhorns, led by former SHSU coach David Pierce, on Feb. 22. Season tickets behind home plate are $225; bleacher seats are $110. Individual game tickets cost between $4 and $8, and those are a nice choice as stocking stuffers, too.


A night on the town 

What about writing a thoughtful note and putting it inside a Christmas card for a friend or loved one? In it, you could include gift cards good for dinner and tickets for a movie, a local concert or play. Huntsville has several entertaining options when it comes to live theater. There's always something going on at Sam Houston State. The Huntsville Community Theatre is fun and affordable. And it's nice to see the young students at Huntsville High School perform on stage.

Theater students at Sam Houston State are scheduled to perform the Shakespeare comedy classic, "As You Like It" early in the spring semester. Then in April, "Hairspray" will hit the big stage at SHSU. 

The Community Theatre is doing "Mama Won't Fly," an outrageously hilarious race against the clock documenting a daughter-and-mother's adventurous cross-country drive. "Mama Won't Fly" is scheduled for two weekends starting March 31 at Huntsville's Old Town Theatre.

And finally, theater students at Huntsville High School will be gearing up soon for their spring performance of "The Wizard of Oz." The Hornets are doing a musical performance of the story of Dorothy, Toto, the Tin Man, the Wicked Witch and others, so it should be lots of fun at HHS on April 27-29.


Gifts you can't get anywhere else

Looking for a gift that says "Huntsville" on it? Maybe you want to give your sister something from her hometown. Sister moved away long ago, but she still has a soft spot for Huntsville in her heart. 

There are plenty of neat ideas at some of Huntsville's varied museums. Go shopping at the Sam Houston Memorial Museum's gift shop, located on the museum grounds near the Steamboat House. Check out the Wynne Home Arts Center, the Sam Houston Statue and Visitors Center, the HEARTS Veterans Museum and the Texas Prison Museum. There are tons of potential gift ideas in these places that might help shoppers who are looking for the last couple of gifts before Christmas next weekend.

There are plenty of options right here in Huntsville when it comes to gift-giving. Hopefully, this list helps make the Christmas season here a little brighter.



Tom Waddill is the Editor of The Huntsville Item.