Abilene's Christmas Village Collectibles

Are you looking for the perfect Christmas gift? Pick up something that is unique to Abilene for friends and family. In doing so, you’ll keep your dollars local. Better yet, you’ll save time and money by not traveling out of town just to shop and overall, you’ll help stimulate our local economy! To celebrate our Top 10 Things Ya Gotta Do in Abilene, every year I ask our local attractions and businesses what the latest and greatest gift item is for the holiday season; so here is this year’s edition of the Top 10 Uniquely Abilene Christmas Gifts:

1. Christmas Village collectibles. Lighted ceramic replicas are the perfect addition to any collector’s Christmas Village, or start a new Abilene collection this year. Available Abilene landmarks: T&P Depot, The Grace Museum, the Paramount Theatre, and the Old Weather Bureau. Cost: $50-60 +tax. Replicas may be purchased at the Abilene Preservation League or at the Abilene CVB. Be on the lookout for the Swenson House coming soon! Info: 325-676-3775.

"Early Abilene" by Jack North

2. “Early Abilene.” Several of our attractions tell us that this new book is quite the hot item and they’ve all received new shipments in for the holiday shopping season. “Early Abilene” is a pictorial history of Abilene, Texas from 1881-1930. Local historian, Jack North, chose 200 photos from his collection of thousands to put the best together in this paperback. This book would make a great keepsake for anyone who loves Abilene or would be perfect for any history buff. Cost: $19.80-$21.99. Available at Texas Star Trading Co., Frontier Texas! and Buffalo Gap Historic Village.

3. Speaking of the village, this year they have six specialty ornaments depicting buildings from historic Buffalo Gap. Scenes are imprinted on each ornament and include: the post office, the Hill House, the gas station, the blacksmith, the Clyde Trade Depot and the Cottonwood Flat School. Cost: $14.95 each or $75 for all six. Rumor has it that the rustic chapel at Buffalo Gap will be added soon! Judging from our social media platforms, I know there are some huge Buffalo Gap fans out there. Have you taken a visitor out to the historic village this year? The set of ornaments would be perfect for them, the decorator or—of course, the history buff. Info: 325-572-3365.

4. Audio Tours/Local Music. Windshield History CDs are a great gift for anyone who has to make a long return trip home from the holidays. They are educational and entertaining. CDs available: “Audio Tour I: Fort Worth to Abilene, the Immigrants Trail West — U.S. Hwy 180 and TX Hwy 351” and “Tales of the Texas Frontier Audio Tour II: Abilene to Fort Worth I-20.” Other great musical CDs as you drive those long Texas miles: “Texas Road Trip,” “Texas to a T” from the Ball Ranch Family, “The Best of Travelin’ Texas.” Cost: $6 and up. Available at Texas Star Trading Co., Frontier Texas!, Buffalo Gap Historic Village, the Abilene CVB and various locations around town/Texas Forts Trail. Info: 325-676-2556.

Photo courtesy of Joyce Lavender Ranch

5. Frontier Texas! General Store is known for always being stocked with great Texas-themed gifts, toys, books, home furnishings and more. This year, the most popular buy are the regionally made lavender products from Joyce Lavender Ranch. The General Store carries oils, room/linen sprays, lotions/soaps, dried lavender, bath salts and more. Think mom, aunt, grandmother, sister, wife, girlfriend or best friend on this one! Cost: $3 and up. Frontier Texas! also mentioned their Texas-themed Trivets, a locally-made and Go Texan product. This is a fun kitchen item for anyone who loves to cook or decorate. Cost: $19-$28 depending on size and cut. Info: 325-437-2800.