Many people complain that Christmas has become commercialized. The day of Thanksgiving – aptly named ‘Black Friday’ – is surely a testament to that line of thinking, with sales galore and customers fighting over toys and gifts. Chains like Target and Wal-Mart certainly capitalize on the holiday season, taking advantage of the masses who frantically search for just the right present. Gift cards are designed for the Christmas season, and holiday baskets are filled with goodies for co-workers and aquaintances.
Those looking for a more old-fashioned Christmas experience have an outlet, however, in the form of Old Town Spring. A small town near Houston, Texas, Old Town Spring is a popular mecca for those seeking gifts that aren’t mass-produced and hung on clean, white shelves. This town is a cluster of tiny, family-owned shops; quaint restaurants; and smilingfaces. Store owners compete for the most beautiful Christmas decorations, most of which can also be purchased in their store. There are shops for all walks of life, including pet stores, wine-tasting venues, sign shops, and antique stores. Often, the products are original, one-of-a-kind pieces made by a particular designer. You can always find ornaments, figurines, candles, and jewelry.
One of my favorite stores, the Spotted Pony, is a small shop in the heart of Old Town Spring that sells novelty gifts and equine-related products. They have a beautiful assortment of dream catchers that cannot be found anywhere else as well as custom-designed horse statues.
The food is excellent, but the variety is limited. Those seeking fine dining will not find it here, but you will find hot dogs, hamburgers, tacos, and funnel cakes everywhere you look.
My advice is to visit at night, when the shops are lit up and the decorations are out. Make sure to visit each and every store, because they all have something unique to offer.