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Holiday Shopping in Houston

A guide to the best shopping venues for the holiday season

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For most, shopping is the first thing that comes to mind at the mention of the holiday seasons. Some choose to get a head start and gather gifts here and there throughout the year, while others wait to experience their holiday shopping spree amongst the crowds and lights and other seasonal memorabilia. Whether you're an early planner or one who can be found scurrying around the mall at 6 o'clock on Christmas Eve, Houston has an abundance of shopping venues sure to carry the perfect gift for everyone from Great Aunt Marge to the family pet.

Of course no Houstonian or holiday tourist should let the season escape without a trip to the Houston Galleria. The Galleria, Texas' largest mall, is positioned in the heart of the city near the 610 Loop and Hwy 59. The complex is anchored by four major department stores: Saks Fifth Avenue, Macy's Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus. Dillard's is located adjacent to the mall. The Houston Galleria houses over 375 stores and upscale boutiques in addition to the four large department chains. During the holiday season beginning the day after Thanksgiving, the streets bordering the mall are paved with thousands of lights and oversized wreaths, toy soldiers and ornaments. The stunning, four-story Christmas tree in the center of the ice skating rink (located in the food court of the mall) is reason enough to make this stop a must for your holiday shopping.

For the budget-conscious, Katy Mills Mall and Houston Premium Outlets are two excellent options for holiday shopping. Katy Mills mall is comprised of over 200 outlet stores including Ralph Lauren, American Eagle Outfitters, Bath and Body Works and Victoria's Secret. The mall's anchor stores include Burlington Coat Factory, Off 5th Avenue, Marshall's and Old Navy. The mall's unique 1.3 mile racetrack-style floor plan allows multi-taskers to speed walk their way through their holiday gift-buying while burning a few calories. And beginning November 13, good ol' Santa will be on the premises daily.

Houston Premium Outlets is the venue of choice for those seeking high end designer labels at outlet prices. Over 120 outlet branches are housed within the Cypress-area mall, including True Religion, Kate Spade, Burberry, Coach and Juicy Couture. The entire mall will be open on Christmas Eve until 6 p.m. Be sure to attend the annual Midnight Madness at 12 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Black Friday for additional savings.

To make holiday shopping an all-day experience that the entire family can enjoy, visit Pearland Town Center and Sugar Land Town Square. Both locations have the typical mall vendors as well as gourmet restaurants like Perry's Steak House, amusement areas for children and live performances within walking distance. Let the little ones give their gift requests to Santa on the last Sunday in November and get a free picture as well. Or attend the annual tree-lighting ceremony at Pearland Town Center the first Friday in December.

Houston is home to a vast selection of shopping locations to accommodate even the most challenging holiday gift list.

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