You can make Black Friday more meaningful by putting your shopping dollars to good use at local non-profits and independent stores.
Freak out your drunk friends with a set of Ghost Goblets. These hand-blown tumblers feature a wineglass inside. Get these, along with other arty presents, at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston gift shop. 1001 Bissonnet. For information, call 713-639-7300 or visit www.mfah.org.
Support an independent bookstore when you shop at Brazos Books. You'll find all the titles currently on top of the Indie Bestseller list (sort of a poor man's New York Times Best Seller list), including Toni Morrison's A Mercy and P.D. James's The Private Patient. 2421 Bissonnet. For information, call 713-523-0701 or visit www.brazosbookstore.com.
Get some Oaxacan woodcarvings, masks, hand crafted figurines, santos, paintings, or one-of-a-kind jewelry at Manos Magicas, a folk art gallery run by one of the leading experts in Mexican folk art in the state, Dr. Madeleine Crozat-Williams. This rabbit by Mexican artist Moises Jimenez is just one of the many things you'll find here. 4819 Blossom Street. For information, call 713-802-2530 or visit www.lasmanosmagicas.com.
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If you want to save the planet while you shop try Green by Adeline, owned by designer Adeline Sung. Green by Adeline has 100 percent eco-friendly fashions, with minimum environmental impact and sustainable materials. 5136 Richmond. For information, call 713-871-1888 or visit www.greenbyadeline.com.
For more shopping choices, check out the winners of the Best of Houston 2008 City of Sin winners here.
-- Olivia Flores Alvarez