Axios Houston

Picture of the Houston skyline.

December 02, 2022

πŸŽ‰ Friday? More like Fri-yay.

☁️ Today's weather: Fog with a chance of showers. High of 75.

πŸ•ΊπŸΏSounds like: "I Can’t Help Myself [Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch]," by the Four Tops.

Today's newsletter is 956 words β€” a 3.5-minute read.

1 big thing: Time to do some holiday shopping

Illustration of Christmas trees formed from Axios logos.

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

If you still have holiday shopping to get done, we've tracked down a handful of markets for you to try out this season.

Why it matters: The clock is ticking! There are only 23 days left until Christmas, and several markets are only open this weekend.

The big picture: Houston shoppers are expected to spend upward of $1,500 this holiday season, according to Deloitte's annual holiday retail survey.

  • Shopping locally helps boost the Houston economy and makes gifts a little more special.

Be smart: Looking to pinch some pennies? Check out Axios' guide for gifts that cost nothing.

Home for the Holidays Gift Market of Humble
  • With more than 100 vendors, there's bound to be something for everyone.
  • Runs from 10am to 6pm today and tomorrow. Tickets are $6.
A Very Merry Holiday Market
Montgomery County Mistletoe Market
  • Showcasing more than 230 vendors. Entry is $5, but military, teachers and kids get in free.
  • From 9am to 5pm tomorrow in Conroe.
Hollydays Market in Rosenberg
  • The market runs from 10am to 6pm today and tomorrow and 11am to 4pm Sunday.
  • Tickets are $6.

More options ...

  • Did we miss any of your favorites? Let us know by hitting reply to this email.

2. Deshaun Watson returns to Houston

Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson, wearing an orange football jersey and orange helmet, prepares to throw a football

Photo: Nick Cammett/Getty Images

Deshaun Watson will return to NRG Stadium this weekend as the Cleveland Browns face the Texans.

State of play: The former Houston quarterback recently settled lawsuits with 20 women over claims of sexual misconduct and is fresh off an 11-game suspension from the NFL for violating the league's personal conduct policy.

  • Watson refused to answer questions that weren't about football when speaking to reporters yesterday β€” the first time he's talked to the media since August, per the Houston Chronicle.

Driving the news: 10 of the women plan to attend the game along with their attorney, Tony Buzbee, according to the Associated Press.

  • Buzbee represented the majority of more than two dozen massage therapists who accused Watson of sexual misconduct during sessions while he played for the Texans.
  • Yes, but: Grand juries in Harris and Brazoria counties declined to indict Watson on sexual assault charges.

What they're saying: The women are attending the game "to kind of make the statement, 'Hey, we're still here. We matter. Our voice was heard and this is not something that's over. [Sexual harassment and assault] happen every day in the United States,'" Buzbee told the AP.

Why it matters: Watson was traded to the Browns in 2021 on a $230 million, five-year contract and has yet to throw a ball for the team in the regular season.

Of note: Few people across the country are likely to see the controversial meeting. The game will be broadcast only around Houston, Cleveland and Lubbock, according to 506 Sports.

3. Bayou Buzz

Illustration of a rocket ship labelled "Bayou Buzz."

Illustration: Maura Losch/Axios

🍴 Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo attended President Biden's first state dinner at the White House. The dinner was in honor of French President Emmanuel Macron and his wife. (Houston Chronicle)

πŸ“š University of Houston chancellor Renu Khator said higher education is facing several challenges, including making college affordable and preparing Gen Z for the workforce. (Houston Business Journal)

πŸ—³ Pearland Mayor Kevin Cole announced his re-election bid for the upcoming May 6 election. (Community Impact)

4. Weekender Guide

Illustration of a cassette tape with the tape unspooling to spell weekend.

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

⚽️ Support Team USA or any other country at the World Cup this weekend at the Social Beer Garden.

  • The U.S. plays the Netherlands tomorrow at 9am, but the beer garden is showing every game, even those starting at 4am.

πŸͺ„ Whip out your wands and fancy outfits for Harry Potter: A Yule Ball Celebration.

  • The wintertime ball replicating the Triwizard Tournament from the fourth book is happening daily through Dec. 18.
  • Tickets start at $59.

⛡️ Watch a boat parade and get in the holiday spirit at the Kemah Boardwalk tomorrow.

🍹 Drink some margaritas at the all-day Houston Margarita Festival in Buffalo Bayou Park tomorrow.

  • Margarita enthusiasts can enjoy about 20 margarita flavors, local cuisine, and live bands playing mariachi and jazz.
  • Tickets start at $15.

Do you see yourself with a new career?

βœ” Check out our Local Job Board.

  1. Principal Product Owner at Discover.
  2. Director of Product Management at Solugen.
  3. VP of Accounting at Robert Half.

Want more opportunities? Check out our Job Board.

Hiring? Post a job.

5. One review to go: "A Motown Christmas"

Photo of a group of men and woman surrounding a sofa.

The cast of "A Motown Christmas." Photo: Stephanie R. Brown/courtesy of the Ensemble Theatre

Want something new to see instead of the yearly, classic renditions of "A Christmas Carol" and "The Nutcracker" in Houston? You're in luck: The Ensemble Theatre is showing "A Motown Christmas" till Dec. 24.

Driving the news: "A Motown Christmas" is packed with musical dance numbers from Motown Records' holiday songs.

  • The musical features a loose plotline of a group of friends gathering on Christmas Eve and playing a game of guessing a famous Motown artist, like Stevie Wonder, the Jackson 5 and the Supremes.
  • The show has it all: holiday spirit, a dash of religion, and a history and celebration of Motown Records β€” the iconic Black-owned record label.

Context: The Ensemble is one of a few Black community theaters in the country, and it's the oldest and largest professional African American theater in the Southwest U.S.

πŸ‘‹ Shafaq here. I went to the community theater with my family last weekend.

Quick rating: 9 out of 10 Christmas trees.

πŸ’­ My thought bubble: Motown plays such a significant role in Black music history, and it was beautiful to see a show dedicated to Motown originals and covers of traditional Christmas songs like "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer."

Some of my highlights: Hearing the audience guess which artist the characters were referring to. One woman behind me whispered, "It must be Marvin Gaye!"

  • The audience singing along.
  • The impressive vocals of the singers.

If you go: Tickets range from $41 to $60.

  • Several dates are already sold out or close to selling out.

What's next: I'm attending a few more holiday shows this year, so stay tuned for more reviews.

Thanks to Lindsey Erdody for editing and Khalid Adad and Azi Najafi for copy editing this newsletter.

🎧 Shafaq is listening to more Motown Christmas songs.

πŸŽ„ Jay is ready to get some holiday shopping done.