Wednesday, May 22, 2024 May 22, 2024
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Laura Kostelny Goes Christmas Shopping for her Famous Dallas Friends

Do you have difficult people to buy for? Follow the D Home executive editor on a gift hunt through North Texas’ finest museums.
illustration by Kent Barton

Aside from sharing a first name, former First Lady Laura Bush and I have a lot in common. She was once a librarian; I used to borrow books from the library before I was diagnosed with OCD. She loves Rise No. 1 and the tearoom at Stanley Korshak; I eat food, too. We both have men in our lives who are killing us softly with their love for Fox News. And we both live in Dallas. So even though I’m hundreds of years younger than Lo (That’s what I call her. Clearly, I’m the L.C. in this relationship.), it makes sense that we’re best friends. But what to buy a woman who has friends who can—and did—buy her a house? Well, Christmas ornaments are an obvious choice. The colorful aluminum cowboy boot ($7.75/National Cowgirl Museum & Hall of Fame) says, “Welcome back to Texas,” while the “Holiday Greetings” Obama ornament ($20/African American Museum) says, “Aren’t you glad health care isn’t your problem?” Republicans aren’t generally known for environmentalism, so I like the idea of leaving a chico bag ($5.95/Amon Carter Museum) for grocery shopping and signing the card, “Love, Tipper and Al.” For regular rubbish, what could be cuter than Christmas Pudding Bin Bags ($17/Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth)? She lives in Preston Hollow, for God’s sake. Might as well have good-looking trash. One of the things that Lo most admires about me is my ability to think long-term. With that in mind, I think Cavallini & Co. thank-you cards ($12 for set of 10/Kimbell Art Museum), and gift-wrap in a variety of funky patterns by Smoke ($10/Kimbell) is an ideal pairing. I look forward to receiving a charming thank-you note and a gorgeously wrapped gift very, very soon. Isn’t that what the holidays are all about?

Financial Analyst Tanner P. served as an ambassador of sorts for Dallas on season five of The Bachelorette. Single women the world over booked passage here posthaste after Tanner P. was unjustly dismissed by Canadian Jillian Harris. Why? Because this guy is smooth. Take the time he failed to charm the pants off of Jillian during a group date. That didn’t stop him from removing his own trousers and parading around in a pair of extremely tight tighty-whiteys. He’s modest. In a later interview, he mentioned that his fellow bachelor competitors referred to him as “King Dong.” And he’s kinky. He likes to talk about his affection for ladies’ feet, especially those adorned with OPI’s Mango Mango. So, aside from regular pedicures, how do I beat the competition to become Tanner P.’s special lady? Good gifts. I’ll start with a pair of Black Bar sunglasses ($12.50/Nasher Sculpture Center), which tout a “be shameless and blameless” tagline. Everyone knows that sensitive men love art and cooking, so why not combine both with a set of Pablo Picasso salt and pepper shakers ($12/Meadows Museum)? A reality star of Tanner P.’s caliber should literally see stars in the boudoir, and that’s where a set of glow-in-the-dark adhesive stars by Glowing Imagination ($5.99/Dallas Museum of Nature & Science) comes in. I have no confirmation on this, but I sense that my future boyfriend has a cat. That’s the thought behind the purchase of the red modular kitty litter box ($180/Modern). It’s “where modern cats do their business.” I’ll follow that up with a Poker Hands tie by Museum Artifacts ($37/Amon Carter) that can be worn down the aisle if he chooses to accept my final rose.

Dallas native and superstar Nick Jonas is 17 years old and works for Disney. I realize that in the era of Lindsay Lohan that doesn’t suggest the innocence it once did. And despite his and his brothers’ public appreciation for purity rings and all that they imply, he’s not a monk. The singing sensation has apparently dated fellow Disney stars Miley Cyrus and Demi Lovato. So this kid has probably seen some action on a few sets. I’m not saying he smoked cigarettes in the bathroom at High School Musical, and maybe he hasn’t seen the not-so-sweet side of Zack and Cody, but surely he knows exactly what’s so Raven. But I don’t want to dwell on that. I prefer to think of Nick as a naïve naïf I can put in my pocket. And that’s how I shopped for him. Everyone knows that on road trips—even those on a fancy tour bus—kids like to color. That’s why I picked up the Frida Kahlo Coloring Book ($8.95/Meadows) and Andy Warhol Coloring Book ($8.95/Modern). They will be extra glorious thanks to the Faber-Castell Ultimate Sketching & Drawing Kit ($48/Amon Carter). Once he gets settled into his five-star hotel, nothing will make playing Wii—or playing with his zebra sock puppet ($28/Dallas Museum of Art)—more comfortable than a Fatboy bean bag in neon green ($229/DMA). Little kids like candy and guns, so that’s why little Nick’s stocking will be stocked with a Wildwest Candy Bar and a Western Water Gun Rifle ($2 and $7/Cowgirl).

Everybody loves my frenemy Lauren Przybyl, but I have to say she makes me nervous. The Fox Channel 4 Good Day anchor is thin and pretty, has blond hair, attended Baylor, has lived in both Boston and Albuquerque, and has a weird last name. And, obviously, we’re both high-powered media personalities. I mean, copy me much? It’s enough to give you chills. But I’m clearly the bigger person—I am allowed to be since I’m not on television—and I’m not going to shut her out of the in-crowd just yet. In fact, I’m going to help her. I’ll start with some literature. Peterson’s Holiday Helper ($16.95/Nasher) will help her become the hit of my holiday party, where she will be assigned bar duties. She can also bring her Party To Go ($15/Women’s Museum), which holds up to 4 liters of “your favorite beverages,” as well as party decorations. Although television anchors aren’t normally allowed to eat, she will eventually get hungry. That’s why I’m stuffing her stocking with Astronaut Ice Cream (only 120 calories!) and some (fat-free) Flava Puff cotton candy ($3.99 and $5.99/Museum of Nature & Science). Though young Lauren is gorgeous now, I’m here to tell you that can change quickly. (Not to me, of course. But I’ve seen it happen.) The sumptuous beauty products by Red Flower, such as the Plum Blossom Silk Cream ($52/Lotus Shop at the Crow Collection of Asian Art) and the Ohana Gingergrass Bamboo Scrub ($62/Lotus), can stave off age for the time being. Waistline and wrinkles taken care of, all I can do for Lauren is help her at work. The hot pink tank top adorned with Swarovski crystals and “There’s a new sheriff in town” ($29/Cowgirl) should let Fox 4 on-air talent Fiona Gorostiza and Heather Hays know to move aside when Lauren struts down the hallway.

This has not been the best year for Don Hill. He was convicted on seven counts of criminal activity, including bribery, conspiracy to commit extortion, and conspiracy to commit wire fraud and money laundering. His wife was convicted of some crimes, too. Unfortunately, Don was blindsided by the conviction. He had it from on high that things would turn out differently. “God’s gonna give us this one,” he told the press shortly before he got the bad news. So, with sentencing looming and maybe feeling a little let down by the Lord, he’s probably lacking Christmas spirit. I intend to turn that frown upside down with gifts designed to make his stay at the federally mandated correctional retreat a productive one. This sabbatical is the perfect opportunity for Don to write his memoirs. A journal from South Africa ($18/African American) is suitable for days when he wants to write lengthier items. When he’s feeling less expressive, he can use Keel’s Simple Diary ($15/Modern), a journal with Mad Libs-type options. Prison probably doesn’t help in the aches and pains department, so if permitted, a hot water bottle is probably a good idea. Paired with a knitted bottle cover adorned with a large red heart ($14.95/DMA), it will warm both body and soul. The views from his cell probably won’t be of the postcard variety. Radevsky & Sokol’s The Modern Architecture Pop-Up book ($45/Nasher) can help distract him. And, finally, why not use the time away to focus on the future? A couple of 18-month planners ($12.95 each/Kimbell) could be just the ticket for planning a new fitness regime. If all goes well, people will think he was away at fat camp rather than a federal prison camp.

photography by Elizabeth Lavin

African American Museum, 3536 Grand Ave., 214-565-9026,; Amon Carter Museum, 3501 Camp Bowie Blvd., Fort Worth, 817-738-1933,; Dallas Museum of Art, 1717 N. Harwood St., 214-922-1200,; Museum of Nature & Science, 3535 Grand Ave., 214-421-3466,; Kimbell Art Museum, 3333 Camp Bowie Blvd., Fort Worth, 817-332-8451,; Lotus Shop, 2010 Flora St., 214-979-6433,; Meadows Museum, 5900 Bishop Blvd., 214-768-2516,; Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, 3200 Darnell St., Fort Worth, 817-738-9215,; Nasher Sculpture Center, 2001 Flora St., 214-242-5100,; National Cowgirl Museum & Hall of Fame, 1720 Gendy St., Fort Worth, 817-336-4475,; Women’s Museum, 3800 Parry Ave., 214-915-0860,