Christmas in Texas: What’s Open for Festive Fun

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Christmas is the busiest time of year for many Texans. There are tons of get-togethers, parties, and dinners with family and friends. Then, when Christmas Eve and Christmas Day come around, most people spend their time with those closest to them for gift-giving, eating, drinking, and as they say in the festive season, being merry. 

For the most part, stores and businesses shut down around major holidays, and this is generally the case at Christmas. However, sometimes you might need a last-minute present or an emergency ingredient for a recipe. Whatever your traditions at this time of year, it’s important to know what’s open.

Whats open on Christmas in - Texas View

Why Do Some Places Open On Christmas?

We’ve all been there at one time or another. Some more than others. You’re scrambling around stores at the very last minute trying to find a gift (or two) for a loved one. And unfortunately, if you leave it too close to Christmas Day, you might be hard-pressed to find somewhere that’s open. 

Or, you might be halfway through cooking a Christmas Day feast when you realize you didn’t buy an important ingredient for the stuffing. Maybe you didn’t get enough wine or your cream has gone bad. Whatever it might be, even the slightest cooking issue on Christmas can cause a lot of stress. 

Knowing that some retail shops, convenience stores, or restaurants are open on Christmas can be a big relief. You know that if an emergency strikes, you can hit your local CVS or pick up ingredients at a restaurant to get you out of a pickle. And fortunately, several stores and restaurants are open on Christmas in Texas. 

Differing Christmas Traditions

It’s also important to remember that not everyone celebrates Christmas. Texas is a multicultural state with people hailing from all around the world who have different traditions. So, if you fall into this category, store closures around the holidays can become quite a pain. 

Furthermore, even those who celebrate Christmas have different customs and traditions. Although many people gather together with family and friends in their homes, this isn’t the case for everyone. Plenty of Christmas celebrations take place in restaurants and hotels. 

If cooking a large meal becomes too much work, some elect to get takeout. So regardless of whether you celebrate Christmas or how you make the occasion, it’s fair to say that occasionally, you’ll need to head out to pick something up on either the 24th or 25th of December. 

We’ve put together a list of stores and restaurants in Texas that are usually open on Christmas in Texas. Now, please bear in mind that opening hours or even opening days can change very quickly so make sure to double-check closer to the time to make sure the store is open.

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We divided the list into restaurants and stores so you can find what you need quickly. Hopefully, this makes last-minute Christmas tasks as easy to complete as possible so you can enjoy the celebrations.

Plenty of Texas restaurants open on Christmas Day - Texas View

Restaurants

For the longest time, Christmas has been one of the most adored family holidays in the calendar year. And, since family and the home are synonymous with one another, eating in on Christmas has always been the norm. Plus, alongside Thanksgiving, the Christmas feast is quite a traditional one. 

But Christmas cooking takes a lot of work, especially with large groups. Between shopping, decorating, and cooking regular meals around the big day, a mammoth turkey dinner on Christmas Day is a big undertaking. If cooking isn’t necessarily your thing, it’s even more intimidating. 

Many of us work around the holidays too and may only enjoy one or two days off. The last thing you want to do after working the whole way up until Christmas is to spend hours slaving in the kitchen, missing out on the fun. Throw in some appetizers and desserts and you’re basically working for free for the entire day. 

These days, many people have different dietary requirements, making it difficult to cook for large groups. It’s quite common to share a meal with a small group consisting of vegetarians, vegans, pescatarians, keto-diet followers, and everything else in between. So, it’s not fair to expect one person to cook different meals for everyone. 

So, for all the reasons outlined above, many of us prefer to eat out on Christmas. If you haven’t done this before, you might be surprised by how many people you see in restaurants at Christmas. With so much variety, it’s really enjoyable to switch it up from time to time. 

The data suggests that the trend of eating out at Christmas may be on the rise, especially among millennials. Not only are they responsible for a significant increase in restaurant traffic during the holidays but they’re also trending online for searching things like “restaurants open on Christmas”. 

What’s Open On Christmas In Texas?

A lot of stores, cafes, and restaurants close on Christmas in Texas and throughout the entire country. However, if you don’t usually step outside your house on Christmas, you might be surprised at how many places are actually open, even just for a few hours. 

So, whether you’re looking for a restaurant for breakfast or your full Christmas feast, or you want to know what stores to keep on standby if you need a last-minute purchase, here’s our guide. 

Gift giving on Christmas at a restaurant - Texas View

Restaurants

If you’re looking for a restaurant on Christmas Day for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, you have quite a large bunch to choose from, especially considering the holidays. The best part is that there are several different types of restaurants open too, so you can choose a cuisine that suits your taste. 

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Firstly, virtually all hotels are open on Christmas. It’s an extremely popular time of year for people to travel or enjoy a luxurious stay at a hotel. For the most part, hotels host Christmas dinners for residents and members of the public. If you want to guarantee a table, make sure to book in advance because spots fill up fast. 

The rest of the spots on our list are well-known establishments or chain restaurants. Texas is the biggest state in the contiguous U.S. so we can’t cover every individual local restaurant. If you want to eat out at your favorite, locally-owned spot in town, contact them yourself to see if they’ll be open. Otherwise, you can visit:

Katz’s Deli and Bar: Operating under the mantra of “Katz’s never closes”, this popular deli franchise is open on Christmas, and every other day for that matter, serving a wide variety of breakfast, lunch, and dinner. 

Fogo de Chão: One of the most popular Brazilian steakhouse franchises in the country, Fogo de Chão is open on Christmas, offering up tasty, meaty Christmas feasts in Southern Brazilian style.

House of Pies: If you’re looking for a familiar American diner-style Christmas dinner, you have several options, with House of Pies being one of the reliable ones.

IHOP: Pancakes aren’t necessarily traditional but they’re delicious any day of the year. Only certain IHOP branches are open on Christmas Day so check the restaurants in your area to confirm if they’re open. 

Benihana: The more you think about it, the more sense it makes to go to Benihana on Christmas. Enjoy a non-traditional meal with plenty of fun and theatrics. 

Denny’s: America’s Diner is always open 24 hours, even on Christmas, providing you with your familiar favorites as well as some festive specials.

Applebee’s: Select Applebeee’s stores are open during Christmas but the opening hours may be reduced so check your local restaurant ahead of time. 

TGI Fridays: Most TGI Fridays run their regular business house during holidays, including Christmas but select restaurants may not, so double-check. 

Starbucks: Many Starbucks cafes are open on Christmas Day, which is great news for many, especially those who can’t get enough of the festive drinks. 

McDonald’s: Most McDonald’s are open on Christmas throughout the United States if you fancy a fast food Christmas dinner. 

STK Steakhouse: STK Steakhouse provides a luxury dining experience even during the holidays. In fact, it’s extremely busy on Christmas Day as it’s a fun place to eat, drink, and hang out. 

Eataly: If you’re after an Italian-style Christmas dinner, Eataly is open on Christmas Day, giving you a fantastic option for the whole family. 

Stores

If you’ve got the food covered but need to do a little extra shopping on Christmas Day, you’ve got to be prepared. You won’t necessarily have a huge pick of stores to choose from but some of the more convenient shops are open for at least some of the day so you should be able to find what you need. 

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Here are some of the most important stores that are open in Texas on Christmas. 

CVS: Countless Christmas dinners have been saved by emergency trips to CVS. Most Texas stores are open during regular business hours on Christmas so you can pick up convenience food, cards, cosmetics, or whatever other convenience items you might need. But be aware that the pharmacy is likely to be closed if you need prescription drugs. 

7-Eleven: open 24/7 even on holidays, 7-Eleven is a go-to for many people looking for last-minute bits and bobs on Christmas Day. However, double-check your local store’s opening times in case there are irregularities.

Circle-K: For gas and convenience goods on Christmas, head to Circle-K. 

Safeway: If you need last-minute groceries, Safeway may be your saving grace. Many stores are open on Christmas Day. However, not all are so be sure to check ahead of time and take note of potentially reduced hours.

Walgreens: Most Walgreens are open on Christmas Day but typically with adjusted hours (they usually close early). 

With these five stores, you’re usually covered for whatever last-minute items you need on Christmas. Certain other local shops or even large retail stores may also announce that they’re deciding to open on Christmas Day too, so keep an eye out when the festive season comes along. 

Christmas Eve

Since Christmas Eve is a hugely important shopping day, you’ll find that most stores are open, from corner shops to the biggest chain stores on the planet. To boot, most stay open late to accommodate literal last-minute shoppers so keep this in mind. 

Christmas Eve dining is also extremely popular so you’ll find that most restaurants are not only open, but they’re extremely busy. If you plan to eat out somewhere nice on Christmas Eve, it’s always best to make reservations. 

References

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Christian Linden Texas View Headshot 3 - Texas View
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Christian Linden is a seasoned writer and contributor at Texas View, specializing in topics that resonate with the Texan community. With over a decade of experience in journalism, Christian brings a wealth of knowledge in local politics, culture, and lifestyle. He holds a Bachelor's degree in Communications from the University of Texas. When he's not writing, Christian enjoys spending weekends traveling across Texas with his family, exploring everything from bustling cities to serene landscapes.

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