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Welcome to GISH PICKS: CURATED CULTURE FOR KIDS AND ADULTS! I’m Sarah Gish, an info-preneur and culture sleuth who finds the unusual and cool in Houston each and every week. Join me as I shine a light on special gems and unique Houston fun. I love this city and want to show you the people and the places and the events that make it great (see more about my wishes for that here). And I want to make it easy so I sort through the cornucopia of events offered each weekend and PICK only three for FAMILIES and three for ADULTS to recommend to you. That way you’ll be all set when Friday hits! If you’re new here, please read below for more about this blog and then check out my PICKS for this weekend, further below.

Have a great weekend and please love one another, please share this, please GO.FIND.FUN. wherever you can, and please – go IGNITE YOUR LIFE!


My annual holiday stress has slowly increased and I didn't know it until I danced and laughed with my Sunday morning dance group and I felt SO MUCH BETTER. If you are stressed out too, do what I’m doing: LAUGH! I wrote about that in my GISH CREATIVE happenings December newsletter, and it’s the focus of my IGNITE YOUR LIFE! art project this month - my 12th way to ignite your life daily is “Enjoy life (laugh). How appropriate!

To get your giggles going, here’s a quick round-up of some funny things happening around town:

I want to give a special shout-out to the Houston Chamber Choir - please watch this week’s VIDEO PICK for more information about them. They were recently nominated for a GRAMMY (see more about that here) and they are hosting their annual holiday concert this weekend, Christmas at the Villa,” which is an ADULT PICK this week. It’s a winter wonderland on Saturday over at the Asia Society Texas Center and I’ve got more info about that in my KID PICKS. They are offering a great holiday gift: purchase a new membership through December 31 and save 50%. All the details are here. sure to read about Simpson Galleries below - they are taking consignments of your treasures through December 20 for their February live auction. They’ll be selling some of my family’s items and I look forward to reaping the benefits!

This Saturday, December 14 from noon-5pm is the Heights Ironworks Holiday Market and I will be there with IGNITE YOUR LIFE! bracelets as well as beautiful vintage decanters, earrings, and other goodies. Stop by, do some shopping, and say howdy to all of us! And for something completely different this Saturday, be sure to VOTE in the runoff election. All the info you need for that is here.

I’m highlighting a different Houston-based nonprofit each week during November and December as a way to help those in need over the holidays. This week’s spotlight is Lord of the Streets, a church community that welcomes, restores, and rebuilds lives through relationship-focused ministries with the homeless and formerly homeless.


We are the most diverse city in the country, not only because of the over 150 languages spoken here every day, but also because of the diversity of events offered and places to hang our (cowboy) hats. Because of that, I decided back in 2004 to start sharing my adventures in Houston and my knowledge of it with others via GISH PICKS. And, since 2016, I have been bringing it to life with my PICKS-ON-WHEELS Facebook Live segments in which I travel around our city in my Phoenix Rising Art Car. Stay tuned here for more details! My adventures will sometimes be posted as my weekly VIDEO PICK in this blog.

A note about the social media for GISH PICKS: please LIKE our Facebook page for FAMILY PICKS and our Facebook page for ADULT PICKS. Click “See first” in the dropdown menu on the LIKE button so you won’t miss a post! And please follow me on Instagram and Twitter. You’ll get all my CULTURE PICKS and more that way. And there’s one last way to stay in touch with me: I organize many events, such as labyrinth walks and workshops, so if you’d like to be informed of those before everyone else, please subscribe to my Gish Creative list here.


Please be sure to tell your friends about GISH PICKS – the more people who know about these unique cultural events, the more unique cultural events the organizations will offer us. Please also tell the orgs that I sent you. My business grows by word of mouth so I thank you for your continued support.

And, last but not least: this blog is free to you, my dear reader, but it’s not free for me to produce. I pay my designer and I spend many hours researching, compiling, and writing GISH PICKS each week. If you have an event you’d like me to PICK, please email me and let’s see how I can help. With me on your team, you’ll reach thousands of Houstonians in a quick-and-easy way!

Picks for Kids the Weekend of December 13 - 15, 2019
Picks for Adults the Weekend of December 13 - 15, 2019

Asia Society Texas Center


Head over to the Asia Society for a special “Family Craft Day: Winter Wonderland” celebrating the start of winter this Saturday, December 14 from 10am-1pm. Everyone will learn about arts and culture in Japan and China by making crafts together as a family, including origami, woodblock printing, foam sculptures inspired by the Ice and Snow Festival in China, and much more. They’ll have delicious Asian refreshments and a fun photo booth. Everyone must register in advance online here; tickets are free for members and $5 for nonmembers.

Houston Chamber Choir


This weekend (Saturday, December 14 and Sunday, December 15 at 2:30 and 5pm) is the annual “Christmas at the Villa” concert presented by the talented Houston Chamber Choir. The serene beauty of the Chapel of the Villa da Matel is a perfect setting for their enchanting array of traditional carols and new Christmas favorites. The Treble Choir of Houston will sing at their 2:30pm performances and the professional bell choir, Houston Bronze Ensemble, is their special guest at the 5pm performances. Tickets are $40 and $36 with various discounts and can be purchased here.

Deck the Halls Parade


The Deck the Halls Parade is a sweet illuminated night parade in Westbury that started out as a block party organized 21 years ago by community go-getter Ember Mandell. She and her husband David and their 3 daughters have since grown it into one of the most anticipated holiday events in the neighborhood. Each year they choose a different theme; this year it’s “Texas” and they’ll be celebrating what's great about the Lone Star State. There are always plenty of art cars and you can join the fun this Saturday, December 14 starting at 5pm - the parade starts at 5505 Belrose Street (see route details here).

Luciole International Theatre Company


Tea Stories” is a collective creation by Trevor B. Cone, Melissa Flower, Joanna Hubbard, Sara Iqbal, Sabah Iqbal, Pin Lim, Rachel Ollagnon, Clara Ploux, and Dianne Webb that’s presented by Luciole International Theatre Company this Sunday, December 15 at 5pm. The performance explores the universal language of tea through diverse cultural traditions, social backgrounds, and fictional art works. From Chinese and Pakistan Chai tea ceremonies to British afternoon tea, from Lewis Carroll Alice's tea time in Wonderland to James Joyce and Marcel Proust, tea has so many uses and meanings. The show is at the MATCH and pay-what-you-can tickets can be purchased here.

Holiday Lights all over Houston


'Tis the season for lights! The very busy “Lights in the Heights” is this weekend, and other displays include Christmas Village at Bayou Bend through December 30; Festival of Lights at Moody Gardens through January 12; Galaxy Lights at Space Center Houston through January 5; Houston Zoo Lights through January 12; Magical Winter Lights at Gulf Greyhound Park through January 5; Sugar Land Holiday Lights at Constellation Field through January 5; Trail of Lights at Dewberry Farm through December 29; and Winter Light Festival at Lucky Land through December 29.

The Victory Cup


This Friday, December 13 and Saturday, December 14, come to The Victory Cup at the Brookshire Polo Club. It’s a National Polo Tournament that is one of the largest equestrian events in the United air balloons are a fun part of this festival too! Their website states “For those who are primarily attending to see balloons, please come prepared to enjoy the full festival schedule. Due to safety, guests must understand that weather may ground balloons.” Keep your fingers crossed! There are a variety of ticket choices, which you can see here.

Simpson Galleries


Houston’s premier auction house, Simpson Galleries, is accepting consignments for their February Fine Art & Antiques Auctionthe deadline is December 20. I recently used their services to consign some of my family’s items and was so pleased with their personal attention and vast knowledge and expertise. It was like “Antiques Road Show” in my living room! They’ve told me this auction is shaping up to be a great one with high quality art and antiques that will attract bidders from around the world. Include your pieces with items that will sell for over $100,000! For a free appraisal of your treasures, call Mark or Ray at 713.524.6751 or click here.

Body Mind and Soul


Come see me at the Body Mind and Soul store to ignite your life in a Life Path Session! I’m there most Mondays from 11am-5pm and would love to help you. My sessions are $100/hour and $50/thirty minutes and are worth *every* penny! I’ll help you discover your purpose or untangle anything along your life path. I have been doing these consultations for a decade and have not had one unhappy customer. I use my intuitive skills to read your heart and to help you uncover the answers within. Each client walks away with a powerful personal mantra that I write and more clarity about their life’s path. Call the store at 713.993.0550 to make an appointment for today or in the future. You’ll be so happy you invested in yourself as you move forward in a joyful and focused way.

Heights Ironworks Holiday Market

GISH PICKS: CURATED CULTURE FOR KIDS AND ADULTS is a free weekly email in which I cull through the HUNDREDS of events offered in our city each week and PICK just three for adults and three for kids to recommend. It’s #GishPicks #CuratedCulture to help you plan your weekend! I know many of you go to events based on GISH PICKS recommendations; PLEASE remember to tell the organization that you are there because of us. Word-of-mouth like yours helps our business to grow. In the same spirit, please also feel free to share GISH PICKS with friends and families.

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The purpose of GISH PICKS is to help Houstonians become aware of all the interesting and unique things they can do in Houston and the surrounding area. Exploring your city is a great way to #IgniteYourOwnLife and we are so happy to help you do that. Please do give me feedback and ideas, as you are out there in the trenches also looking for interesting things and I want to hear what you find.

If you are having trouble getting to a website listed here, try hitting the "Ctrl" button and left-clicking on the web address, which should make it "live".

For more about my personal, family, and business enrichment company, Gish Creative, and the services we offer, please click here. You are on this list because I thought this e-newsletter would be helpful to you or because you signed up for it. Please feel free to tell your friends to subscribe by clicking here. My goal is to serve as an information resource for Houston kids and adults through my various endeavors, including:

  • GISH PICKS: CURATED CULTURE FOR KIDS AND ADULTS, which is online and emailed out to thousands of Houstonians who love to explore our city;

  • THE SUMMER BOOK® ONLINE, a searchable database of over 200 Houston day camps and classes for kids and teens;

  • IGNITE YOUR LIFE!, my art project and community campaign whose goal is to inspire people around the world to light a fire to their own passions and to create connections among people;

  • INTUITIVE GUIDANCE SESSIONS, which are one-on-one consultations with me at Body Mind & Soul on Mondays. Sessions are one hour or thirty minutes and I can help you with personal and/or work questions;

  • Quarterly “WHAT’S YOUR PURPOSE?” workshops at Body Mind & Soul, check the store’s online calendar for dates and more information; and

  • OTHER SERVICES including SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS, INTERACTIVE WORKSHOPS, MARKETING, PRIVATE CONSULTATIONS, GUIDANCE SESSIONS FOR FINDING YOUR PURPOSE, and ART PROGRAMS. Talks and workshops cover topics such as summertime fun, passion-finding (for adults, children and families), marketing, historic preservation, art classes, activism, and more. All of these services can be tailored for any audience and budget.

Sarah Gish
Sarah Gish
(Photo: Two Birds Photography)

Sarah Gish
1940-A Fountainview, PMB 116
Houston, Texas 77057
phone: 713.492.1173

© 2019 Sarah Gish

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Holiday Market at Heights Ironworks (this Saturday, December 14)Life Path Sessions with Sarah at Body Mind & Soul (Mondays)Consign your treasures with Simpson Galleries (deadline December 20)Video: Learn more about GRAMMY-nominated Houston Chamber ChoirVictory Cup Polo Match and Balloon FestivalLuciole International Theatre Company's "Tea Stories"Houston Chamber Choir Christmas Concert Holiday Lights all around Houston Deck the Halls Holiday Parade + Art Cars Asia Society's Winter Wonderland Craft Day