Owners of Upper Kirby shop Christmas Rocks keep traditions alive

Dalia Browning Stokes and Bobby G. Bayless in their store
Dalia Browning Stokes and Bobby G. Bayless' store is run out of the first floor of their Upper Kirby law office. (Emma Whalen/Community Impact Newspaper)

Dalia Browning Stokes and Bobby G. Bayless' store is run out of the first floor of their Upper Kirby law office. (Emma Whalen/Community Impact Newspaper)

When Dalia Browning Stokes and Bobby G. Bayless decided to start a Christmas shop in the first floor of their business litigation law office, they assumed they would only stay open during the holiday season, Browning Stokes said. But to their surprise, it drew customers throughout the year.

“A lot of people who come to stay here for treatment at M.D. Anderson are looking for anything to celebrate or decorate with,” Browning Stokes said. “They will come here any time of year.”

Others come while visiting family or on vacation, especially as the number of other Christmas retailers in the area, such as Hallmark stores, began to dwindle. Browning Stokes and Bayless, who have been together for over 40 years, began the store without much knowledge of collectable Christmas decor.

“We came to find out there is no such thing as a little Christmas shop,” she said, laughing. “It kind of got out of hand. ... But it has somehow magically worked over the years.”

As their knowledge of traditions grew, they found more suppliers to fill store shelves, which are bursting with ornaments, snow globes, nativity scenes and other decor. There is a selection of pickle ornaments, part of a German tradition during which a family member hides the ornament on the tree and whoever finds it gets to open the first present. Alongside the pickles, other unique ornaments such as a “new driver” license plate or a 5K ribbon, celebrate accomplishments. ••“A lot of grandparents buy their grandchildren ornaments to celebrate something in their life that year,” she said. “So we have one for just about anything.”

Much like Houston’s residents, the products come from all over the world, such as Latin American beaded decorations, Polish blown glass ornaments and German pewter angels.

We keep learning about new cities that are known for their Christmas traditions,” Browning Stokes said.

Browning Stokes said her favorite part about running the store is being a part of new traditions, such as one started by a man and his daughters years ago.

“He came in with his daughters who were junior high age, and they had just lost their mother,” Browning Stokes said. “They decided to buy an angel to commemorate her, and they’ve been coming back every year for 15 years. ... I hear so many great stories like that, and I just love them.”

Christmas Rocks

2931 Ferndale St., Houston



Hours: Mon.-Fri. 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Sat.-Sun. 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
By Emma Whalen
Emma is Community Impact Newspaper's Houston City Hall reporter. Previously, she covered public health, education and features for several Austin-area publications. A Boston native, she is a former student athlete and alumna of The University of Texas at Austin.


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