The Lone Star State is big on many kinds of traditions. Roots run deep for everything from ranching to sports, and Christmas is no exception for folks looking to embrace a touch of Texas. While some of these special touches are not exclusive to our lands, the combination certainly leaves no doubt as to where you are when you are home for the holidays.
For instance, everyone knows there isn’t much snow, so Texans know how to get creative with what is readily (and abundantly) available. Our friend on the left page may not be frosty, but he’s still a jolly, happy soul, and he won’t melt.
Even though many people still consider this kind of a holiday joke, fruitcake is a very practical food when you are out on the frontier. Cooks used to spend days drying out fruit to the perfect consistency for hardworking cowboys to enjoy after a hard day’s work. It seems Texans’ taste for it has never waned.
DOING IT “BIGGER”
Despite what your HOA might have to say about it, Texans tend to put up the biggest yard decorations and hold the greatest hometown parades. And, while some may disagree with the power usage, no state lights houses—and whole cities—the way we do. San Antonio, Galveston, Austin, Houston, Fredericksburg, Marshall, and, of course, Georgetown, to name just a few, are among more than two dozen Texas cities that show off millions of points of light for residents and visitors.
AT YOUR DOOR
Once again, Texans are happy to use what is handy, so barbed wire and tumbleweed are common, in lieu of the evergreen boughs and pine cones. Plus, barbed wire is already hooped, and there are a lot more places to hang ribbons and ornaments.
Certainly, elegant paper lanterns are seen around the country, but luminarias are another custom from Mexico that Texans have been happy to share over the years. Seeing them glowing in the night is a rather magical way to capture the spirit of the season—a charm that makes electric lights seem tacky. While legends vary across various regions, one thing they all have in common is that, whether showing the way for the Christ child and the Holy Family, or the Wise Men on their journey, luminarias light the way.
SHOWING LOVE TO CEDARS
Before they make us miserable with pollen blasts, some cedar trees outside Austin and near Cedar Park get some “guerrilla” love from local decorators as Christmas trees in the wild. There are no requirements to do so, other than avoiding trespassing on private land, and making sure to clean up your decor before it becomes litter.
If you’ve never seen a pickup truck parade, you might be from the city. Communities all over Texas are known to decorate vintage and pickup trucks, and classic cars with lights, wreaths, bows, and other Texas decor, then drive through squares or down Main streets. Lubbock has a well-known traditional parade with floats, followed by Christmas cars and trucks; and in Bellville, fees paid by the Pickup participants help pay the city’s electric bill for the season.
Merry Christmas, y’all.