Christmas in Texas doesn’t always come with snowball fights, cozy fireplaces, and the other trappings of North Pole life. But it does come with beloved traditions that residents of the Lone Star State enjoy embracing year after year. At Leland’s Cabins, we’re all for breaking out the spiced eggnog and ugly sweaters, to go right alongside our traditions of quality craftsmanship and exemplary service. Here are a few other favorite only-in-Texas traditions:
Texas Salsas Under the Christmas Tree
As you head over the river and through the woods to Grandmother’s house, think about taking La Casita Abuela’s salsas along with you. Texas made and Texas proud, just like Leland’s custom cabins, La Casita’s salsas are handcrafted in Royse City but can ship anywhere through TexasFood.com. Providing a marketplace for Texas food lovers and Texas food manufacturers, TexasFood allows Texas-made products to reach customers all over the country and around the world. Check out hundreds of authentic Texas-made foods from beef jerky to sodas to toffee. All are delivered directly to your door. And you can shop with confidence that the products listed here are from Texas-based companies or manufactured, cooked, assembled, or otherwise produced in Texas.
Lighting the Christmas Pyramid
What’s Christmas without the lighting of the German Christmas Pyramid? We like the traditions found in the Texas Hill Country town of Fredericksburg, where the connections to the town’s German heritage run strong. Each year Fredericksburg hosts a variety of community Christmas events, including lighting up a gorgeous 30-foot Christmas tree at the Vereins Kirche at Marktplatz. St. Nicholas makes a visit, and you can join candlelight tours of the town, cookie decorating, wineries and breweries, bike trails, and plenty of holiday singing and live music. And if you’re feeling brave, check out the Eisbahn outdoor skating rink, open November to January, for a few holiday thrills (and maybe a few spills).
2 Million Pounds of Ice in Grapevine
We know everything’s bigger in Texas. But ice displays? Why not? It’s why the Christmas celebration in Grapevine is worth the trek. The city goes all out for the holidays, with more than 40 days and 1,400 events to choose from—as well as over 1 millions lights, oversized decorations, animated characters, and much more. But the thing you don’t want to miss is “ICE! at Gaylord Texan,” which features life-sized ice sculptures, slides made of ice, and illuminated ice monuments, all created from about 2 million pounds of ice. Another don’t-miss highlight is the North Pole Express train ride, which pulls into a station at the North Pole. Mrs. Claus greets riders upon their arrival and gives each child a silver Santa bell. If you believe in doing the holidays up big, the Christmas Capital of Texas is the place for you.
Christmas Tamales Make a Tasty Texas Tradition
Tamales mean togetherness. And togetherness is what the holidays are all about. Who knows where the Christmas tamale tradition started, but it makes perfect sense. Part of the Mexican celebration of Las Posadas, which marks Mary and Joseph’s search for shelter before the birth of Jesus, tamales are a perfect holiday food because they’re portable, easy to store, and cheap to make for large family feasts. The work required to produce tamales is labor-intensive, so often families invite cousins, aunts, uncles, and friends to join in the process. And it can take an entire day to prepare these tasty corn masa-and-meat bundles, which are individually wrapped in corn husks before being steamed. While we tip our hats to the tradition of tamale making, we also embrace the modern way to enjoy them: by ordering online from local places like Texas Lone Star Tamales.
Decorate with Texas Cowboy Boots
Decorating your house or Christmas tree the Texas way means more than buying up the biggest tree at the fir farm. You can give your Christmas celebration a Lone Star stamp by making a pair of cowboy boots part of your decorating tradition. Use a bright red ribbon to tie a boot to some holly, and hang it from your door as a welcoming decoration for Santa and his cowboy elves. Or brighten up your entryway with an arrangement of ornaments around a pair of your favorite boots. Or take a single boot and slip a vase inside it. Then use it as a base for holly and winter flowers. Your arrangement will say Christmas with a Texas twang.
Dreaming of a White Christmas? Snow’s BBQ
Who needs the white stuff falling from the sky when Texas has Snow’s BBQ? With pit boss Tootsie Tomanetz showing off her nearly 80 years of barbecue know-how, you’ll understand why Snow’s has been on Texas Monthly’s list for the top barbecue in the state year after year. Located about 60 miles northeast of Austin in the tiny town of Lexington, owner Kerry Bexley understands you might not be able to make it to the restaurant. So like Santa Claus, he’ll ship Snow’s straight to your house. And you can wake up on Christmas morning to the aroma of brisket instead of sugarplums. Now that’s a holiday tradition we can get behind.
Lights Like No Other in San Antonio
San Antonio does Christmas big. Think millions of lights, fantastic parades, and holiday cheer everywhere you look. Already a great destination for its culinary scene, historical missions, and theme parks, San Antonio makes a festive Christmas go-to tradition. Don’t miss the Light the Way event, the Ford Holiday River Parade & Lighting Festival, and the Ford Fiesta de las Luminarias. San Antonio celebrates a wide variety of traditions including tasty adventures like the Holiday Light Walking Tour, tamale-making workshops with La Gran Tamalada, and the traditional music with Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza.
Deck the Halls to Gorman Falls: Texas Parks
The holidays don’t have to mean buying more stuff and eating until you can’t move. Get out and enjoy the Texas countryside all across the Lone Star State and start a new tradition. The Christmas in the Parks program through the state Parks and Wildlife Department offers programs and adventures across the Lone Star State. And with time off during the holidays, it’s a great time to explore and burn off the calories from that pecan pie. You can hunt down geocaches at Eisenhower State Park’s “Holly Jolly Cache,” enjoy a “Jolly Night Hike” at Resaca de la Palma State Park or participate in an “Old Fashioned Holiday Taffy Pull” at Palmetto State Park.
No matter your Christmas traditions, all of us at Leland’s Cabins wish you the best.