Christmas in Texas is a little different than it is in the other forty-nine. For starters, it’s extremely common for it to be in the 80s on Christmas Day. With that being said, traditions must be altered and adapted to the Texas way of thinking, living and being.
No, we don’t ride our horses two hours to the closest Walmart to pick out a seven-foot plastic replica depicting the one essential decorative piece Christmas: the tree. Not only would that be ridiculous, we don’t like that fake stuff, anyway.
1. The Tree
In Texas, it’s all about choppin’ down your own tree out in the country, strapping it onto your roof, and praying that it doesn’t fly off on your one-hour drive home. This is not a process for the faint of heart or the impatient, either.
It takes a carefully-crafted eye to pick out the perfect tree amongst a forest of lesser trees than whichever one you pick out. It must be the right amount of fluffy on at least three sides — that one pesky side with dying pine needles can face the wall — and the perfect top branch for an angel, or whichever ornament you choose.
The reason cutting down your own real tree is so important and crucial to the holidays in Texas is because here, we love the great outdoors and any chance to bring them inside. While the rest of the world may be in a frozen tundra during this season, we’re enjoying fall-like temperatures perfect for tree-selecting. Oh, and the smell.
Waking up every morning and coming home each night to the smell of fresh Fraser Fir is soothing for the soul; something no Texan will miss out on.
2. The Lights
Sure, there are lights in every city across these United States, but they just don’t get as beautiful as the ones in Texas. Whether you’re checking out the Christmas extravaganza that is the Gaylord Texan in Irving, or are walking through night lights of downtown Fredericksburg, there’s something special about the experience when you’re in this great state.
Maybe it’s being under the big and bright Texas night sky, or the fact you’re surrounded by some of the greatest people in this country (Texans, of course); you have to get out and see the lights this time of year.
Don’t be shocked if you see armadillos wrapped in lights, or a replica of Big Tex in your neighbors front yard next to baby Jesus in the manger. With all of the unique findings city and neighborhood-wide, you’ll be amused for weeks. If you’ve seen one, that’s not enough. We here Texans strive to see them all.
3. The Denial
Did we mention that it’s usually like a warm spring day on Christmas here? Did we also mention that it doesn’t stop us from acting like it’s a snowy abyss outside? Not every part of this great state receives the gift of a white Christmas on Christmas day, or even Christmas Eve.
However, we make up our own ways to think it’s chilly and Christmas-like weather-wise outside. Things such as ice-skating on city rooftops and and snow machines at the mall make you forget the potential heat wave happening around you, and help ensure you’re in the Christmas spirit.
Also, decking your house out with poinsettias and tamales doesn’t hurt when trying to make the holidays a little more . . . apparent. Yes, poinsettias may be the unofficial flower of the season, but in Texas, they’re more important. How important? They get decorated by lights, for starters, and people also plant their own. What? You can do that? Of course, you can!
What’s a better way to forget about the denial you may or may not be in than by planting your own Christmas joy right in your front (or back)yard? Then there are the tamales. . . the homemade, hit you where it counts and then some, kind of tamales. The kind you fake warm up to while acting like it’s snowing in 80-degree weather whilst clenching onto your warm cup of tortilla soup or mug of coffee.
We may do things a little differently in these parts, but as long as you remember the reason for the season, there’s no wrong-doing in our eyes.