MTL Christmas - Page 62

Houston, Texas by Laurie Alice Eakes Christmas is one of my favorite times of year. Besides the purpose of the holy day in our Savior’s birth, I love all the pageantry of carol singing, coming in from the cold for hot chocolate and cookies, the scent of pine boughs and the jingle of bells on doors. I never felt the cold when surrounded by friends and family celebrating this special time of year. So when this Midwest girl found herself transplanted to Texas, I had no idea what Christmas would be like with palm trees instead of firs. Yes, my church celebrated with all the reverence I could hope for, but what about the other fun activities? Another activity takes place earlier in December on Galveston Island. December 4 and 5, 2015, is Dickens on The Strand. Galveston is an island off the coast of Texas connected to the mainland by a causeway. Its beaches make this a popular summer vacation destination. But in December, Galveston celebrates the sort of Christmas that Charles Dickens would have known to inspire A Christmas Carol. Some of the activities include “Dinner with Dickens,” a bell choir concert, bagpipes and Christmas carols, as many ways as one can imagine an island in the Gulf of Mexico can transform itself into a Victorian London Christmas. Much to my delight, I discovered two special traditions here in the Houston area. The Heights is a quiet, old neighborhood, with tree-lined streets and an esplanade. The Saturday before Christmas, thousands of people gather after dark to stroll along historic streets, where residents have gone all-out to put on a light show. Families, couples or singles view houses decorated with varying Christmas themes. Along the route, musicians play to entertain the crowds. And never fear, food you will find aplenty, from hot chocolate, though the temperature is likely to range somewhere around 60, to ice cream for those of us who want something frosty with our celebrations. 62 MTL Magazine / (Photo by Marti Corn) The first is Lights in the Heights. For more from Laurie Alice Eakes, check out The Mountain Midwife on