Tuesday, December 20

Finding Christmas

Burke and I have discovered that it does not feel very much like Christmas time when it is 70 degrees outside.  We grew up with snow in the Mountains, Lights on Temple Square and Stephens hot cocoa.  In New England Christmas came with icicle trimmed colonial houses with fresh evergreen wreaths on their doors and candles lit in every window.  We miss the days when sledding, snowmen building and ice fishing left you with numb fingers and noses but warm hearts.   However we are determined that no matter the weather that special Christmas feeling can be found anywhere. . . so we set out to find it. 

We started at home.  We decorated and lit our house then drank copious amounts of Hot Chocolate even though we didn’t need to.  Burke came home every night and lit a fire just so we could hear the crackle and enjoy the scent of burning oak.  We kept the candles lit and the Christmas music playing.  The girls enjoyed curling up on the couch and reading Christmas books to one another.  I found the energy to bake enough treats to fill the house with those yummy Christmas smells and host my 5th annual Christmas singing party.


We made an effort to attend every Christmas function we could find.  We went to the tree lighting ceremony at the Air Force base and cut down our own Charlie Brown tree at the Christmas tree farm.  The girls had a pancake breakfast with Santa, the Grinch, and Frosty the Snowman were they danced the limbo and colored Christmas pictures to send to the soldiers. We rode a real Christmas train at the  Texas Transportation Museum and drove through the neighborhoods famous for their Christmas light displays.  We even did some Christmas shopping at the mall where we braved the line to see Santa.


To top it all of we planned a day trip to the small towns of Fredericksburg and Johnson City were Christmas is celebrated the old fashioned way.  We invited a family newly arrived to Texas to come with us so they could feel the Christmas Spirit too. 

 The Auslander Biergarten & Restaurant  - Fredericksburg Texas Dining

Fredericksburg is an old German town an hour from San Antonio that has become a local tourist trap.  It is full of the charm and character that we loved in New England.  We embraced the local culture by eating dinner at the Auslander, a traditional German restaurant.  We ate fried mushrooms, corn dogs, amazing German fries, Opa’s sausage, potato pancakes, and Rouledan- a traditional German dish where onion, pickles and bacon are wrapped up in thin slices of roast beef and covered in gravy.  It was so yummy.  We strolled along the brightly lit streets to the town square where the girls were delighted to find a beautifully lit Christmas Tree, a Giant German Christmas Pyramid, and a Christmas themed playground. 


Johnson City was a half hour down the road and is famous for it’s lighted Christmas tree display.  It is worth the drive to see the huge oak trees lit up in a spectacular fashion. The temperature dropped and we got to don our gloves and hats for the first time this year. The girls made “grass” angels, danced and sang Christmas carols under the lighted branches of the trees.  We sipped hot coca as we walked to City Hall which I was also covered with thousands of lights.




It may have taken a little more effort to bring that magical Christmas feeling into our lives this year but it was worth it.  We truly felt the joy and happiness that celebrating the birth of  Jesus Christ can bring.  I hope my girls made memories that they will treasure for the years to come. 


Photo of Auslander http://www.fredericksburgtexas-online.com/ftomenu-auslander.html

Photo of city hall http://www.davidsietsema.com/archives/txlights.html