Archive for the 'Christmas' Category

O, Texas Tannenbaum

Tuesday, December 25th, 2018
Christmas Tree inside Saur-Beckmann State Historic Site

Christmas Tree inside Saur-Beckmann State Historic Site

This is Passport to Texas

The custom of decorating trees for Christmas took root in German villages during the sixteenth century.

A lot of Germans, as you know, settled Texas. And they brought a tradition with them of the tabletop Christmas tree.

Cynthia Brandimarte is program director for Texas historic sites.

When you look at interior photographs of Texas houses, you see many tabletop Christmas trees ornamented for the season, particularly in German households in the late nineteenth century Texas.

Ornaments were handmade then, and small gifts often dangled from branches. Eventually, the tabletop conifer gave way to larger trees that became “floor models,” and the decorations sometimes mirrored the day’s events.

You saw more and more seven or eight feet trees that were placed on the floor. And because we had just ended the Spanish American war in victory, there was a fashion in the early part of the twentieth century to decorate trees with a few American flags here and there. We have photographic evidence for that.

If you celebrate Christmas, we wish you a joyous holiday. And if you do not, then it’s the perfect opportunity to spend time in nature, because Life’s Better Outside.

Wishing all of you a Merry Christmas and Healthy New Year.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.

Relaxing Old School During the Holidays

Monday, December 24th, 2018

Christmas at Sauer Beckman Farm.

This is Passport to Texas

We have something in common with early Texans.

Christmas and the month of December—in large part—was the time when Texans gathered.

Cynthia Brandimarte is program director for Texas historic sites. Unlike today when a short trip by car or plane will get us to our holiday destination, travel was difficult for early Texans.

And so when you traveled, you tended to stay. People had time at Christmas to do that—to travel and spend weeks.

Which makes the few days that most of us get off at Christmas seem like a rip off. And early Texans made good use of this block of time.

It was then that they celebrated not only Christmas, but other special events, and planned weddings for the month of December.

Since Texas was mostly rural in the 19th and early 20th Centuries, and there wasn’t a lot of farming that could happen in December…

It almost gave 19th Century and early 20th Century rural Texans an excuse not to work. And thus to play a bit more, and socialize a bit more, than they had time to do many other months of the year.

How will you spend your time off this holiday season? How about making time to enjoy the great outdoors?

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.

Christmas in Texas State Parks

Wednesday, December 5th, 2018

Christmas at Sauer Beckman Farm.

This is Passport to Texas

The holiday season is a special time to visit your state parks. Parks throughout Texas offer festive activities that could cause even old Scrooge, himself, to crack a smile.

Check out the calendar section of the Texas Parks and Wildlife website for a complete listing of holiday events in parks. Until you do, here are a few of our favorites for your consideration.

December seventh, join rangers and visitors at Tyler State Park for a stroll around the lake as the sun goes down… and enjoy the sights, sounds, and smells of winter.

December eight, Fort Richardson SP & HS—a half hour south of Jacksboro—invites visitors to observe ‘ghosts’ of cavalry soldiers and their families as they celebrate Christmas in an 1870’s U.S military post.

On the 12th through the 15th of December, Daingerfield SP in Daingerfield invites visitors to drive through the park, which will be lit up like Santa Land and meet Santa himself on Friday and Saturday!

And, on December sixteenth, head over to Johnson City for the 49th Annual tree lighting at LBJ State Park and Historic Site. Join the Texas Hill Country Community in this special tradition started 49 years ago by President and Mrs. Johnson.

Enjoy carolers, a live nativity, Santa Claus, refreshments and of course, the spectacular tree lighting. Then revisit the past at the Sauer-Beckmann Living History Farm

Find more holiday events at state parks in the calendar section of the Texas Parks and Wildlife website.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.

The Christmas Tree in Texas

Monday, December 18th, 2017
Christmas tree inside Sauer Beckmann SHS

Christmas tree inside Sauer Beckmann SHS

This is Passport to Texas

The custom of decorating trees for Christmas took root in German villages during the sixteenth century.

A lot of Germans, as you know, settled Texas. And they brought a tradition with them of the tabletop Christmas tree.

Cynthia Brandimarte is program director for Texas historic sites.

When you look at interior photographs of Texas houses, you see many tabletop Christmas trees ornamented for the season, particularly in German households in the late nineteenth century Texas.

Ornaments were handmade then, and small gifts often dangled from branches. Eventually, the tabletop conifer gave way to larger trees that became “floor models,” and the decorations sometimes mirrored the day’s events.

You saw more and more seven or eight feet trees that were placed on the floor. And because we had just ended the Spanish American war in victory, there was a fashion in the early part of the twentieth century to decorate trees with a few American flags here and there. We have photographic evidence for that.

If you celebrate Christmas, we wish you a joyous holiday season. And if you do not, then it’s the perfect time to immerse yourself in nature, because Life’s Better Outside.

That’s our show for today… Funding provided in part by Ram Trucks. Guts. Glory. Ram

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.

Still Time to Get State Park Ornaments

Monday, December 11th, 2017
Ornaments for the holidays or any days to celebrate Texas State Parks.

Ornaments for the holidays or any days to celebrate Texas State Parks.

This is Passport to Texas

State park users look forward to this time of year because new Texas State park ornaments are available.

For the last several years, we’ve featured three unique parks each year. This year we’re featuring Lake Arrowhead SP, Garner SP and Village Creek SP. Three very different parks from three very different regions.

Thomas Wilhelm, with state parks, says the American made laser engraved wooden ornaments include an iconic image associated with each featured site.

Each year we try to feature a historic site that has a Civilian Conservation Corps component…we [may also] feature either an animal or geography [on an ornament]. This year we’re featuring Lake Arrowhead because of the prairie dog town there. So, the image is a prairie dog. And we try to do an activity as well. So, this year Village Creek, we’re featuring paddling sports that happen there at Village Creek.

The CCC built dance terrace adorns the Garner SP ornament. Purchase ornaments individually or as a group. A limited number of ornaments from past years are also available.

Call our customer service center (512.389.8900) any time during the month of December, and they will walk you through the process, and make sure you get the ones that you’re looking for. It’s usually about a 10 day turnaround from order to receipt.

Find prices and additional information about all Texas State Parks ornaments on the Texas Parks and Wildlife website.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.