Archive for the 'Christmas' Category

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.

State Parks Offer Unique Holiday Fun

Monday, December 4th, 2017
Abilene State Park Christmas.

Abilene State Park Christmas.

This is Passport to Texas

Get to a state park or historic site this holiday season.

When we get to go outside and integrate holiday nostalgia and mix that with the outdoors and Christmas lights and food—it creates a really unique experience.

Thomas Wilhelm, with state parks, says forty-three sites have planned more than 60 holiday-themed events.

Our historic sites are doing a lot of period appropriate recreations of Christmas. We’ll have a lot of fun outdoors with decorated campsite events, Santa hikes, that sort of thing. We also have a lot of food themed events this year.

Such as a taffy pull and cookie walk. Experience other sweet events like A Very Marshy Christmas at Sea Rim State Park near Beaumont.

Santa and Mrs. Claus arrive by airboat, and hang out with the kids and take pictures. Lake Mineral Wells State Park, near Fort Worth, they are having their Cross-Timbers Cowboy Christmas. And they’ll have Christmas Cowboy Style. They’re having a cowboy poet come in, a cowboy singer. And they’ll gather ‘round the campfire. Palo Duro Canyon is having their Balloon Glow event in the canyon, which is a really unique experience. And they are collecting donations for the High Plains Food Bank, which is a great opportunity to participate in “the season of giving.”

Find all holiday events at

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

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

A Month of Holiday Fun Ahead at State Parks

Friday, December 1st, 2017
Enjoy a festive holiday season at Texas State Parks

Enjoy a festive holiday season at Texas State Parks

This is Passport to Texas

Texas State Parks have what you’re looking for this holiday season.

On December 2 join the festivities at Lake Casa Blanca International State Park in Laredo, for the Fourth Annual Christmas Boat Parade! There’s Music and games. Activities begin at 5:30 pm and the Boat Parade will begin at 7:30 pm.

Also on December 2, from 6 – 8 p.m. at Goliad SP & HS, Dr. James Lee directs the Beeville Community Chorus as they present a selection of sacred and secular Christmas music inside the old mission chapel.

On December 9th, celebrate an 1850’s Christmas at Washington-on-the-Brazos SHS. Explore the farm. Fall in with rowdy revelers. Meet up with St. Nick. There’s an evening service with a traveling minister and a barn dance, too. Reservations are encouraged.

December 15 from 6-8 p.m. enjoy a sparkly evening at Monument Hill & Kreische Brewery State Historic Site when you walk their1/4-mile trail of lights that overlooks the city of La Grange. Experience the 1850s era home of German immigrant H.L. Kreische bedecked in German-Texas Christmas splendor of the period.

In the Galveston area? On Christmas day join Ranger Lisa for 1.5 mile afternoon stroll along the beach. Look for birds, dolphins, sea shells, or the occasional $20 bill. It happens.

Find more events at

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti