Each year the hectic pace of the holiday season takes me captive, rendering the days between Thanksgiving and New Year’s a breathless sprint devoid of their supposedly inherent jaoy. Every year I vow to change things the next go-round—to shop earlier, do less, enjoy more. So last December, my husband, Matt, children (Caleb, Madi, and Esther), and I took a drastic approach to carving serenity from the holiday chaos: We shoved the entirety of our to-do list to the side (even skipping Christmas-play rehearsal) and embarked on a weekend getaway to a purported winter wonderland, The Woodlands.
Families enjoy the big sleigh at Lubbock's Winter Wonderland at Vintage Township. (Texas Highways photo/Kevin Stillman)
Tomorrow it will officially be December (though I could have sworn it came a few days earlier judging from how much Christmas music I've heard already), and cities across the state are ready to spread the holiday cheer with a huge weekend of Christmas festivals and parades. Check out the list below for a small selection of eventsâ€”or you can find more using the event search tool.
I grew up in Oklahoma, where the season often brought snow (or, at least, sleet), throngs of off-key carolers at our doorstep, and aromatic pines that quickly dropped their needles into our shag carpeting. My younger brother and I fashioned tree-toppers and lopsided ornaments from cardboard and silver glitter, and on Christmas morning, we awakened to bleary-eyed folks sporting mussed hair and mischievous grins as they pointed out the Santa-size footprints in the fireplace.