Everything is bigger in Texas and holiday traditions are no different.
This season, you can do an ordinary Christmas like yourself, or you can do an extraordinary Christmas like a real Texan. Think of it as a rite of passage, but with less snow and more meat sweats.
If you’ve lived here for a while, let us know if we forgot anything. If you’ve recently moved to the Lake Travis area from far away lands that may or may not exist — like California or New York — you’re in for a treat.
It’s time to get festive in the Texas Hill Country. Let’s do some Christmastime road tripping, y’all!
8. Brush up on your German
Sprechen sie Deutsch? Nein? Das ist nicht gut. That’s right, newcomers. If you wanna celebrate Christmas in the Texas Hill Country like a real Texan, get reacquainted with your history lessons.
Why? Well, many of our neat little towns like Fredericksburg and Luckenbach were founded by German immigrants, and the authenticity shines through during the holiday season.
You’ll notice wooden Christmas pyramids featuring angels and a nativity scene (this German tradition pre-dates decorated Christmas trees) as well as more traditional Weihnachtskrippe (nativity scenes).
Plus, don’t be afraid to try a bite of Weihnachtsstollen or Christstollen, a traditional German fruit bread baked even better in Texas.
7. Ice Skating in Fredericksburg
And speaking of pyramids …
If you head out to Fredericksburg, you can stroll through their twinkling, light-filled Marktplatz with its hand-carved, 26-foot tall, wooden Christmas pyramid.
Then hit the Eisbahn for ice skating! That’s right; you can ice skate outside in Texas. Eisbahn has been a family tradition since 2008 and welcomes hundreds of skaters annually.
6. Light the Night Christmas Parade & Afterglow
And speaking of Fredericksburg …
On Friday night, you can see Christmastime in the Texas Hill Country in action at Light the Night Christmas Parade & Afterglow produced by the Fredericksburg Chamber Commerce on historic Main Street.
With more than 130 entries, this evening has it all with bands, floats, animals, Mr. & Mrs. Claus, live music, food, children’s activities and much more. Plus, it’s an excellent opportunity to support local non-profits by visiting the Holiday Sharing Vision.
5. Christmas Ball at Luckenbach Dance Hall
Nothing slows down during the holidays in Luckenbach, home of the world-famous general store. The town dates back to 1849 as a trading post, with a catchy slogan “Everybody’s Somebody” and a famous dance hall and bar.
There’s live music galore throughout the month of a December and a Christmas Ball on December 24th featuring Gary P. Nunn and Sarah Gayle Meech. Plus, they host a terrific New Year’s Party with Almost Patsy Cline Band.
4. Holiday Lights in Johnson City
It’s a 27-year-old tradition that’s worth the drive. Bundle up the kiddos and head to Pedernales Electric Cooperative (PEC) headquarters in Johnson City. It will be illuminated throughout the holiday season with more than 1.3 million lights. It’s indeed a sight to see.
PEC’s annual lights display is a free, family-friendly event with ample parking, and is located within walking distance to Johnson City’s main Lights Spectacular display.
3. Walkway of Lights in Marble Falls
Now it’s off to Marbles Falls to experience Walkway of Lights, one of the most significant holiday events in the Highland Lakes area every year. Two million lights on more than 130 sculptures illuminate Lakeside Park and transform it into a winter wonderland.
Santa is known to make an appearance at the Walkway of Lights, as Christmas gets closer, to find out who has been naughty or nice. Check the calendar for those particular dates.
2. Trail of Lights in Lakeway
A cherished tradition in Lakeway is the Trail of Lights featuring amusing tableaus, two big trees, and festive holiday tunes. It’s a bright, colorful, twinkly stroll in the heart of the Lake Travis area. And it’s free!
There’s handicapped and stroller access from the sidewalk near City Hall. The lights will be shining brightly through the end of December.
1. Um, meat sweats.
Don’t forget, if you wanna be a Texan, you have to indulge in all sorts of delicious, yet frightening meat combinations during the holidays like feasting on a turducken.
If that’s not quite artery-clogging enough, don’t worry, there’s more: Pigcowturduckenlingdouille. Quailducken. Turbaconducken. Turbaconepicentipede. Vegetarians can enjoy a Veggieducken. And for dessert, Cherpumple.
What’s your favorite holiday tradition in the Lake Travis area? Let us know on our Facebook page in the comments section.