Christmas in Texas…or Everything is Bigger in Texas

I found out a few new things coming to Texas this winter. On the drive down we visited Larry and Donna in Kentucky. Uncle Larry says if you go to Florida for winter you are called a snowbird. If you go to Texas for the winter you are called a Winter Texan.

I’ve also been on a search for another name for Senior Citizen, but everything I heard sounded old, until I got the perfect word from Uncle Larry…Seasoned.

Yeah, I like that one.

You have heard the term—Everything is bigger in Texas and it seems to be true.

Things I have noticed are larger than life: Nativity scenes, large cinnamon rolls, large kolaches, large Texas stars, large American flags flying…large everything.

Biggest boots in Wimberley
Texas blue sky
The American Flag


Not the largest Nativity I have seen.


I was also pleased to see signs such as Keep Christ in Christmas, or Jesus is the Reason for the Season. Then there are the light displays…

New Braunfels Courthouse

This morning we walked to the Naegelin’s Bakery in New Braunfels. At 8:30 in the morning there was a line to the door for Christmas baked goods. Next year the bakery will be 150 years old, the oldest bakery in Texas. I saw twisted sweet pretzels, kolaches, Christmas cookies, and three types of strudel: apple, peach and cherry.
The owner told me at this time of year they mail out 300 boxes of strudel each day! Not only that but the boxes of strudel were over two feet long. Plenty of strudel for a large family to enjoy.

Less than a mile walk round trip from where we stay. That’s dangerous.
At 8:30 am the bakery shelves are starting to look empty.
Twisted sweet pretzels


Naegelin’s Bakery


I love the Honey Baked Ham vs. the Kelly baked ham commercials on TV where Kelly wrestles with the dog and chainsaw to bake and then cut her ham. Texan cleverness!

We saw a wedding reception a few days ago. The bride and groom were outdoors in a photo shoot. The groom was in an all black suit including black cowboy hat and boots. He looked sharp.

When we walk in Landa Park most everyone, including birds and squirrels, greets us. I love this slow life.

The best morning I had was coming out of the condo and two young men came by. Tall strapping men in jeans and baseball caps. As they approached I couldn’t miss the huge belt buckle worn by many Texans. Both tipped their hat to me and said, “Howdy Ma’am.” I love respect from the younger generation, I felt ten times lighter. Some might say, it’s just manners—exactly!

When we are in traffic I wonder what the percentage of trucks are to cars, and also the percentage of white and black cars/trucks compared to other colors. I know, these thoughts are strange, but I wonder about many things.

This year is a strange, weird or different Christmas for us. Here we are in Texas and all our children are back home in Upstate New York. It’s interesting when life can go by for the longest time in the same way, and then suddenly God changes it up. He’s an amazing God, and as I try to roll with these changes I’m reminded of the consistency of God.

He never changes.

He is always faithful.

He is up to good for you and me…

And at this time of year, He gave Christ to us as a babe, but already He knew the end story.

Christ would die for us, so we might live.

Possibly God was thinking way ahead…past the cross…the end…eternal life with us.


Have a blessed Christmas and wonderful new year.



Sunday Afternoon in Landa Park

We drove four days to Texas this year, stopping only to visit family. The last two days were bright blue skies, and warm. I had forgotten how intense the sun is here. It feels so good!

Since then we have had a day of rain, and cloudy days. You bet I’m waiting for sun to return.

We are staying less than a mile from Landa Park in New Braunfels. Though there is no sunshine today, it has warmed up from yesterday’s chilling rain.

On our last walk we found some friendly fox squirrels which seemed be looking for a handout. Sherm thought it was his duty to give up some of his unsalted peanuts to the little guys.

Fox squirrel
Eating out of his hand.

In the park is an enormous Texas live oak tree, which is called the Pioneer Tree. When traveling in covered wagons, the folks in the lead would bend the branches down to the ground to point the way of the trail. Now the branches are so heavy, they built supports to keep branches from breaking off.

Pioneer Tree–Texas live oak
The massive trunk.


Statue to the German pioneers who settled New Braunfels.

The Comal River runs through the park and we saw black vultures in the trees, Muscovy, the Egyptian Goose that makes a whistling noise, and double crested cormorants. All these birds live and feed in the same area, and don’t put up too much fuss when squirrels come around.

Comal River
Egyptian Goose

Black vultures.
Double breasted Cormorant

The park is peaceful, and well kept. In the summer a small train runs around the edge of the park. There’s a playground for ages 3-5. It has a rubberized surface for the toddlers to run and play on.

Making our way back around the loop, we found several white-tailed deer grazing by a large oak tree.

The park has a great sidewalk throughout making it easy to bring a stroller, or a wheelchair. Only a few people were at the park on this Texas winter day, but I could imagine on a summer day it could be quite crowded

If you are a dog lover, they are also welcomed.

Check out this lovely park if you are in the area.