Feliz Navidad, Ya’ll

South Texas and the Coastal Bend  has its own twist on Christmas which is a
mix of ethnic and regional traditions.

Here Santa Claus clad in cowboy boots and hat can be found greeting kids with longhorns or horses pulling his sleigh. Cowboy boots often replace stockings next to the hearth.
You may hear the ding of cowbells rather than the jingle of sleigh bells. Wreaths of barbed wire instead of holly adorn entryways.

“Texan Santa” . Photo courtesy of reasonstobelieve.com

Here in South Texas with our close proximity to Mexico, there are other traditions and takes during this time of year. Tummies and hearts are warmed by tamales and menudo. Poitsettias of every color and Christmas cactus add festive color to homes in South Texas. Luminarias (lit candles with rocks in paper bags) welcome people to the front doors of many homes here.

Christmas tamales. Photo courtesy of http://www.eatmedaily.com
Menudo a tripe and hominy soup is a variation of pozole , a meat and hominy soup in central Mexico. It is a South Texas tradition. Photo courtesy of http://drosengarten.com/
Luminarias at Loreto Chapel at Presidio La Bahia. Photo courtesy of http://www.prweb.com/

Finally, the Coastal Bend does Christmas in its own way. Palms wrapped in twinkling lights adorn many yards. Also, seashells, sea stars, and sand dollars adorn trees and wreaths in these parts. Boats are bedecked and bedazzled in bright bulbs, and they will be at La Posada boat parade next weekend. It is an annual event on Padre Island.

Lights adorn palms for an atypical tropical Christmas.
Lights adorn palms for an atypical tropical Christmas.
Illuminated boats parade on Padre Island for "La Posada".
Illuminated boats parade on Padre Island for “La Posada”.
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