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Why I Love Houston: Christmas Traditions

Welcome to my Why I Love Houston Series, where I share my favorite Houston experiences and excursions. My goal is to make my hometown of Houston more accessible to the ever-changing mix of folks adopting our amazing city as their home base and reminding natives of the hidden gems throughout H-town.

Why I Love Houston…Christmas Traditions!
Our House Decked Out In Christmas Cheer!

As a native Houstonian, I’m still carrying on the Christmas traditions I enjoyed as a child with my husband and son. Here are a few of my favorite ways to celebrate the season in Houston along with some new holiday traditions I can’t wait to experience with my family!

The Zoo Lights are a must-see Houston event. Over two million lights decorate the zoo grounds, including the African forest exhibit along with a walk-in snow globe that’s guaranteed to be on everyone’s Facebook page!
Visiting family and friends are always impressed by a ride through River Oaks to view the lights adorning the mansions and grand grounds of Houston’s stateliest homes. 
My son, Jean-Luc, will be joining many other Houston children for his first trip to see The Nutcracker at the majestic Wortham Center. We recently attended a performance of the excellent musical version of The Little Prince so my son is on his way to becoming a theater regular! This year’s performance is bittersweet as the Houston Ballet will be debuting a new production of The Nutcracker next season featuring totally different sets and costumes but we look forward to seeing what the 2106 version brings to the stage. 
A new holiday ritual that’s very popular with Jean-Luc is our wooden Advent Calendar filled with chocolates in each drawer. Although Jean-Luc has already investigated the contents of each drawer, he only partakes in the assigned chocolate for the day. He must know Santa is watching! 
On Christmas Eve, we make the rounds visiting family and always come bearing kolaches for a holiday treat. Then it’s off to Midnight Mass at Our Lady of Walsingham Catholic Church where we arrive early so we can join in for the caroling before the service. 
Christmas Day feasting at our house includes Texas staples, chili and tamales, paired with Christmas cookies from Moeller’s Bakery and French Gourmet Bakery pastries. 
We hope to cap off 2015 with a visit to the live Penguin Encounter at Galveston’s Moody Gardens, which is also decked out in holiday lights. The penguins will be making appearances through January 3, 2016.
Wishing all of you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
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