Christmas Lights in Houston

Looking for some amazing holiday light displays in the Houston area?  Well, you can drive around your neighborhood and check out what others have done, or you can hit some of the large displays.  There are even some limo tours you can book if you want to see the lights in style.  Here are some of the subdivisions and neighborhoods that have huge annual light displays:

•    Prestonwood Forest
•    Woodland Heights (their Lights in the Heights event takes place on December 8, but the light displays will be up until Christmas, at least)
•    Timber Lakes
•    Graystone Hills
•    Firethorne
•    Pin Oak Village
•    Fairwood Subdivision

A number of the homes in these areas may have entered the annual Houston Area Christmas Light Display Contest.  In order to win, you’ve got to go big, so be on the lookout for some giant displays!

There are a number of other displays, of course.  Check out the Winter Wonderland in The Woodlands.  Produced by the Woodlands Convention & Visitors Bureau and presented by Donoho’s Jewellers, this event features a huge light display.  You’ll find a giant Christmas tree, lighted toy soldiers, angels, snowmen, and much more.  If you donate non-perishable food items at Donoho’s, you’ll get a $2 off coupon to the nearby Ice Rink.

Another great walk-through event is the Dickinson Festival of Lights at Paul Hopkins Park.  Admission, parking, and shuttle service are all free, which is great for your holiday budget.  There are thousands of lights on display here, plus there are a few activities, too.  For a small fee, you can decorate cookies, eat some great food, or get a picture with Santa (which is free if you use your own camera).

Moody Gardens is hosting their Festival of Lights once again.  There are more than a million lights used in these amazing displays.  There’s also live entertainment, an outdoor skating rink, and a ice slide.  Admission is $6.95 for the Festival of Lights trail, and fees vary for the other activities.

These are just some of the amazing light displays in the Houston area.  Do you decorate your home?  If not, maybe you should start this year!

Don’t forget to decorate indoors as well. We’ve got some great Christmas flowers in Houston, TX, that will help bring the holiday atmosphere into your home.

Food for the Holidays

The holiday season brings a lot of different things: decorations, gifts, holiday music, and, of course, a lot of great food!  Sometimes it seems like we start eating at Thanksgiving and don’t stop until after New Year’s Day.  That holiday weight gain can be a killer, but there’s just so much great food to enjoy.

So what will you be dining on for Christmas?  While many stories talk about eating Christmas goose, that’s not a tradition many people keep these day, mainly because you can’t just walk into a grocery store and pick up a goose.  However, chicken or turkey can take the goose’s place, as can ham.  Some people forgo the big dinner and simply have finger foods and snacks.

If you’re visiting someone else’s home for the holiday dinner, you may be asked to bring a side dish.  Just about anything is appropriate, from potatoes to baked beans to vegetables.  Just make certain no one else is already bringing the side you’re thinking of making.

Snacks are a vital part of Christmas, especially since people usually visit for quite some time and may want a little something to munch on.  Have a variety of things.  Pies, cookies, fudge, and gingerbread are often made, but you want some healthy alternatives, too.  Vegetables, a cheese ball, and some crackers work very well.  You might also want chips and dip for those who like salty snacks.

How many of these great foods are you going to prepare for Christmas dinner?  Do you have traditional foods you make every year, or do you try something new?



Christmas Flowers Houston TX

Take the Stress Out of Christmas

It’s not supposed to be, but sometimes Christmas can be a stressful time of year.  With all the gifts to buy, events to attend, and food to cook, it’s easy to lose track of the real reason we do all of these things: to be with our friends and family.  If you’re getting stressed this holiday season, here are a few little things you can do to relax and enjoy life.

Shopping for gifts seems to be one of the most stressful aspects of Christmas.  What do you get people?  Where can you find it?  Oh no, what if they already have it or someone else is getting it for them?!  Take a deep breath—Christmas gift buying doesn’t have to be crazy.  In fact, there are some ways you and your family can make it less stressful.  First, agree on a budget.  If you’re buying for friends, maybe you can all agree on spending only $20.  Going with a theme gift exchange can also be helpful.  For example, everyone brings their favorite movie and plays Dirty Santa or draws numbers for gifts.

Some large families decide to draw names.  That way, each person only has to buy one gift.  In other families, the adults draw names but everyone buys a small gift for each of the kids.  Another way of saving on the stress (and to cut back on the spending) is to exchange homemade gifts.  You can bake cookies, knit a scarf, or even write a song or poem.

If you are headed out to the store to buy gifts, shop as early as you can.  The closer it gets to Christmas, the worse the malls and stores will be.  You’ll also find that some places are sold out of popular items.  If you shop online, you need to make certain to get your orders in ASAP.  Otherwise, you may have to pay a lot for expedited shipping.

It’s also a good idea to plan out your shopping expeditions.  Know what you need to buy and where to get it.  Also try to go at off-peak hours, if possible.  Evenings and weekends usually mean big crowds, so if you can, go early in the morning or hit 24-hour stores late at night.  Your feet will thank you when you don’t have to stand in the check-out line for what seems like hours!

Shopping doesn’t have to be stressful.  Remember, the goal of gift-giving is to show your friends and family how much you love them, not to stress out over what to get.

Deck the Halls and Everything Else

It’s time to deck the halls with boughs of holly!  Have you started setting up your Christmas decorations yet?  If not, now’s the time.  Here are a few things you might want to think about before you start decorating:

•    Do you want a live tree?  If so, start shopping for one soon before all the good ones are taken.
•    Are you buying new ornaments?  Some, like yearly ornaments, have been available for a few months now.  Some of the most popular ones may already been sold out.
•    Are you going with a theme this year?  If so, do you know what it is?
•    Where are you putting your Christmas tree?  This often determines the overall way your decorations go.
•    Are you putting up an outdoor display?  If so, that will take a lot more time.  You may also need help if you’re getting up on the roof.
•    Are you going to make ornaments?  Making ornaments can be a great family event, especially if you have children.  Gather the supplies now and start working on them.
•    Are you hosting any holiday events?  If so, this sets a deadline for your decorating to be finished.

Once you’re ready to start decorating, do so with a plan.  Don’t just pick a box of decorations and start throwing them here and there.  Put up the tree, then do the lights.  Finally add ornaments.  If you have items that always go in the same place, like a nativity scene for your mantle, go ahead and put them out, too.  Then start filling in with your other items.  In the end, you’ll have a cohesive theme and a beautifully decorated home!



Holiday Flowers Houston TX

Gearing Up For The Holidays

It’s almost December!  You know what that means—time for the holidays!  Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, New Year’s…it’s a busy time for everyone.  There are gifts to buy, family dinners to prepare, and out-of-town relatives and friends to visit with.  So have you started gearing up for the holidays?  Here are a few things to have on your to-do list.

Make your shopping lists.  Who do you need to buy gifts for?  What’s your budget?  What are you going to buy?

Make sure you have current addresses for everyone you’re going to send a holiday card to.

Start talking with your friends and family to set dates for your holiday get-togethers.  People usually have a number of gatherings to attend during the holiday season, so it’s best to set dates as soon as possible because the calendar will be filling up quickly.

If you’re hosting a family dinner, get your guest list in order and begin thinking about a menu.  If your guests are going to bring a dish, it’s best to get it all sorted out sooner rather than later so everyone knows what to bring.

If, on the other hand, you’re travelling out of town to visit family over the holidays, get your travel plans in order.  Airlines and hotels fill up very quickly this time of year, so the sooner you make your reservations, the better.  It’s also very helpful to get in your time off requests because many of your co-workers may also be want time off.

One last part of gearing up for the holidays—decorating!  According to some of the stores, it’s never too early to decorate for the holidays.  Some places had decorations up a few months ago!  So pull out your Christmas tree, get out your menorahs, and deck the halls!