Once, in a fit of wanderlust and perhaps lapsed judgment, my husband and I took newspaper jobs in Colorado. But as we crossed the state line with Texas in our rearview mirror, we realized we had made a mistake.
We moved to Colorado in the fall, a beautiful time in that state. In long-distance conversations, friends and family tried to ease our homesickness with consolatory conversations about how we would at least get to experience a white Christmas.
But that was cold comfort. True, the snow was beautiful that December in Colorado. The little town we lived in was charming and quaintly decorated for the season. But I couldn’t help but remember Texas Christmases.
I thought of tamales for Christmas Eve. I remembered how all the children in the Houston neighborhood where I grew up would wear new Dallas Cowboy shirts while we played football on Christmas Day. I missed the Decembers when my parents would drop off my sisters, brother and me at Dickens on The Strand while they snuck away for a date night at Gaido’s in Galveston. I missed a lot of things about the Texas coast, particularly the days I could drive to work without having to share the road with SUV-sized elk.
In 2004, the year before we left for Colorado, it snowed in Galveston on Christmas Day. People still talk about that day. I loved it, too. Sometimes, on the upper Texas coast, we grouse when it’s hot and muggy during the Christmas season. What I realized in Colorado is that what made Christmas is not the weather, but family, friends and our Texas traditions. We might not get another white Christmas in Galveston. But I wouldn’t trade my island Christmas for anything.