Most Texans are too gracious to gloat, but we’re known to brag now and then. And those living on the upper Texas coast have much to brag about, especially in the winter, when we can still enjoy walks along beautiful beaches in relatively warm weather, boat, surf, fish, watch birds and enjoy all the other perks of living on the Gulf of Mexico.
With pandemic cancellations or retooling of favorite holiday events, this Christmas season will be different. But the cheer, joy and giving spirit of the season remains.
The beloved Victorian festival Dickens on The Strand, a longtime holiday tradition in Galveston, will go on as Dickens on The Squares, thoughtfully arranged with pandemic precautions in mind.
The festival is named for Charles Dickens. One quote from “A Christmas Carol” seems apt to recall: “It is a fair, even-handed, noble adjustment of things, that while there is infection in disease and sorrow, there is nothing in the world so irresistibly contagious as laughter and good-humour.”
Family and friends will gather this season as before. There will be laughter and good humor. We’ll enjoy shopping for gifts at the independent shops that give the upper Texas coast its character — something big box stores and online shopping can’t deliver.
We’ll still be able to send photos of beautiful beach scenes to our snow-bound loved ones in far-flung places — not gloating, just bragging. I, for one, can’t resist sending sand “snowman” images to friends and relatives who are less geographically fortunate.
We’ll still be able to find ways, as we always do, to get food and toys to those among us struggling to make ends meet. Coastal Texans are more generous in spirit than any people I know.
Although most people who read Coast Monthly already are grateful for all that seaside living has to offer, perhaps the pandemic has made us more keenly aware of what we have.
Charles Dickens was the master at finding hope and good in the most trying circumstances.
“There are dark shadows on the earth, but its lights are stronger in the contrast,” is a much-celebrated quote in “The Pickwick Papers,” his first novel.
As you can see in these pages, COVID-19 might alter Christmas, but it won’t cancel it.
Coast Monthly wishes everyone a very merry Christmas and happy Hanukkah and Kwanzaa.