Dec. 20, 2010 at 6:20 a.m.
Do-it-yourself Hot CocoaIngredients
2 cups nonfat dry milk powder
Measure all of the ingredients into a mixing bowl and whisk them until they are evenly blended. Store the mix in a tightly covered container at room temperature until you're ready to package it. Makes about 4 cups of mix.
From holiday plays, decorating and caroling, the holidays are something almost everyone looks forward to. Here are some ideas for your family to make the yuletide brighter.
Performances such as "The Nutcracker," Christmas plays and the nativity story are a favorite among many families. The following productions bring good tidings to even the Scroog-iest of Scrooges.
Nov. 18-20 - Theatre Victoria's "Christmas Belles." For show times and ticket information call 361-576-6277 or visit www.theatrevictoria.org.
Dec. 2 - Austin's Conspirare brings its "Christmas at the Carillon" concert to the First United Methodist Church, 7:30 p.m. Tickets will be provided through the Victoria Bach Festival, 361- 570-5788.
Dec. 9-12 - Victoria Ballet Theatre will present the quintessential Christmas play, "The Nutcracker," at the Leo J. Welder Center for the Performing Arts. See the GC Calendar for show times and pricing information.
Dec. 6-12 - More than 400 church members will participate in Northside Baptist Church's "The Victoria Christmas Pageant." Depicting the birth, life, death and resurrection of Jesus, the pageant will feature elaborate costumes, detailed stages, special effects and live animals.
Nov. 19-21 - Port Lavaca Main Street Theatre presents "A Good Old Fashioned, Country Redneck Christmas." For show times and ticket information, call the theater at 361-552-4082.
Dec. 12 -The Corpus Christi Symphony presents "Holiday Symphony by the Sea" at the Martha Luigi Auditorium from 7 to 9 p.m.
While not as common as it once was a few decades ago, this centuries-old tradition is synonymous with Christmas. Whether they are bringing cheer to shopping malls, visiting nursing homes or filling the state capitol with song, carolers amplify the spirit of the holidays.
If you'd rather go with a group, some caroling events have been pre-arranged in Rockport. For more information call the Rockport-Fulton Chamber of Commerce.
Dec. 9 - Caroling at Fulton Pier, 5:30 p.m.
Dec. 11 - Caroling at the (Fulton) Mansion, 6 p.m.
Festivals and events
From Christmas parades to light displays, nothing denotes wintertime like the area's festivals and events. Let these listings help you get into the spirit this year.
Cuero's Christmas in the Park - Beginning the Monday before Thanksgiving through New Year's Day, this lighting extravaganza is free and open to the public from 6 to 10 p.m. nightly. Drive through the Cuero Municipal Park to see the city's 17-piece Nativity scene, a 12-car train and Santa flying over with his reindeer, along with about 100 other displays. From Dec. 13-24 the drive-thru tour will also have a live Nativity on display featuring volunteers from area churches.
Gonzales Winterfest Lighted Christmas Parade - From 6 to 9 p.m. Dec. 3, the parade of floats, cars and bicycles will lead spectators downtown for the lighting of the Christmas tree.
Christmas in Goliad - Presented by the Goliad County Historical Commissions, the Dec. 3-4 event will feature craft booths, a visit from Santa, musical and dance performances, a Christmas concert and more.
Victoria's Annual Holiday Lighted Parade - Starting at 6 p.m. Dec. 4 on Raab Avenue, the parade will following along East North Street onto North Ben Wilson Street, ending at the Victoria Skate Park entrance.
Victoria's Christmas in the Park - For more than a decade, residents of Victoria have gathered for hot cocoa, caroling, Santa sightings, pony rides and more holiday activities. It will be from 6 to 9 p.m. Dec. 11 at the Children's Park inside Riverside Park.
For a detailed listing of events, see the GC Calendar.
Some keep Christmas ornaments, decor and holiday recipes in their families for generations. This year, you can mix in a few new traditions with the old.
Gift of giving
Between buying and receiving gifts, cooking, traveling and fighting the holiday traffic, many lose sight of the meaning behind Christmas and Thanksgiving. This year, adopt a family or child for the holidays or donate a Christmas tree to an orphanage.
Arts and Crafts
We seldom have time to sit down as a family throughout the year and create something out of nothing. Instead of buying all new ornaments for the tree this year, schedule a day for everyone to make their own, making sure to sign your name and date it, giving you memories for years to come.
Keeping a record
By making a traditions scrapbook, you can document your holiday practices. Note the year, the family's activities and where you live. To top it off, take photos of the tree, family and more for the book. From year to year, you can watch your list grow, while leaving your grandkids and beyond a record of your traditions.