Christmas in Texas

978-0-89096-446-0 Cloth
7 x 10 x 0 in
224 pp. 18 color photos., 28 b&w photos.
Pub Date: 10/01/1990

1991 Publication Award, presented by the San Antonio Conservation Society
Why do people kiss under the mistletoe? Is Santa Claus actually Turkish? And just what is lutefisk anyway? The answers to those questions and more lie between the covers of this beautiful volume.

Christmas in Texas shows how Texans have celebrated Christmas over four centuries, during good times and bad. The Texas holiday season is steeped in the rich legacy of the different ethnic groups represented here. The music, the food, the decorations, the secular fun and frolic have been imported to Texas by land and by sea, often as the nostalgic efforts of homesick immigrants to recreate memories of past Christmases in their homelands.

Elizabeth Silverthorne paints pictures of the different ethnic groups that have settled in Texas, showing what they kept uniquely theirs as well as what they changed to adapt to their new home. Walnuts had to be replaced in holiday cooking by Texas pecans, and the traditional fir Christmas tree gave way to the abundant Hill Country cedar.

We follow Las Posadas along the Riverwalk in San Antonio, predict the future with Poles and Czechs, shoot the anvil on the frontier, and go first-footing with the Scots. Recipes throughout add ethnic flavors, from Wendish coffee cake to Yugoslavian Christmas bread, from well-known buttermilk pie to exotic zabaglione.

Families today will look to this beautiful volume annually as they enjoy holiday traditions passed down to them. Ideal for reading and giving, it also will appeal to those who want to reminisce about the old ways, and those who want to learn more about their heritage and the holidays.

Clayton Wheat Williams Texas Life Series

Published by Texas A&M University Press