PHOTO: A plexiglass elf stands on Bridge Street at one of the “elfie stations” posted downtown by the Convention & Visitors Bureau.
A year unlike any other deserves an extra dose of holiday cheer.
It’s important that we find ways to enjoy the holiday season safely while continuing to support one another. With that in mind, here are some surefire ways to get into the spirit of the season.
Come visit the H-E-B Lighted Christmas Tree: We’re so proud of the festive Christmas tree that’s lighting up DeLeon Plaza this year! Sponsored by H-E-B and other local businesses and organizations, the tree is 30 feet tall and decorated with twinkling lights and artful ornaments created by Victoria kids. Come to DeLeon Plaza in the evenings to see the tree and take a photo at the beautiful lighted arch on the plaza, and remember to stick around for the musical light show playing every half hour from 6 to 10:30 p.m. daily.
Build a gingerbread house: If your kids have enjoyed going to the Victoria Public Library’s gingerbread house workshop in years past, you’ll be glad to know the event is returning this year in a take-home format. You can stop by DeLeon Plaza on Dec. 12 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. to pick up your own kit along with hot cocoa mix and other goodies for a fun night at home. Click here to learn more about the workshop and other events the library is hosting this holiday season.
Shop for gifts at small businesses: Shopping small is a great way to support your community, and it’s especially needed after the strain the pandemic has put on our small businesses. When you buy from local businesses and vendors, your gifts to your friends and loved ones will truly keep on giving. And while you’re at it, pick up a stamp booklet for the “Yule Love Shopping Victoria!” giveaway, which gives you a chance to win prizes if you visit at least 10 participating businesses.
Give to those in need: Donating toys or other items can go a long way toward spreading holiday cheer to those who need it most. That’s why the City of Victoria this year is participating in the Marine Toys for Tots holiday toy drive, encouraging City employees to donate new toys to local families. If you’re able, please consider giving to those who are less fortunate.
Volunteer your time: In addition to toys and other material things, the gift of your time can be a valuable contribution—and local nonprofits who are experiencing a shortage of help during the pandemic will surely be grateful. If you’re feeling well, consider stepping up for a seasonal volunteer opportunity or even finding an organization to support throughout the year.
But first, let me take an “elfie”: We know you’ll want to share your holiday memories with social media followers and loved ones. To add a little charm to your photos, the Convention & Visitors Bureau has placed three plexiglass elves around downtown—two at DeLeon Plaza and one in the 200 block of South Main Street across from Texian Books—for you to take selfies with. Don’t forget to tag #explorevictoriatx and #victoriamainstreet when you share your “elfies” on social media.
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Sam Hankins is the communications specialist for the City of Victoria.