As Houstonians, we have grown accustomed to balmy days throughout the "winter" and derive a vague satisfaction from wearing shorts and sandals on the first of December.
But then again, it's tough to embrace the pervasive scent of pine, the spiked eggnog and the incessant Christmas carols with recent mercury readings registering temperatures upwards of 80°F — frankly, that's too damned hot for holiday spirit.
This year, no parking zones will be more strictly imposed and no vendors of any kind will be allowed.
If you're not one to crank up the A/C and light a fire in the hearth (my mother's favorite Yuletide coping mechanism), there is another way to trick your mind into winter mode when it's unseasonably warm: The 25th annual Lights in the Heights festival.
On Saturday from 6 to 9 p.m., residents along Bayland Avenue and Highland Street between Studewood and Florence will light up homes and yards with their best attempts at holiday decor for an annual contest, one that includes categories like "Most Traditional," Most Wattage" and "Most Religious."
Revelers are welcome to walk the streets, enjoy the entertainment blaring from street corners and front porches and join in on come-as-you-are parties. But don't get too carried away: While it may seem like a milestone year would bring with it a grandiose celebration, what's happening is just the opposite.
"It's gotten popular, and now we're trying to . . . make it smaller," co-chair Glen Sementelli tells CultureMap. He says that the event, which began as an intimate neighborhood celebration, has been perceived in recent years as a "free-for-all party, with emphasis on the free."
This year, no parking zones will be more strictly imposed and no vendors of any kind will be allowed. Although laws regarding public intoxication and underage drinking will be enforced, it has historically been a de facto rule that the streets will be crowded with rolling coolers and other innovative drinking mechanisms, like kegs-on-a-wagon.