texas tree copyright kerry dexter
I’ve always enjoyed the Texas Christmas Tree which stands at the top of Congress Avenue in Austin during the holiday season. It is welcomed to town with an evening of carols and general festivity with people strolling up and down Congress to take in the holiday shop windows. The tree itself sends out a look of welcome, too, especially when you see it at night — exuberant and festive, just as a Texas tree should be.

Texas holiday music to go along

Bruce Robison and Kelly Willis call Austin home. They are both top songwriters and singers, and at the holidays they often play a series of gigs including their favorite holiday songs. Hear a selection those on Happy Holidays, with tracks including Baby It’s Cold Outside and Christmas in Newport City.

Tish Hinojosa brings both Mexican and American sides of her Texas heritage to From Texas for a Christmas Night. There’s the gentle title song, which does evoke starry December nights across Texas, and Arbolito, a catalogue of the singer’s funny chats with her Christmas trees across the decades, the joyous song of hope Milagro, and a quiet reflection on the Holy Family’s journey in A la Nanita Nana.

For a different Mexican American look at the holiday season, top singers of Tejano — that rough mix of styles that flourish along the Texas Mexico border — offer their own takes on Noche de Paz, Frosty El Snowman, and a range of other songs on A Tejano Country Christmas

If mellow sounds at Christmas are your thing, native Texan Lee Ann Womack has you covered. On her album The Season for Romance she offers thoughtful versions on classic pop Christmas songs, along with a few you may not have heard before. My favorite of the bunch? Forever Christmas Eve.

With Christine Albert and Chris Gage, you feel as though you are sitting by the fireside listening to two very talented friends share songs of the season, funny, thoughtful, and gracious in music and in words. Their album, which includes River, Un Flambeau, and the reflective original title track, is called One More Christmas.