As I sit here tangled up in the yearly mess of Christmas lights and boxes of ornaments, I am suddenly blessed with seeing the wonder of Christmas through the eyes of a child.

My 3-year-old grandson Jude wants to be tangled up in the mess as well. If you have ever spent any time with a 3-year-old, you know asking questions is their main mode of communication.

My favorite one this year was “Gigi, why do we have Christmas trees?” Well that question is not so easy to answer. It is widely believed that Christmas trees can be traced back to the pagan tradition of bringing evergreen branches home as a part of a winter solstice.

My answer for Jude was simple — “I think we put up a tree every year to remind us there is hope and love and joy, even if Christmastime is the only time of the year some people show it.”

This season offers many wonderful ways to share Christmas with the kids, or to make a great date night.

Holiday in the Park is celebrating its 20th anniversary and had a wonderful festival with the Grand Night Parade last night, and there is still fun to be had with a pet parade at 1 p.m. today. There is also going to be snow, a snow slide and free fun for all of the kids and food under the oaks in historic League Park on Main Street in League City.

Another free event is the Dickinson Festival of Lights at Paul Hopkins Park on weekends until Dec. 10. This walking tour of light displays, with a chance for pictures with Santa, is also celebrating its 20th year. The park is open 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

In the evenings after 5 p.m., you can see the wonderment of The Magical Winter Lights at Gulf Greyhound Park in La Marque. The beautiful light displays are divided into seven themed sections including Magical Wonderland, Santa’s Christmas Workshop, Mystical Forest, Dinosaur Land, Mystery of the East, Landmarks of the World and The Lone Star State. There will be performances from Chinese acrobats, there is a carnival, food and a shopping area.

On Saturday, you can watch the annual Boat Lane Parade on Clear Lake, during which the boats are lit up and decorated for the holidays. The boats start at South Shore Harbour Marina and the Nassau Bay lagoon out to Galveston Bay. You can watch along the shore or take your boat out and anchor it and see the parade up close and personal. This year marks the 56th for this free fun tradition.

Keep the magic of Christmas alive by giving back to the community or those in need and teach your little ones the true joy at Christmas is found by having a loving giving heart, But take a little time to keep the magic of fun alive and enjoy some of these and the many other activities available in Galveston County this season!

Ange Mertens’ column, The A List, covers society and charity events in North Galveston County.

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