Today starting at 5 p.m., Martindale will have its festive for the holidays face on, as the community prepares for its 16th Annual Downtown Tree Lighting. With funding provided by St. David's Foundation, I expect to enjoy the official lighting of the tree from 6 to 6:15 p.m., along with watching Santa arrive on one of my favorite Main Streets in Central Texas. Martindale has old-fashioned charm here that completely lines up with my early December frame of mind. For those heading to Martindale, expect food and other refreshments to be available. There will be a movie and crafts on hand at the Martindale Public Library, and Friends of the Martindale Library are sponsoring a raffle. Local vendors will have booths and tables set up where you can purchase homemade goods and perhaps a present or two. And if that is just not enough, with the weather cooperating, many of us will be out to listen to music and to share in some caroling. Have earplugs if you are standing close to me, because on any given day, I can manage a decent Jingle Bells and Rudolph, but from there on, I am not responsible for your hearing.
My heart bursts with excitement just thinking about this weekend's activity. The Taproom, on the Square, hosts Santa Paws annually, and as the name entails, it's a Christmas treat for your furry friends, but mostly for local dog parents. It will be held Saturday, Dec. 2 from 1 to 4 p.m. In typical holiday fashion, Santa Clause will be in attendance, and being the photogenic celebrity that he is, will be taking photos with your dogs for a small fee that will benefit the San Marcos Regional Animal Shelter. I’m curious to see how my dogs will do. I have two, and they are both completely different. Sookie is my Rottweiler. She’s big and loves to snuggle, but may attempt to chew up Santas furry Christmas hat, particularly the puffy white ball at the tip of it. Dante is my toy Australian Shepherd. He’s a big momma's boy and also a snuggler, but mostly just with his favorite people. I’m thinking his face may be full of terror in the photo, but I’d like to give it a shot anyway. And If you’re feeling a bit grinchy, I would highly recommend going to this link to see the Santa Paws photos from previous years: taproomsanmarcos.com/santa-paws ; They’re enough to grow the coldest of hearts three sizes.
SEE SIGHTS, SOUNDS
This weekend is the perfect time to get your holiday shopping on. Starting with Sights & Sounds, which opened last night, the festival offers a variety of local artists and vendors, each with different and unique gift ideas for everyone on your list. Visit Santa’s Gift Shop for the amazing comic book art of Edward Kraatz II (eeknation.com). Kraatz is a nationally-published comic book artist who sets up his booth every year at Sights & Sounds. Santa’s Gift Shop also boasts homemade candy vendors, handmade crafts and pottery by Zuni Plum, San Marcos Playing Cards (the ultimate gift for anyone who loves our little town), jewelry, soaps, leather goods and more. Sights & Sounds has 16 carnival rides this year, a plethora of food booths, a petting zoo, Bethlehem village, photos with Santa, music, biscuits, kettle corn, s’mores … I could go on and on because I have deep love for our hometown holiday festival. For information about parking, shuttles, tickets and wristbands, visit sights-n-sounds.org.
Other holiday markets include Seaon’s Creepings at The Davenport, starting at 11 a.m. and the Abracadaver Market at Wake the Dead, starting at 5 p.m.
The San Marcos Daily Record suggestions for things to do in and around San Marcos