5 El Paso Christmastime Traditions We Miss
Christmas in El Paso has pretty much remained the same over the last several decades.
El Pasoans still flock downtown for the city's annual tree lighting, the Wells Fargo building still lights up in a Christmas tree design, and residents of Eastridge continue decking their homes and yards for the enjoyment of the entire community.
Some El Paso Christmastime traditions slip through the cracks only to return a few years later. The Ascarate Lake light displays and Holiday Movies at the Plaza Theatre, for example, have been resurrected of late.
But as the city grows and time marches on, others fall by the wayside; casualties of change and "progress." And while I'm okay with change, there are some lost celebrations I think should be revived. Here are 5 Christmas Past traditions I would like to see make some sort of a comeback.
The Christmas Star on the Mountain
Prior to 1979 the star did only shine during the holiday season. On two occasions - during the Iran Hostage Crisis and the again when the Gulf War broke out - it was kept on nightly in shows of support.
It's been a daily part of the El Paso nighttime skyline since 1993, but to many the glimmering landmark should still be just a Christmas thing.
The Old San Jacinto Plaza Decorations
After years of renovations and millions of dollars, City Council didn’t want the same old decorations from years past and instead chose to go with a more modern, mostly all-white lighting scheme for 2016 and beyond. As pretty and classy as it looks, I miss the colorful “Griswold” Christmas display of the recent past.
UTEP Season of Lights
From 1992 to 2008, the university would light up the trees, buildings and bushes along the road that used to cut through the center of campus. About 200,000 white lights would bathe the campus in a cheerful holiday glow from sundown to sunrise through the beginning of January and it would look amazing.
The Alumni Association, which sponsored the Christmas-time tradition, pulled the plug on it in October of '08 citing limited resources.
Chelmont Center Christmas
Remember this tree? What about Santa making his debut via helicopter before taking up residence at Santa's House by Luby's? *sigh*
Downtown Street Decorations
Back in the day, all of downtown would get decked out for Christmas, not just the area in and around the plaza. And that included our downtown streets.