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You haven’t lived in Austin 'til you’ve celebrated Christmas here

Staff Writer
Austin 360
A Frosty the Snowman balloon floats over Congress Avenue during the 25th Annual Chuy’s Children Giving to Children Parade in 2013.

You haven’t lived in Austin ’til you’ve …

Celebrated the holidays weird-style

I know, it’s not even Thanksgiving yet. But “A Christmas Affair” kicks off Wednesday at the Palmer Events Center, the Domain lights its Christmas tree this weekend and Chuy’s annual Giving to Children Christmas Parade is less than two weeks away.

So, ho ho ho, yo!

A Christmas Affair, Thursday-Sunday

The traditional kick-off to our Christmas season is this annual shopping event organized by the Junior League of Austin. Local and national vendors offer clothing, toys, artwork and more within the deck-the-halls-decked halls of the Palmer Events Center. Entrance costs $15 and kids younger than 5 are free.

Domain Christmas Tree Lighting, Saturday

The north Austin shopping mecca ushers in the holiday season by lighting its 40-foot tree, but the fun stuff is what happens around it. Pre-lighting entertainment begins at 6 p.m. before the switch is thrown, bathing spectators in Griswold-style electric splendor, and activities including face painting, balloon twisting, crafts, holiday music and special shopping incentives begin at noon.

Chuy’s Giving to Children Parade, Nov. 29

’Tis the season for giving, right? Each year during this parade — which runs south on Congress Avenue between the State Capitol and Cesar Chavez Street — bands, kids’ characters, giant balloons, acrobats (and last year I saw some Star Wars storm troopers!) march, fly and tumble for your holiday delight. Show up at 11 a.m. and bring a toy, because Santa’s helpers will be there, too, collecting them for Operation Blue Santa, which distributes them to needy children.

— Dale Roe

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