christmas

Happy Holidays
9:42 am
Tue December 24, 2013

Yes, Virginia, NORAD's 'Santa Tracker' Is On

The view Friday morning on NORAD's "Santa Tracker."
North American Aerospace Defense Command

Originally published on Tue December 24, 2013 8:48 am

Some critics — perhaps others would say Grinches? — don't like the North American Aerospace Defense Command's annual online "Santa Tracker."

At WBUR, author Ethan Gilsdorf writes that "real-time digital imagery of Santa and his route, or calculations of the loot he's delivered, take the imagination out of Christmas."

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Austin
6:30 am
Fri December 20, 2013

Austin Crowds Welcome Trail of Lights' Return (PHOTOS)

Austin's Trail of Lights celebrates its 49th edition this year. The holiday trail is free and open to the public until next Sunday, Dec. 22.
Filipa Rodrigues for KUT News

With the Yuletide season in full swing, Austin turns into a wonderland of lights.

This holiday season, KUT made the trek to the Trail of Lights to ask Austinites what makes the recently-revived light show a family tradition. 

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Season for Giving
7:50 am
Wed December 18, 2013

How the Salvation Army Brings Santa's Workshop to South Austin

"Elves" from all over the country volunteer for the Salvation Army in the weeks leading up to Christmas.
Credit Jan Gunter

Christmas is fast approaching and Santa’s elves are hard at work – not just at the North Pole, but here in  Austin.

For more than a century, the Salvation Army has been helping with Santa's mission. Back in the 1800s, the Salvation Army’s Christmas mission consisted of delivering food baskets to people who would otherwise go hungry.

But by the 1970s, Austin Salvation Army Major Shannon Winters recalls, the group’s focus turned to toys for children in need. Its humble mission grew into a project that, in Winters’ words, now covers “six thousand children in Austin that are depending on us.”

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Holiday Giving
11:11 am
Fri November 29, 2013

'Santa to a Senior' Brings Holiday Cheer to Austin's Elderly

The program encourages Austinites to spread a little holiday cheer to an older person in need.
flickr.com/davekellam

The holidays can be a difficult time of year for older people. Many live alone and are on fixed incomes.

The local Home Instead Senior Care offices are encouraging Central Texans to “Be a Santa to a Senior” by purchasing gifts for area seniors in need.

The group has identified more than 1,000 older people in the Austin area who could use a little holiday cheer. Many have lost a spouse or don’t have immediate family in the area.

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Austin
1:30 pm
Wed November 28, 2012

Video: This 25,000-Bulb Christmas Light Show Brings 'Gangnam Style' to Cedar Park

The Storms house, lit up in the midst of "Gangnam Style."
youtube.com/user/listentoourlights

As of this writing, Korean pop smash “Gangnam Style” has over 840 million views on YouTube. Back in Austin, Christmas fanatic John Storms isn’t doing “Gangnam” numbers, but a video of his holiday light display synced to the song has racked up over 1.2 million views.

There’s good reason, as it’s not just any light show: Storms spends hours each holiday season syncing seasonal favorites and pop hits alike to a 25,000-bulb light display adorning his house in Cedar Park.

“We pick songs that we like,” Storms tells KUT News. Regarding “Gangnam Style,” he says “my kids came home singing this song that they did in P.E. to exercise to. We listened to it, and were like, ‘Wow, this is a lot of fun.’”

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Austin
12:54 pm
Fri August 3, 2012

Traffic Jam at Auditorium Shores Over F1 Weekend?

The 2011 "Christmas Affair" drew thousands of shoppers to the Palmer Events Center.
The Junior League of Austin

The Austin City Council has delayed a vote on approving a concert put on by the Circuit of the Americas (COTA) during the Formula One race weekend.

The concert would need special approval because Auditorium Shores is already booked for the maximum number of event days for the year.

But that’s not the only conflict. The concert would be the same weekend as, and just across the street from, the Junior League of Austin’s “A Christmas Affair.”

The decades-old shopping event is the Junior League’s biggest fundraiser and planning for it starts two years in advance. Parking is already limited for the 30,000 or so anticipated attendees, and the Junior League believes adding another large event in the same area would be overwhelming.

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Austin
4:35 pm
Thu December 22, 2011

What’s Open and Closed for the Holidays

Photo by Nathan Bernier, KUT News

In case you want to plan ahead for the holiday, here’s a look at what’s open and closed over the holiday break. We’ll add to this as we get more information.

Garbage, recycling and yard trimming collection will proceed as scheduled.

The city’s Household Hazardous Waste Facility will be closed Saturday, December 24 and Saturday, December 31.

Public libraries will be closed Friday, December 23 through Monday, December 26. They’ll also be closed New Year’s Day and Monday, January 2.

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Environment
9:50 am
Mon December 27, 2010

Where You Can Dump Your Christmas Tree in Austin

This map shows where you can drop off your Christmas tree in Zilker Park on the dates listed below.
Image courtesy City of Austin

Starting today, Austin Solid Waste Services pay-as-you-throw customers can leave their trees on the curb for pickup. If you tree is 6-feet or taller, it must be cut in half.


Everyone else can drop off their Christmas trees by the Polo Fields in Zilker Park from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the following days:

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Transportation
2:00 pm
Fri December 24, 2010

There Are Practically A Billion Ways To Track Santa Claus Online

Image courtesy Lady Dragonfly CC http://www.flickr.com/photos/ladydragonflyherworld/

Probably no surprise that the guy credited with distributing gifts to millions of kids is getting more tech savvy. Here are some ways to track Santa's flight path on the WWW.

The official NORAD Santa Tracker is going mobile. Not only can you follow Saint Nick's path on their website, but you can also follow his progress on your cell phone by visiting m.noradsanta.org or doing a search for "Santa" on your smartphone's Google Maps app.

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Arts and Culture
11:52 am
Thu December 23, 2010

Enjoy Austin Christmas Light Displays From Your Desk

A blur applied to an image from underneath the Zilker Tree
Image courtesy jmtimages http://www.flickr.com/photos/jmtimages/

In case you haven't been able to explore all the Christmas lights in Austin, here are some YouTube videos of local light displays from this year. Should you feel inspired, you can follow this map to see more great light displays in person.

Round Rock resident John Storms has received a lot of attention for his LED display that is synced to music. It was featured nationally on Good Morning America and Storms was interviewed locally on Fox 7.

Here are some of his sequences.

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Arts and Culture
11:22 am
Tue December 21, 2010

Free Show Next To Zilker Tree Billed As Alternative To Trail Of Lights

The city had to cancel the Trail of Lights this year because of budget cuts, but there is another event going on in its place.  It's not quite the Trail of Lights, but it is bright, it's holiday-themed, and it's next to the Zilker Tree.

Flipped ON Christmas runs through December 23rd. It's an "extraordinary, world-class, light and sound experience that's being produced by Austinites," according to spokesperson Jennifer Hill Robenalt.

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Charity
11:59 am
Mon December 20, 2010

Four Fun Ways To Help The Less Fortunate This Holiday Season

Austin's bustling non-profit community is brimming with need over the holidays. There's no way we can mention them all, but here are four charities that could use your help. Please add your favorite non-profit to support in the comments section below.

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Austin
4:32 pm
Wed December 15, 2010

Get Your Picture Taken With Santa At The Airport For Free

Image courtesy Joe Shlabotnik http://www.flickr.com/photos/joeshlabotnik/

If you want a picture of your kid with Santa but can't brave the mall before catching a flight out of town, Austin-Bergstrom International Airport has got you covered.

ABIA is hosting Santa at the airport at various times throughout the day from December 17th until the 20th. He'll be behind security, so you'll have to be a ticketed passenger. There is no cost to having your picture taken, but you'll probably have to look at Southwest Airline's logo, as they're sponsoring the event.

Music and Arts
1:57 pm
Thu December 2, 2010

KUT's John Aielli Wants To Sing Christmas Carols With You

John Aielli singing carols at the Capitol in 2009
Image courtesy jmtimages http://www.flickr.com/photos/jmtimages/

KUT's annual Christmas sing-along is scheduled for this Saturday on the South Steps of the Capitol building.

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