He goes by many names—Santa Claus, Father Christmas, Saint Nicholas—but he prefers to be called Cowboy Kringle when he’s in Gruene. And, whaddaya know, he’ll be there December 4 and 5 for the Gruene Christmas Market Days, when nearly one hundred vendors will be selling their handcrafted wares: jewelry, glassworks, ceramics, wooden toys. After shopping for everyone but yourself and grabbing a bite at one of the nearby restaurants, treat the kiddos to a photo with Mr. Kris. If you go on Saturday, stay until the evening, when you can watch him officially ride into town on his, er, rein-horse for the ceremonious lighting of the town tree. Ho, ho, ho. PATRICIA BUSA MCCONNICO

See Gruene: Other Events for details and directions.