Texans who pine for a White Christmas are unlikely to have their wish granted this weekend. While early forecasts suggested the possibility of snowfall across the state, as we move closer to December 25, it’s looking increasingly likely that our treetops will glisten only with the pfft of dispersing cedar pollen, and children will have to listen for sleigh bells on the caliche, not the snow.
But if you’ve been dreaming of a friggin’ cold Christmas, well, we’ve got great news for you. Starting on Thursday, and continuing through the weekend, the lows across the state will be among the coldest Texas has seen since February 2021, when—well, you may still be unpacking what happened in February 2021 with your therapist. In Amarillo, the overnight lows are predicted to be as chilly as a mere one degree Fahrenheit, but frigid weather is on the forecast statewide. In subtropical McAllen, Saturday night’s low is expected to be 31 degrees; in Austin, Dallas, El Paso, Houston, and San Antonio, Santa will be sneaking down chimneys in twenty- and thirty-degree weather.
If we’re lucky, the lack of precipitation will make the frigid temperatures bearable. Texas’s grid-watchers have indicated that they don’t think we’re likely to see widespread blackouts like those that made February 2021 such a traumatic event. But also, one lesson we learned from last time is that it’s better to be prepared! Here’s a list of items curated by Texas Monthly that should make this year’s holiday hard freeze a little more bearable.
What you’ll need:
- Running water.
Barring those, here are some other items that will really come in handy:
- Plane tickets to Cancun for the whole family (including the dog, who you would never leave home alone).
- A fully charged iPad with Paddington (2014) pre-downloaded, because that’s the only movie you can handle right now.
- Blankets, blankets, blankets, more blankets, comforters, and probably also your towels.
- Whatever weird canned beans were left on the shelves at H-E-B.
- A belief in a higher power.
- Faith in humanity.
- Oh heck, might as well add a second fully charged iPad with Paddington 2 (2017) pre-downloaded.
- A book of curses to hurl at your scapegoat of choice: God, the universe, the fates, ERCOT, Greg Abbott, etc.
- Every single sock you own.
- Candles, and patience for how long it’ll take to cook the beans.
- A taste for cold, uncooked beans.
- A full-sized Paddington Bear to cuddle with. Bonus: It also serves as an additional source of warmth, and something with which to muffle your cries of despair!
- A printout of the lyrics to Merle Haggard’s “If We Make It Through December,” so you can sing it to yourself while you’re trying to fall asleep without wasting the batteries you’ll need for watching Paddington and Paddington 2.