Emily-Lauren Neild with the cast of Houston Ballet's "The Nutcracker"

Wednesday, Jan. 4, Emily-Lauren Neild of Beaumont (above at right) received her wish from The Make A Wish Foundation. She was taken by limo to the Houston Ballet’s performance of “The Nutcracker” where, after the performance, she got to have a personal meet-and-greet with the cast.

The Make-A-Wish Foundation is a nonprofit that arranges experiences described as “wishes” for children with life-threatening medical conditions.

Port Arthur Blue Santa bringing gifts to families affected by Harvey

After going through some of the worst of Harvey’s unprecedented flooding, the Port Arthur Police Department tried to bring a little Christmas cheer with Blue Santa Dec. 22.

A long line formed outside The Department Club on Lakeshore Drive near Lamar State College-Port Arthur where Port Arthur Police Department (PAPD) officers and volunteers were handing out gifts inside. A volunteer stood outside, letting in just a few families at a time.

Some of the families were leaving in tears of joy, but the kids rolling away on brand new bicycles were grinning from ear to ear.

Man [Jeremy Smith] sitting in FEMA trailer smiling next to dog

Harvey devastated Southeast Texas neighborhoods over four months ago, but many families are spending the holidays displaced.

The Jefferson County Commissioner’s Court discussed implementing a blanket permitting system Dec. 4 to speed up delivery of direct housing units — more commonly referred to as “FEMA trailers.” Multiple FEMA mobile homes were being delivered the week ending Dec. 22 to a staging area on Martin Luther King Parkway just south of Lamar University.

American Valve and Hydrant staff pose with Santa Lloyd at Girls’ Haven

One resident said she opened a Christmas present for the first time in her life at at the Girls’ Haven Christmas bash on Tuesday, Dec. 19.

The girl said that she had gotten gift cards from relatives but never something that could be unwrapped.

“It’s amazing. Even though I know Santa Claus is not real, it’s still amazing,” she said. She is almost 16 and she has been living at Girls’ Haven for five months.

“I don’t know how to explain it,” she said when asked about unwrapping a gift for the first time.

A child praying at Bicycles and Bibles 2017

Hurricane Harvey brought dark times to Southeast Texas. It affected families of every demographic and every socioeconomic status. But Saturday, Dec. 16, a shimmer of hope shined through the darkness for more than 1,000 families, a majority of whom were impacted by the storm in some form or fashion. 

In its 18th year, Bicycles and Bibles continued to bring Christmas to those less fortunate, and 2017, a year many would soon like to forget, was no exception.


I’ve always wondered about that lore of kissing under the mistletoe, and after countless movies on the Hallmark channel, I thought it might be fun to investigate just where this all started. How could a parasite become something so mystical?

Elaborate gingerbread project at L'Auberge

L’Auberge Casino Resort in Lake Charles celebrates the holiday season with an elaborate gingerbread house designed by its award winning pastry team. Pastry Chef Bill Foltz and his team of elves designed and constructed the sugary sculpture after months of planning and sevens days of preparation and assembly. It is now on display at the casino entrance in front of Ember Grille & Wine Bar.

Downtown Beaumont holiday tree lighting

Join the Downtown Museum District on the grounds of the Art Museum of Southeast Texas (AMSET) and Texas Energy Museum at 500 Main Street for the Holiday Tree Lighting Party on Thursday, Dec. 7, from 4-7 p.m. with Santa Claus lighting the tree promptly at 6 p.m. At this holiday event, families will participate in ornament making for their tree at home and the downtown tree, take pictures with Santa Claus, make and send letters to the North Pole, enjoy holiday music, and much more.  Free cookies and hot cider will be available.  

Santa at Calder Woods

Calder Woods is working to make sure the magic of the season extends to all ages, as the senior living community invites its Beaumont friends and neighbors to get into the holiday spirit by stopping in for an afternoon with Santa. Thursday, Dec. 7, at 7080 Calder Ave. Seniors age 60 and up are invited to come take a free photo by themselves or with their families with Beaumont’s very own Santa Claus, as well as enjoy festive treats and refreshments. This event is indoors, welcoming guests to come and go from 3-5 p.m.