It's November 2022 and that means it's times to ramp up efforts for TITFF's 5th Annual Alamo Christmas Celebration aka Ho Ho Alamo event! This year's date will be December 17, 2022, 6pm-8pm at the Alamo Christmas Tree in front of the Alamo.
(pic- TITFF 2017 Alamo Christmas Tree Celebration final photo)
According to a caption on a Dec 3, 1974, photo of a Christmas Tree going up, San Antonio's tradition of a Christmas Tree in Alamo Plaza can be traced back to the start of World War 1 in 1914, long before the Riverwalk existed or became the city's big magnet for yuletide celebration. This Is Texas Freedom Force (TITFF) uncovered another photo of a smaller Christmas Tree at the Alamo dated 1890, so the tradition has been around for a long time. For years HEB had donated a large 55ft Christmas Tree that was placed in Alamo Plaza where Texans & tourist alike could come and take their family Christmas photo at. It was a Texas tradition.
In 2017, San Antonio's District 1 City Councilman Roberto Trevino, decided to end that tradition without any say from Texans. This is the same councilman who led the effort to remove the Travis Park Monument in 2017 and he is the same councilman who attempted to move/remove the Alamo Cenotaph from the 1836 footprint. TITFF fought Trevino on the removal of both monuments and we were successful and stopping his push to move/remove the Alamo Cenotaph in 2020. Removing the big Christmas Tree in front of the Alamo was met with many angry Texans, not only from San Antonio, but from across the Lone Star State. TITFF couldn't believe that not only was he trying to destroy our Texas History, but now he wanted to destroy Texas's Christmas Tradition. We decided it was time for us to act and keep that tradition alive, so we volunteered to take a Christmas Tree to Alamo Plaza, invite Santa Claus, Mrs. Claus, Texas Santa, Mrs. Texas Claus, and their elf's out to take pictures with the people in Alamo Plaza by the Christmas Tree. At the same time, Texans began placing tiny Christmas Trees in front of the Alamo and leaving them as a sign that the people of Texas wanted our Alamo Christmas Tree. After much push back, HEB offered to place a smaller Christmas Tree in Alamo Plaza and Councilman Roberto Trevino caved to the pressure of Texans & their tradition, and allowed the smaller Christmas Tree to be put up.
TITFF went ahead and held their 1st Annual Alamo Christmas Tree Celebration in front of the Alamo in 2017. Santa Claus, Mrs. Claus, Texas Santa, Mrs. Texas Claus and their elf's took pictures with Texans and tourist alike that year. Not only that but TITFF & Texans donated over $1,500 dollars for toys and Santa handed out toys to every child that came to take a picture at the Alamo. Santa's Elf's handed out cookies and milk to those waiting in line to see Santa, it was the start of a glorious new Texas tradition at the Alamo.
THE REASON FOR THE SEASON
The 1st Annual Alamo Christmas Tree Celebration brought joy and cheer to many Texans & tourists. Just the smiles alone of the kids and their families was enough to warm the hearts of the TITFF family and bring joy to their Christmas season. But there was one incident that put the celebration over the top. While Santa & Mrs. Claus were standing next to the Christmas Tree, TITFF Directors were out around the plaza asking children and their parents if they wanted a pic with Santa and a toy. 2017 TITFF Director Keri was walking the plaza when she saw a mother with her 4 kids (ages 2 years to 10 years old). She stopped and asked the kids "Do y'all want to get your picture taken with Santa in front of the Alamo? "You'll get a free toy!" The kids all shouted yes and began begging their mom to take them to go see Santa. The mother quietly asked the TITFF Director, so the kids couldn't hear "How much is it"? Director Keri told her, "It's free"! The mother began to tear up and cry. Director Keri gave her a hug and asked what was wrong. The mother began to tell Director Keri that 2017 had been tough on her because she was a single mom, lost her job, and was sad that she couldn't afford to take the kids to see Santa that year. She explained that the kids would only receive one present each and she had to do without just to ensure that the kids got that. The mother had been praying for some type of help and she was crying now because she felt that prayer had been answered. Director Keri gave her another hug and walked them over to Santa & Mrs. Claus. Santa was excited to see all the kids! Big Texas size smiles were seen on every one of the kid's faces as they each took turns taking individual pics with Santa & then a group pic with mom and the kids with Santa. Each kid got a Christmas cookie and some milk and then Mrs. Claus reached into Santa's bag of presents and gave each one of the kids a toy. The true meaning of Christmas was captured in this moment that night in front of the Alamo. Not only were the kids and mother happy, but every TITFF volunteer smiled ear to ear as the night came to a close knowing they had helped make the Texas family's Christmas. It was so powerful TITFF decided to host the Alamo Christmas Tree Celebration every year.
THE REAL SANTA COMES TO THE ALAMO
Over the course of the years the media has taken note of this event. Doc Greene, El Conservador and Trey Ware have all promoted the event on their radio shows in past years. Other outlets like KSAT, KTSA and Kens 5 have covered the event at least one of the years we have held this event. For good reason too! TITFF makes sure we invite and bring the real Santa Claus & Mrs Claus.
Some of you might remember IN 2020 a little boy up North asking a wannabe mall Santa for a Nerf Gun for Christmas, he had been good all year, no big deal right? Wrong! This wannabe Mall Santa was liberal and allowed his political views to be on display for everyone to see when he told the kid, “No, I’m not getting you a gun.” The kid was quick to say, “A Nerf Gun” so Santa knew he wasn’t talking about a real gun. That’s when the wannabe Santa said,”No, how about a bike or a toy car, I’m not bringing you a nerf gun”. The kid then started balling not understanding why Santa was treating him like that. What a jerk! Immediately TITFF’s president & Vice President we’re on the phone to the toy store, we reserved & bought close to 700 Nerf Guns, then put out a promotional video letting Texas kids know that the REAL SANTA CLAUS will have plenty of Nerf Guns (for both boys & girls) at the Alamo. Here’s the video below if you’d like to watch it.
We also hunted down the kid & parents contact info from the wannabe mall Santa video and offered to send him a nerf gun from Texas with a signed pic from Santa. The mother thanked us but said he had received about 2 dozen different nerf guns so she didn’t think he’d need anymore. She did thank us for offering.
"SANTA'S GOT YOU COVERED VIDEO"
TITFF is accepting donations to buy the toys. If you would like to donate to help buy these toys for the kids you can do so by scanning the QR code with your phones camera or you can click on the black box below that says, "DONATE FOR TOYS HERE". Every single dime donated between today and Dec 17, 2022, will go towards buying toys for the kids, TITFF does not make a dime off this event. We have a deal worked out between TITFF and a toy store that allows us to get the most bang for our buck. So please donate 10$, 20$, $50, $100, whatever your heart desires. If you would like to see where your donation goes, we invite you to join us Dec 17, 2022, as a volunteer or simply an observer, the smile you'll get is worth its weight in gold.
Please consider donating for toys so we can reach more kids. Thank you.
This Is Texas Freedom Force is a nonprofit organization (501C3). Our motto is "Protectors Of All Things Texas". Donations can be used as a tax write off.