‘Tis the most wonderful time of the year…and I love everything about it! Road-trip ready with a full moon on the horizon, I was in search of that perfect “Christmas movie backdrop” type of getaway. I made a “Holiday Wish List” to curate a travel experience in a delightfully bustling, small Texas town. A town brimming with the joys of Christmas and the anticipation of a blessed new year!
Fredericksburg had all of my top wish list items for the “script”: A community founded on faith. Majestic, historical churches. Charming downtown with sprawling areas of locally owned shops and unique businesses. Magical storefronts loaded with decorations. Fantastic window displays that stir child-like wonders of the season. Extraordinary one-of-a-kind restaurants, a nightlife vibe, and live music options. Streets lined with architecturally interesting homes and buildings. Museums, galleries, and antique shops. A large community gathering area for festivities. Over 50 wineries with character, vast vineyards, and strands of cozy string lights. Spectacular sunsets. All types of warm, welcoming accommodations. Friendly people…and a town of traditions.
There are so many fabulous choices in accommodations, but I wanted to rent an inspirational and inviting home with a lot of personality and style. PoplarPlaceTX.com was all of that and had yet another wish list item…a vintage red truck on the property. Booked! My most festive red truck-patterned pajamas were added into my duffel bag and I headed out towards the Texas Hill Country on my holiday adventure!
What inspired owners Jennifer and Heath Hill to choose a path of developing an oh-so-interesting group of rentals at 807 Poplar Street? They wanted to do a big project together with Jenn as creative director for each house. Heath knew she would pour her heart and soul into each home. Conversations with Jenn are filled with a contagious excitement about Fredericksburg. “With over 1.5 million visitors annually, the houses would most likely be filled with JOY year-round. I don’t have many gifts, but I do love hospitality. I believe being able to open your home to people and host them is one of the closest ways we can act as the hands and feet of Jesus.” The couple got busy designing and building in 2021. They currently have 11 meticulously decorated houses, each with its own personality. This property is a wonderful option for those flying solo, for couples, friend trips, or family events up to 30 people. I stayed in the three bedroom, two bath “MOD” house, but was elated to be able to peek inside all of them. Jenn’s designer choices…all the various tiles, luxe lighting, furnishings (loved my blue velvet sofa!), art, bedding…every little detail…all gorgeous! Peruse their website and find your fav home!
A heavily-flocked tree loaded with dazzling ornaments, lights, and yards of colorful ribbon awaited my arrival. Appropriately nestled in the center of the tree was an over-sized word ornament that beautifully sums up this season for me…JOY! Flocked wreaths, bowls of ornaments, wine glasses paired with charcuterie trays decorate the table tops. From my front porch I had a view of their vintage red truck lit by a full moon. Perfection.
Jenn has written a book with her friend, Mary Walker, called The Best Birthday Cake in the History of Ever (HistoryofEver.com) as a mission to bring wholesomeness back to the family table at Christmas. It’s a story with a project that inspires togetherness. My personal copy is autographed with an inspirational sentiment….
Fredericksburg was founded around 1846 when settlers from Germany arrived in the picturesque Texas Hill Country. Many lasting German traditions, along with those of other rich cultures, are celebrated in this town of approximately 11,000. The Marktplatz (Market Square) is a sprawling park area and gathering grounds for the community and tourists. Located on Main Street and in the heart of Fredericksburg, you’ll find open air pavilions (used for Oktoberfest, art shows, and wine festivals), the Vereins Kirche Museum, and the “Lasting Peace” statue. A metal Maypole depicts the history of Fredericksburg as you visually “read” it from bottom to top. A 26-foot carousel-type structure called a Weihnachtspyramide (try saying that after a local winery tour!) or wooden Christmas pyramid, spins in the center of Marktplatz, telling the story of Christmas with detailed carvings. The illumination of this beautiful piece of history, along with the giant community tree, kicks off the holiday season. Vintage street lamps are well-dressed with wreaths and big red bows.
I enjoyed breakfast at Sunset Grill (a short walk from Poplar Place!) and also at Emma & Ollie. The seafood was amazingly fresh at Martini’s. Don’t miss dining at Hill & Vine. I absolutely loved the interior design, the layout of the property, and seeing Texas artist Jon Flaming’s bold cowboy art strategically placed throughout. Shopping in Fredericksburg is an incredible experience. Start at the outskirts of town and work your way in so you don’t miss a gem. Also, make sure you hit all of the side streets. I can’t even begin to list my favorite shops, as there is such a wide variety of merchandising talent and artistry everywhere.
Charming Fredericksburg had all the merry and bright ingredients…a recipe of an uplifting holiday movie script for this solo gal! Well…almost. Everything minus a meet-cute with a single guy in a buffalo plaid flannel shirt (or Christmas sweater) at some quaint little hardware store that his grandpa owns and he has given up his corporate big city suit job to move there to breathe new life into the family business. Perhaps next time. With so much more to see, I can’t wait to return!
Joy, peace, and always let your light shine!