Customers named Mary can drop into either Mary of Puddin Hill locations, in Greenville or at Uptown Village in Cedar Hill, and receive a complimentary chocolate dipped strawberry, now through Christmas Eve.

Mary of Puddin Hill has been a Christmas legend for more than 60 years and is considered by many to be Texas’ best tasting fruitcake. Made from Mary Horton’s original heirloom recipe the cakes are abundant with pecans or walnuts, apricots, cherries, pineapples and dates—with just enough batter to hold it all together. There are no spices, citron, preservatives or additives, keeping the flavor legendary.

Each December, the little bakery founded in Greenville, Texas ships thousands of fruitcakes and other homemade goodies around the globe.

Mary Horton Lauderdale began it all baking fruitcakes using her namesake great grandmother’s recipe, a pioneer woman with a family farm on a northeast Texas patch of Blackland Prairie. In 1839, Mary’s husband, James Horton, received 620 acres of land as payment for his services to the Republic of Texas.

The day Mary and James arrived at their new home site, rain poured consistently . Gully washers make any patch of Texas Blackland soil a soggy, gummy mess. Even so, James and his proud family slogged around the site as he led them to the crest of a small hill when Mary, struggling through the thick black mud declared, “This is like walking through pudding.”

Inspired, James spread his arms wide and proudly shouted, “Welcome to Puddin Hill!”

More than a century later, Mary’s great granddaughter, Lauderdale, started making fruitcakes out of their tiny apartment from advice given to her by her economics professor. Mary’s parent’s loaned her the money to purchase the fruit and friends helped prepare cakes.

Five hundred pounds of fruitcake later, they realized they might be on to something, moving to Greenville and opening their first store in 1975 located at E. Interstate 30, Exit 95.

For more information and to order online go to www.puddinhill.com.

Speaking of beer and The Flying Saucer, all sorts of holiday merriment will be going on at Dallas’ Meddlesome Moth come Christmas Eve through New Year’s Eve!

If you’ve never dabbled in all things Moth-like, here’s your chance to spend some of the scrilla Santa may be stuffing your stocking with:

On Friday, Dec. 24, the Moth will be open regular hours of 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Rare beer tappings will include Austin’s 512 Double Pecan Bourbon Barrel aged cask-conditioned ale and Sierra Nevada’s 30th Anniversary series Grand Cru. The chef will prepare some chalkboard specials to pair with these fine ales.

The Moth will reopen at 5 p.m., and guests are encouraged to arrive early for the tapping of a rare cask of Jester King Commercial Suicide aged in George Dickel Tennessee Whiskey barrels. The Jester King is a Texas brew and is extremely limited in quantity.

Guests and their families are invited to enjoy the Moth’s new Sunday brunch menu, served from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., which features flavorful, interesting food selections and specialty beers, including Eggs Creole (poached eggs, crawfish, cayenne hollandaise and lyonnaise potatoes. Ask about the Meddlesome Margarita, you’ll love it! Reservations are recommended.

New Year’s Eve will feature a prix fixe menu option, prepared by Chef Chad Kelley, accompanied by a handpicked selection of beers specifically chosen to pair well with each course. Wine lovers should not feel left out, as there will be wine pairing options, too. The Moth will open at 11 a.m., and celebration seating will begin at 10 p.m. The three menu options will include Coffee-Cured Duck Confit with Pistachio, Mache and Coco Nibs, and New Bedford Scallops with Sweet and Sour Golden Raisins and Parsnip Puree. Reservations are strongly recommended. For those guests who would like to reserve a table without dinner, the Moth is also taking reservations to celebrate and ring in the New Year with a special beer toast.

For more information about the holiday schedule or to make a reservation for any of the holiday events, please call (214) 628-7900.

Holiday hours for the Meddlesome Moth are as follows: Friday, Dec. 24, 11 a.m. to 2 a.m.; Saturday, Dec. 25, 5 p.m. to close; Sunday, Dec. 26, 11 a.m. to midnight; and Friday, Dec. 31, 11 a.m. to 2 a.m.

This month, the Belmont – the best little boutique hotel in Dallas – hits a full-forced five years old! To celebrate, they’ve given themselves a new website makeover and during the month of November, book any of their standard rooms for one night only, for $50.00

Sound too good to be true? It’s not, but there is a bit of a catch:
When calling to book, you must sing the happy birthday song. A little patio-time with friends at BarBelmont and a $50.00 standard room makes for a pretty good birthday celebration if you ask me.

This is only good through November 30, so book soon! Call 866-870-8010 to book…and show off your mad singing skills.

Here’s some upcoming holiday specials, too:

Holiday Special – 3rd Night Free
Not enough room in your house for the relatives? Or do you just want to make it a mini vacation when you attend the Cowboy’s game on Thanksgiving Day? From November 15 through December 30, enjoy your third night for free when booking three consecutive nights. See complete details and call 866-870-8010 to book.

Celebrate Thanksgiving with SMOKE
If the holiday special isn’t incentive enough for you to spend your Thanksgiving with us, maybe Smoke’s delicious Thanksgiving Day menu will do the trick. Forget about the hours of cooking and the piles of dishes left to clean up at your place, just come to ours! See the lip-smacking menu and call 214-393-4141 to make your reservation.

Bring on Holiday-Party Season
Does your annual Ugly Christmas Sweater Party need a change of pace this year? Whether you’re bringing together friends or organizing the annual office holiday party, the Belmont has spaces suited for 15 to 100 guests. We’ve got the drinks and catering covered for you as well. Contact us at 866-870-8010 for more information on booking. Dates fill up quickly, so call soon! Don’t forget to ask about group rates for all those who want to make a night of it while you’re at it.

Art with a View presents Michael Cross
Make sure to stop by the Belmont to view our newest installation. Artist and gallery owner Michael Cross will be sharing a series of his abstract paintings.
Opening reception at BarBelmont:
November 10, 2010 6-9pm
Will remain on view November 10 – December 14

Stay fit for the holidays at Clairevista
All Fit Solution classes include:
• 12 total body workouts with a Clairevista Vitality Coach ($900 Value)
• Crash course nutritional seminar; learn how to finally eat to lose weight and keep it off ($37 Value)
• 2 month membership to Clairevista Vitality Club ($100 Value)
• Weekly articles, recipes and tips for how to enjoy the holidays without putting on weight (priceless)
• Unlimited email support to help you overcome any obstacles to looking and feeling your very best! (definitely priceless)
• LIMITED ENROLLMENT – You must register by Nov. 12. Call 214-744-5400 or email info@clairevista.com

An exciting gang of special guests will be arriving at Gaylord Texan this holiday season, as they celebrate their sixth annual ICE! attraction with a brand new theme featuring A Charlie Brown Christmas, and all of the beloved Peanuts characters by Charles Schulz.

Happenings at Lone Star Christmas

ICE! featuring A Charlie Brown Christmas by Charles Schulz
NEW in 2010! Come along as Charlie Brown rediscovers the true meaning of Christmas through interactive ice sculptures and displays of this beloved children’s classic. Experience the Peanuts gang in favorite scenes such as the rehearsal hall practice, Snoopy’s decorated house and Charlie Brown selecting the perfect Christmas tree. All hand-carved from 2 million pounds of ice!

SNOW! at Gaylord Texan
Who says it never snows in Texas? Grab a tube and get set for the RIDE OF YOUR LIFE as you speed down our EXTREME 8- LANE hill covered in REAL TEXAS SNOW! Also includes a mini bunny slope for small children to join in the BIG fun!

More Things To Do
Lone Star Christmas at Gaylord Texan will provide a winter wonderland including 1.5 million holiday lights, a 52-foot rotating Christmas tree, a life-sized Gingerbread House, 12,000 ornaments, and Santa Claus himself – plus much, much more!

Special Packages
There’s so much holiday excitement at Gaylord Texan – so much Christmas to see and do–that the best way to get the full experience is to spend the night right here at the resort!

And for your tear-inducing pleasure – gets me every dang time: