1. Best mug o' cheer: Wash down a lamb burger and sweet potato fries with a County Jail Pale Ale at Pecan St. Brewing in Johnson City. pecanstreetbrewing.com
2. Best Friday night lights: Johnson City and Pedernales Electric cloak themselves in more than a million bulbs. Carriage rides add to the fun.
3. Best shortbread stop: See why Rebecca Rather's pig cookies have a cult following at The Pink Pig, her rustic-chic new spot that overlooks a horse pasture. pinkpigtexas.com
5. Best long winter's nap: Settlers Crossing features seven historic guest houses, massive oak trees...and pet donkeys. Rooms from $165; settlerscrossing.com
6. Best comfort food: The charming town of Comfort is festive and garland-strewn this month. Take a shopping break at High's Cafe & Store. highscafeandstore.com
8. Best elixir: The Esquire Tavern's balcony overlooks San Antonio's dazzling River Walk lights. Try the Mas Chignoni cocktail. (Trust us.) esquiretavern-sa.com
9. Best spot for sugar plum sueños: At the Cuban-inspired Hotel Havana, every room is unique. Use code SLREADER for a 20% discount Sunday through Thursday. Rooms from $135; havanasanantonio.com