It's great to be a Texan! It's a way of life that some people not from our great state don't always understand.  When your friends and relatives from out of state come for a visit, chances are there are a few traditions you might have to explain to them about how we do things around here.....

1. Texans like big things. Our state is big. Our hats are big. Our capitol building is big. In fact, it’s taller than the United States capitol building in Washington, D.C. Also, in Houston stands the San Jacinto monument, that closely resembles the Washington monument, except it’s 13 feet taller.

2. We are very proud of our flag. The Texas flag is where the term “lone star” came from. It’s a reminder of those ten years when we were our own nation, and of our fierce independent streak. The Texas flag is the only State flag that is allowed to fly at the same height as the United States Flag! Anything that doesn’t have our lone star flag on it probably has our state’s shape on it. We turn it into stepping stones, waffle irons, Texas-shaped cookies and cakes, and obviously we all know how to draw it by the time we can hold a pencil.

3. Winter isn’t always an annual event in Texas, sometimes we’ll just skip it and have a second summer instead. We don’t even need actual snow to close our schools, the mere threat of it will be sufficient. It snows so infrequently in Texas that it’s actually more costly to keep the infrastructure in place to deal with real wintery conditions than to simply shut down when it snows.

4. Chili is the official dish of the state of Texas, so we take it very seriously. Authentic Texas chili doesn’t have beans, and if you add beans to yours, you’re going to get an earful. We take chili so seriously that we have plenty of weekend-long festivals devoted to its creation.

5. Everyone knows it’s about 12 hours across the state, whether you’re traveling north to south or east to west. It’s about an hour from Austin to San Antonio. Five hours from Houston to Dallas. Don’t ask us the miles, just how long it will take to get there. We pretty much don’t board an airplane unless we’re leaving the state. Texans have perfected the art of road tripping, and we don’t even need to leave the state to do it.

6. You will never have Mexican food anywhere else like we have in Texas. We love Mexican food so much that we co-opted it as our own and renamed it “Tex-mex.” So welcome to Texas where we have breakfast tacos in the morning, quesadillas for lunch and fajitas for dinner.

7. Football rules in Texas! If you want to know what football is like in Texas, consult the films Friday Night Lights and Varsity Blues. Even though they aren’t technically documentaries, they are so accurate that they might as well be. Some of our high school football stadiums are as expensive as and on par with some professional stadiums. We are also proud of the many players from Texas who have been drafted into the NFL and enjoyed longstanding careers!

8. We are unyielding about what constitutes barbecue. If you are heating up a little round Webber to cook some hotdogs and hamburgers, what you’re doing is grilling. Barbecue constitutes an all-day effort that starts before dawn and doesn’t get eaten until probably 6 pm, and consists of brisket, ribs, sausage, chicken and more.

9. Texans are raised to be polite. Texans say “Yes, Ma’am,” and “Yes, Sir,” to everyone. It may be a term of respect reserved for elders in other parts of the country, but we extend it to everyone, so they all feel respected. Hospitality is something we also take pride in extending to others. We love our guest. We want you to come over, and we want you to come back.

10. In Texas public schools, Texas history starts in Kindergarten and continues all the way through high school. Texas public schoolchildren can tell you the state bird is a Mockingbird, the state motto is Friendship, and the first President of the Republic of Texas was Sam Houston.

Texans have a lot of pride in our State....and rightfully so!