CHRISTMAS PAST Holiday colors and sounds burst onto 25th Street announcing Queen Victoria to the masses. She looks out to thousands gathered waterside for the annual Dickens on The Strand festival in Galveston, Texas. Surrounded by Beefeaters and bobbies, the queen arrives in an elegant horse-drawn carriage and gracefully waves to the bowed heads below. Luxury home design In lieu of London’s Thames River, this queen surveys the glistening Gulf of Mexico. Impersonator Anne Boyd, a Houston native, graciously accepts the throne for one weekend every December. That’s when the 10-block historic district known as The Strand turns into a Charles Dickens setting. Gentlemen festivalgoers tip their top hats and tap their canes. Women sway side to side in ornate bustled dresses while daintily shading themselves with frilly parasols. Soot-covered chimney sweeps travel in clusters with their brushes pointed skyward to avoid soiling the bourgeoisie.