Originally hailing from the East Coast, Christmas in California or simply the holidays here in general, never fail to both amaze me and sneak up on me at the same time. Because without the cues from mother nature to signal their impending arrival, I always find myself dazed by the passing of time here in Los Angeles. And even though I’ve now lived here for more than 15 years, I find I still miss those seasonal markers that announce The Holidays, and I suppose I always will. I can also say that I will probably never get fully used to the idea of celebrating holidays on the beach but I’m not exactly complaining about it as much either.
In a way, I think I’ve got the best of both coasts now, the memories of snowy Santas still fresh for the recall, and now the knowledge of the beachy ones too. Either way, one thing is for certain, snow might not find it’s way to the shores of SoCal often (it did snow in Long Beach one freak day this year!), but the holiday spirit does, big time, and often in a very unique and very discernible way.
Lots and lots of sunshine, alternative color pallets, dramatic displays and faux snow are all a go!
The California Christmas, Cali Christmas or Christmas in California — there are several plays on the name, but the look and overall feeling of how this part of the west coast chooses to deck it’s halls and celebrate the season are pretty easy to spot. It’s even been commercialized and capitalized on and for good reason, it’s appealing and intriguing, the blend of hot (CA) and cold (X-mas). And sure, there are the traditionalists who decorate the way one would expect, but I’d bet even those people have a few deviations that give away their zip codes. Maybe it’s the starfish santa ornament hanging on the tree or the soft twinkle lights on the palm trees outside, CA just has a way inserting itself someway, somehow no matter how you decorate for the holidays.
But for those who are all in when it comes to celebrating life here in California, Christmas is no reason to stray from their colorful, whimsical, bohemian and often theatrical roots. And so the California Christmas was born and is reborn each year, keeping the best of years past while adding new drama to the present and the presents. And once again, no one has me drooling like luluandgeorgia.com kicking it up a notch this year with a very haute holiday Hollywood Style.
So what exactly defines a California Christmas? For me, it’s Christmas with a twist and a constant. The twist being a decorated cactus, Santa on a beach cruiser, wreaths on surf boards, adorned trees in any shade in addition to green, tables set for outside parties, boats on parade, palm trees doing their best substitutions for the Douglas Firs — and the constant, the beach weather.
All in all, it’s taken me more than a decade to warm up to this kind of Christmas, but I will admit, I’m just about there. And as I sit here freezing while writing this, the temperature being a (not even close to) freezing 55 degrees, I think some would argue I’m all the way there. I’m ok with that.
I’m happy here, very happy. And until my kids figure out we don’t have a chimney, so are they!