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Christmas in California

posted 12/23/2009 11:33:37 AM |
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This may seem strange coming from a native Californian, but I just cannot get used to spending Christmas in California. When I was a kid we went to my grandparent’s in Minnesota for Christmas every year. So for me Christmas always meant bone chilling cold weather and snow. Christmas lights on big old snow dappled spruce trees. It meant going sliding for hours with my siblings and my cousins. My cousins bored with it much quicker because they could slide all the time. It meant staying outside as long as we could take it, building snowman, having snowball fights, trying to skate on the pond and having the natives laugh at our ineptitude. Then when we couldn’t take it any longer running into the kitchen and having grandma give us hot chocolate. I don’t think anything ever tasted as good as hot chocolate on a cold December day. My grandparents have been gone now for 16 years. I went back twice for Christmas but it just wasn’t the same. We have tried going up to the mountains on Christmas Day to experience the snow. But it isn’t the snow I miss, something more intangible than that. We have moved on and tried to make our own Christmas traditions here, and I still enjoy it. But it just always seems like something is missing. Seeing Christmas lights on palm trees makes me chuckle and gets me feeling a little melancholy, thinking about the old days.

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Dec 23 @ 11:58AM  
I was thinking about my Christmases as a child a few days ago and got teary-eyed thinking about the memories, especially going to my grandparents house, who are no longer alive. There was always something specially about visiting my grandparents on Christmas, so I know what you mean. If it weren't for my kids, Christmas would be just another day for me. It just isn't the same anymore....makes me sad

Hope you have a wonderful Christmas and New Year

Dec 23 @ 12:24PM  
I don't mean for this to sound snide or anything, but you have those memories. Hold on to them. Many people never get to experience Christmas memories like that.
It's wonderful that you do.

But it just always seems like something is missing. Seeing Christmas lights on palm trees makes me chuckle and gets me feeling a little melancholy, thinking about the old days.
I had a friend who sent me a Christmas card with lights on palm trees a few years ago, made me chuckle too. I wanted to send her lots of snow.

Merry Christmas......with or without snow.


Dec 23 @ 12:24PM  
What great memories.

When I moved south about 3 years ago. My son visited from College and he told me it wasn't the same since we had to turn the Air Conditioner on Christmas Morning instead of turning up the heat.

It did feel strange though. I wasn't at home with family and friends. I wasn't cooking for a mob on Christmas day, and there wasn't any snow in Louisiana. He wasn't a child anymore either. There Christmas Wonder was gone as well.

Christmas this year is different. New home, Dragon and my son both here. But we'll make it what we can. I don't really miss the snow, just the thought of a possible white Christmas.

Thanks for sharing. you have a Blessed Holiday

Dec 23 @ 12:25PM  
One of my favorite childhood memories was when I was around seven living in southern California. We went on a Saturday a few days before Christmas up into the mountains around Big Bear to a place called Santa's Village. Snow was everywhere in abundance and it was the first time I had ever been in it. The highlight was having a cup of hot chocolate with Santa!!! I did get in trouble though for throwing snowballs at Tommy after being told to stop.

Dec 23 @ 12:26PM  
Forgot the kudo.

Dec 23 @ 1:04PM  
What fond Christmas memories you have sir. I have some of those memories. I lived in Iowa for awhile and got to experience exactly what your talking about. My favorite time was just after it snowed. Waking up to the white, thick blanket that snuggled the whole town in, having a quick breakfast and then out to do whatever you can do to mess the snow up. The calmness is what I remember most. How peaceful the white blanket hushed the world. Happy Holidays!...wherever you are today!

Dec 23 @ 1:05PM  
Like WoW said, perhaps there is a way you could find a mountain to go visit.

I too miss the snow on Xmas eve and day...but till I find someplace that has a written guarantee that that is the ONLY time it happens....I'm staying South...

Dec 23 @ 2:11PM  
Christmas was so much simpler when we were children, not because we didn't want the newest toy or whatever, but because we were children. We didn't have the expectations on us to deliver whatever it was. We didn't have to do all the cooking and cleaning and preparing.

I miss being a child sometimes.. I didn't do it very well the first time.. so this time around I'm going to enjoy being a child for as long as I possibly can. Merry Christmas McB.

Dec 23 @ 3:01PM  
I too am originally from the Mid-West and in California since 75' and now living in Palm Springs since 2002. Altadena is a beautiful area but I know it's not "back home".

I will never get used to winters in California much less Christmas. But, on the other hand I have no desire to go back to the snow belt; I like 70 degrees in December.

Here in the desert, we decorate Cactus.

Dec 23 @ 3:14PM  
When I was a kid everything started on the 21 when my grandfather brought in the Yule log for the holidays. Actually we went through a few of them as he kept it going from the 21 all the way through New Years Day The 21 was also the day my cousins and I went out to cut down the trees for our houses. My grandfather lived on a 375 acre farm and all of it was woods except about 120 acres.. Everyone in the family had a turn at having everyone eat at their house. All the women brought food to these gatherings. There were so many in the family that it seemed like every day we were at someone else's house. On the 25th everyone was back at my grandparent's house for a big meal and to exchange gifts. I just realized that I have become my grandmother as everyone comes here on the 25th. I will have about 8 to 10 people here for the holidays. I will cook the traditional goose and the not so traditional frybread and whatever wild game I can get my hands on..

Dec 23 @ 4:48PM  
Heeeyyy, come on up!!! We are forcasted to get around 20" of the white stuff by the afternoon of the 25th. Starting to come down pretty good now....finally a decent amount to play in.

I remember winters up here where the snow was up to the roofs of the parents have pics of that too. When I was in the Boy Scouts (yes, I am an Eagle) we would make jello and drink it while still warm, standing out next to the fire...nothing like tent camping in Jan.

I have been to TX during Christmas...just didn't feel right without the snow.

Take care and keep the memories.

Dec 23 @ 6:00PM  
I agree with CL...enjoy the memories. Christmases past for my family were Mom and Dad getting my sisters and I ready to go first to my Dad's parent's house for gift exchange, and to play with our cousins while the adults talked, played card games. Then a couple of hours later, over to my Mom's parents, again, gift exchanges, dinner, playing with cousins while the adults talk.

Both sets of Grandparents are gone now, my Grandpa (Mom's father) passed away 2 years ago. I miss those days too, but, I have the memories and I cherish them. Now, it's a small get together at my parent's house with my sisters, and niece and nephew, and, it's still a great time for us. It isn't about snow or lights, it's about family, at least to me it is. And friends.

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Christmas in California