Tuesday, December 16, 2014

California at Christmas

It is certainly different in California at Christmas and sometimes a little bit weird.

Hot Weather
I never really thought about it, but California is hot, or at least a bit lot warmer than England at Christmas.  I always knew Australia has Christmas in the summer, but it had never occurred to me that December in California is just as sunny as any other day of the year.  Obviously there are parts where it gets cold and it snows, but down by Los Angeles, it’s pretty much warm all year.  It’s so strange to open presents and have the sun shining and to possibly eat your dinner on the patio [how fancy am I?]

Not quite this hot, but close - Happy Christmas!
Christmas Shopping
I’m sure everyone’s heard of the crazy Black Friday panic buying.  Well, I wasn’t prepared for it that first year (nor every year since actually).  It’s a crazy game nearly everyone plays.  And every year it’s getting earlier and earlier.  I tried it once…. I got up at what I thought was an unearthly hour of the morning, went to the shop where I had seen a laptop and when I arrived,  found there were about 300 people in line already!  I turned around, went home and got back into bed.  Needless to say, my daughter did not get a laptop that year and apparently, 6:00 a.m. is not too early, in fact, it’s quite positively late.

Christmas Eve
It seems to me that this is the day most people celebrate Christmas.  The family get together for a meal and…. to open presents!!  And I don’t understand what that’s all about.  Why would you open your presents the day before Christmas?  This may not be true about everyone, but I have heard from many, many people that they open at least one or two presents on Christmas eve.  How terrible - that would be like opening presents, well, before Christmas!  What happens on Christmas morning when you’ve got nothing to open?  Talk about spoiling the surprise and taking the fun out of Christmas morning.  Bah Humbug!

Christmas lights on palm trees
The first time I saw this, it was amazing.  California had been so very hot since we had arrived in August and in about November the lights started to go up.  It was quite a surprise and also quite nice. I don’t know what I thought would happen, but Christmas lights on palm trees was a nice touch.

Christmas Lights on houses
And then there’s this…..


That first year we were here was so eye opening.  Everything was different and strange and sometimes down right weird.  The whole Christmas light phenomenon was crazy.  At the end of November our neighbours began putting lights up.  Nothing wrong with that, we thought.  It will look nice and christmassy, we thought. Oh, that’s quite a few lights, we thought.  When are they going to stop putting lights up?, we thought.  Oh bloody hell, what have they done, we thought!!! [*sigh*]

Every day we would come home from work and there would be more lights – not just on the house, but on the trees, the bushes, around the windows, on the door – you name it, it was covered in lights. Even blow up animals, snowmen, father Christmases, etc, etc., etc…. on the front lawn.  On and on, it was endless.  But it was definitely a talking point!  

I have not joined the over-the-top house decoration contest, but I will admit occasionally we have a Father Christmas on a Harley Davidson in our front garden.  And why not??

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