Home for the Holidays

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San Diego Skyline from Shelter Island

With San Diego offering so much during this spectacular time of year, why spend the holidays anywhere else?  San Diego’s skyline never fails to impress.  Whether it’s the long standing tradition of lights illuminating Bertrand’s Mr.. A’s, or the lights that line the Prado in Balboa Park.  San Diego knows how to welcome the season.  Visit Spanish Village with its bright colored pavers and dazzling Christmas Trees decorated with brilliant silver and stunning reds and gold and all things that sparkle and glow.  Why not make a weekend of visiting all the highlights.  The skating rink at Coronado and the Hotel Del is a must see.  If you haven’t experienced their Holiday Brunch, I highly recommend it.  (It’s Christmas, splurge on yourself too) Your taste buds will not be disappointed.  Pack a wicker basket full of your favorite holiday treats, a captains chair, blanket and scout out the perfect spot to view the annual Parade of Lights on San Diego Bay.  Two Sunday evenings of spectacular festive mariner showmanship.  This year, Sunday December 14th and again Sunday December 21st.  Show

December Nights
December Nights

begins 5:30 but arrive early this is well attended.  December Nights(formerly known as Christmas on the Prado) Friday, December 5th 3 pm – 11 pm  and Saturday December 6th from noon until 11 pm.

A drive to Julian is a must do too.  The scent of apple pies, cider and all things sugar wafts out into the streets beckoning one and all to indulge in fresh baked savory delights. Christmas Trees can be found just about everywhere in the city. Many shopping mall lots have them, but there are plenty of local Christmas Tree farms. You visit and tag the one you are convinced that 30 foot tree will fit into that 8 foot corner, and with all the excitement of  your inner child, cut it down and take it home.  Only to learn your vision of perfect fit had nothing to do with you’re the monstrosity leaning next to you.  But don’t take it too hard, we’ve all done that one.  (HINT) Whether you buy your tree on a farm or a lot, have them cut the bottom by taking at least 4 inches off, when you get it home drop it in a bucket of water overnight)  It will soak up that water and stay fresh for weeks.  For all you first timers out there, yes, you must still keep water in the stand and it should be filled daily if neededRemember, if you have large dogs with large tails or small dogs with large tails, keep that tail away from the tree (and fireplace)!

The best part of the holiday season is family, friendship and food.  For me this is what

The Famous Eggplant Ornament
The Famous Eggplant Ornament

holidays are all about. Why else would we go through all the effort of decorating only to repack everything in three weeks?  I am fortunate in that I still have my Mom who still bakes Italian cookies and frets over finding the perfect Christmas gift.  Like you’ll see here in our Christmas Tree, she actually found an eggplant ornament to send!   At the ripe old age I am, she still sends packages of homemade cookies, handwritten notes of admiration and love that can only a mother can do.  So I return the favor by sending her cookies I make from her own well guarded recipes she’s perfected over 90 years. As a kid, I remember Dean Martin and Perry Como Christmas songs playing on the old Hi-Fi as Mom standing at our fireplace stacked with Birch logs, pine cones from the yard and stockings for all us kids all hung with care. Cards taped to every arch in the living and dining rooms and on the backs of every door.   Her tradition, whatever the scene on the first Christmas card received she painted that scene on the mirror above the fireplace.

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Traditions of all faiths are celebrated during December and we all pledge to make a difference, make the world a better place.  The reality, we become too consumed by the day to day needs and climb right back into survival mode, too busy to fulfill all promises made.  So when the bright lights are dimmed, collection bells are no longer ringing and holiday decorations are tucked away remember to do one thing that will help a friend or neighbor struggling with loss or terminal illness. After all Isn’t that what Christmas ought to be too?

Well, my friends wherever your holiday season takes you, I offer my most sincere wish for a very Merry Christmas, Happy Holiday and New Year.

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