A California Christmas isn’t always sunny, but most of the time it is. 2014 was no exception. Having grown up in California, I don’t miss the nostalgic days of “snowy Christmases and roasting chestnuts by the fire” and all the other East coast lore. In Cali, we wake up to sunshine and a dried Christmas tree, and we’re ready to give and get gifts, and share Christmas dinner with family in an indoor/outdoor setting by a pool. My son starts his day in a bathing suit, and I get to wear a sleeveless top. Now, that’s a California Christmas.
Since we sized it down this year, our new apartment is too small to fit the 24 family members, so we were off the hook for cooking and hosting the holiday meal. My sister, Jennifer, and her husband, Bill, volunteered to host this year at their gorgeous home in Ladera Ranch. Before heading there, we had a glorious holiday brunch at The Penthouse Restaurant in The Huntley Hotel in Santa Monica and took in the view of the city from the rooftop restaurant.
At my sister’s we dined on dips galore, turkey and fixings, and pies for dessert. Grammy Jojo presented everyone with hand-knitted blankets again this year. Blankets in California? For TV watching during the “chilly” nights, of course. We gave my parents (who are in their 80’s) an iPhone. We anticipate a large learning curve. The goal is to get them to text their grandchildren, since none of the grandkids answer voice mail.
As we watched the sunset on our California Christmas, we thought about how lucky we were to be together in such a magical place. Several family members flew home to be in attendance…one from as far away as Switzerland. There’s something about being warm and cozy that just feels right.