This will be my first year spending Christmas in California. Since I’ve moved here, I had a job that allowed me to travel home for two weeks every year at Christmas. I recently got a new job (which I love) so now I only get Christmas Day off and I decided not to try asking for more time off after only three months. I guess because I’m spending the actual holiday here, I’ve been noticing the more distinct ways Californians celebrate the season.
1. Rain is an acceptably dangerous meteorological condition for staying off the roads. Fog counts, too.
2. You can go kayaking to look at Christmas lights. And decide that the jacket you wore might be a bit too warm.
3. There’s a minor earthquake and people talk about it for about five minutes before forgetting it ever happened.
4. You insist on wearing a jacket, scarf, and hat while sipping a peppermint mocha even though it’s pushing 75.
5. When you say you’ll miss having a white Christmas, someone suggests going to the mountains.
6. All the amusement parks are open and decorated for the holiday.
7. You don’t have to juggle your giant winter coat while ice skating across a frozen parking lot to do your last minute shopping.
8. Every house has a fire in their fireplace. Seriously, most people I know in Ohio don’t even have a fireplace. My apartment here has a fireplace.
9. Tamales are a common Christmas dinner.
10. People decorate their boats. And parade them past people who can’t afford boats. It’s very jolly.
11. Every now and then shopping centers will erupt in fake snow.
Wherever you are this Christmas, have a happy one. I’ll leave you with a kind of melancholy Christmas song that Robin shared with me this week.