Staring out of bay window onto green grassy knoll and blue skies up above. Birds chirp and the puffy white clouds of the day smile down and say Merry Christmas, Angelenos.
I admit that the clear blue skies and warm sun don’t bring out the most festive mood in the denizens of LA. I don’t see much holly. Twinkling lights don’t peek-a-boo on every corner. Just take a drive down Lincoln Blvd. Listening to Johnny Mathis sing that it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas and seeing nothing but flashing cop car lights can be a little disconcerting. Can’t I just get a neon candy cane in the surf shop window?
Perhaps this is the work of transplants who are depressed over the lack of snow here. But to us it this lack of snow is Christmas. And after many years even the transplants amongst us get used to it. But if you look in the right places, you will find that Christmas in Los Angeles can be just as wonderful as Christmas in London and maybe even, I do I dare say it? Manhattan! Move over Rockettes, we’ve got Grinchmas. Thanks Universal Studios. And thanks to synthetic ice, we’ve got ICE in Santa Monica, a wonderful rink at LA Live and tons more all over the city. My personal favorite is in downtown Culver City. Ice skating not enough? Well, it turns out we do have lights and lots of them. Just check out Rodeo Drive or attend one of the boat parades – we’ve got them from Long Beach to Marina del Rey.
You can even see Dickensian carolers if you look in the right spot. Sure, you may have to drive out to Anaheim and see one or two dressed up as Mickey Mouse, but it’s still full of wonder and cheer. In fact, all of the amusement parks do Christmas in the most magical way I’ve ever seen. Then, in the spirit of capitalism, nearly every mall has a tree nearly as large and spectacular as the one in Rockefeller center. Sure it’s not the same thing. It is true that the trees not as tall or marked with tradition known at every corner of the world, but Christmas still makes it to LA, and we love it.
(Hollywood Christmas Parade, 1940)