Traditional Christmas cheer is hard to come by in L.A., not because we are too pre-occupied with our wealth, fame and tans, but because we are backwards from the rest of the country temperature wise. Not surprisingly, life in the city of the angels can be a paradox. While the rest of the country is in winter wonderland Christmas mode, here we are barely scratching fall weather. Is it any wonder we can appear noncommittal or anti establishment to the rest of the US? When everywhere other Americans are sliding into each other on icy, frozen roads while here are hanging ornaments on fully fruiting orange trees in tee shirts and sunglasses.
We Angelenos try to embrace the season and our beloved outdoor malls like the Americana are decorated to the hilt, but notice the tee shirt and shorts as the gigantic Christmas tree is loaded in.
We dutifully buy the wooly, cuddly scarves we see in the Gap windows, but by midday we've yanked off the knitted cap and are down to tee shirts, needing to drink our peppermint lattes iced as temperatures crest 70 degrees.
I'm not gloating. I would welcome some crisper weather to make the season more holiday. We try to get in the holiday spirit, but it's hard, even a bit ridiculous perhaps. The yards are covered not in snow, but orange and red leaves. Leaves we'll have to clear off our outdoor dining tables and fire pits for the weekend brunch (really, I'm not gloating).
Even at Disneyland, the overtly sunny, contrarian So. Californian winter gets a representation outside the Jungle Cruise.
In mid December instead of Tudors and Victorian houses festooned to the hilt with fir swags, and twinkling lights on naked birch trees, we tour open houses of historic Adobes decorated with luminarias and children pelting the Santa piñata.
The deer come down from the foothills to eat our California natives hungry from the drought,
but at least they don't eat the succulents which provide our Christmas colors in lieu of poinsettias.
And finally, pathetically, we have to truck in snow to municipal parks to educate the children that there is good white powder in the world. Yes, the banner is strung between two palm trees.
Still, I remain ever hopeful with the optimism that New Year's brings. Maybe it will even be cold enough to light the outdoor fireplace...