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looks like christmas

December 5, 1999 Leave a comment Go to comments

It turns out that our new town has a lot of Christmas spirit! Every year the town holds a Christmas Parade on the same evening as the City Hall Christmas tree lighting ceremony. The parade started just about sunset, and ran along several blocks of the main street in the downtown shopping district. It was cool, but not cold (at least by midwestern standards :-) It wasn’t as quite as dark as these pictures may make it seem — digital cameras aren’t quite as good as regular cameras yet.

First up were the obligatory antique fire engine, decorated with Christmas presents and a tree,

parade01

an antique police car,

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and of course, several cars with local politicians and assorted dignitaries.

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There were lots of Brownie troops,

parade04

parade05

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and Cub Scout troops,

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and members of a local Dance Academy even put on a show.

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And of course there were floats, some more elaborate,

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and some less elaborate :-)

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This little guy was having way too much fun, weaving in and out of traffic, and going in circles around everyone! :-)

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And let’s not forget the marching bands!

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parade15

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Finally, bringing up the end of the parade was one final antique fire engine, decorated with lights,

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and then the float everyone had been waiting for…

(wait for it! :-)

… the Magic Ship of Christmas, with its captain, Santa!!

parade18

I kid you not! I don’t know the story behind this tradition yet, but it’s true. (Maybe because it hardly ever snows here, but we’re close to the ocean, so a ship is more practical for Santa??) Between now and Christmas, the Magic Ship will make appearances at various events and shopping centers, where kids can get their pictures taken with Santa and tell him what they want for Christmas.

Well, all this Christmas spirit so inspired Nancy and me that we went out the next day and picked out our Christmas tree! We don’t have many decorations yet — just a string of lights and a garland — but we’ll put the Christmas cards we receive in the tree, and we’ll add a decoration here or there over the years, as we find ones we like or as we receive them as gifts (hint hint :-) We even have presents under the tree already, thanks to Chris and Rie and Jasmine!

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Willow seems to like the tree too, but she always seems especially mesmerized by the fire whenever we start one in the fireplace.

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At least, until she gets annoyed with me for taking so many pictures and disturbing her meditation! :-)

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I don’t have any pictures of them yet, but Nancy pointed out the other day that the hills have started to change color, with the green of new growth showing through the gold of last summer’s dry grass. This color change happens every year when the weather turns cool and the winter fog and rains start, but some years it happens earlier and some years later. So I guess here in California we look forward to a Green Christmas like people in the midwest look forward to a White Christmas! :-)

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