Christmas in SoCal

While Tessa is in Reno sitting by the fire, knitting and lamenting over the dreary weather, I’m in Southern California sitting at the beach, applying sunscreen and lamenting over the dreary weather.  First world problems, I know, but hear me out.  There are so many things I love about Southern California, but quite honestly, Christmas never actually arrives here.  It’s like a sun-drenched, palm tree dotted Narnia.  And it’s getting me down.

I grew up in Reno with the ring of the Sierra Nevadas as our ever-loving guardian of all things Winter.  I remember dry winters and wet winters and the childhood ecstasy of the morning radio waking me with ‘All Washoe County schools closed today’.  The amount of ice ball fights, disc sledding, green bikini’d-snow-woman building and icicle sucking I did with my siblings ranks in the top percentile of favorite 'growing up’ memories.  The magic of waking up to a white Christmas never got old (and still doesn’t, for that matter).

I now live in San Diego, the land of ‘Sunny and 70’.  Coupled with the official and sickeningly shallow tagline of ‘Where Happy Happens’, you can imagine why Christmas never arrives.  These SoCal native families are crazy.  The SoCal parents decorate their palm trees with Christmas lights and hang plastic, sparkly snowflakes in their windows.  The SoCal teens parade around in furry boots and beanies and clutch their jackets around them in the early morning.  The little SoCal children play in roped off ‘snow-play’ areas in the mall where all they can do is slog around in flip flops in plastic pools filled with slush.

But, all that effort points to the underlying desire for Christmas to be cold and snowy.  I’ve moved back and forth a few times between San Diego and Reno, including a 2 year stint in Truckee.  And let me tell you, Christmas arrived everyday of winter during those 2 years!  To the point where I was actually losing weight from shoveling so much!  Donner Lake froze over (see pics and read the blog HERE).   Trees fell from the weight of the snow.  Kids were sledding off the roofs of their A-frame cabins all the way straight to the ground.  Daily, I was covered, head to toe, in goose down and wool and all things waterproof to keep out the bite of those storms. And it was redemptive, really.  And it reminded me of the power of winter weather and the power of cherished memories from my past.  And it reminded me that although I knew I was soon moving back to the land of eternal sunshine, this would always be Christmas to me.


So I stopped in at The Nest on my way out of town. To say goodbye to a dear friend, of course, but also to see if there was anything I could find to memorialize, per se, my time back in Reno.  Maybe even snag something from the WINTER LOOKBOOKLET photoshoot we did a few weeks prior (and blogged about HERE). And, as is always the case with The Nest, of course there was something.  A treasure chest of somethings, actually.  But most memorable for me is this pretty little something of a red jacket.  


I don’t need to wear this in San Diego.  But at Christmas time I choose to.  It’s bold and colorful and lightweight enough that I don’t sweat.  Coupled with an amazing hat (also bought at The Nest) I might actually fit in with the SoCal Christmas crowd more than I want to!  More importantly, it’s a reminder that regardless of geographic location, I can carry that snowy spirit of Christmas with me anywhere.