Sunday, December 14, 2008

Christmas in the Adobes

Feeling very much like a domestic goddess today (a rarity, let me tell you), I thought I would take a break from the cooking, baking, gift wrapping, and sewing (yes, you read that right) to share pictures of the annual Christmas in the Adobes. This beloved event is basically a candlelight walking tour through downtown Monterey. We went last Thursday night, as rain was forecast for Saturday night, and it was ideal. The museums were open, unique gifts could be purchased in the "first store", and apple cider, Mexican cocoa, and Christmas cookies kept our energy up for the brisk walk. On the patios, musicians played a variety of interesting instruments from Monterey's early days. There are almost two dozen places that you can visit on the route. We learned more about California's history, and came home even more in the Christmas spirit!

The Christmas tree in the Pacific House museum:

The museum's bear -- the bear, of course, is an important California symbol and appears on our State flag:

The Boston Store was the first store in the state and boasts the first safe (all that gold from the gold rush had to go somewhere). You can still buy old-fashioned ornaments, embroidered handkerchiefs, books on our history, and many other items there:

The Merritt House was decorated beautifully:

The lawn at the Merritt House:

Below is California's First Theater. This is hard to see at night as it is an old wooden structure. The doorways are very short and you have to be careful not to hit your head entering.

This should look familiar! Colton Hall with the town Christmas Tree:

A downtown Monterey street aglow for Christmas:

The entrance to Fisherman's Wharf:

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Christmas is in the Air


I love Christmas! Such a magical time of year. A time when peace and good will toward man fill our hearts, and we are reminded of God's love for us. And I love all the traditions associated with Christmas.

Of course, as a December baby (taken home from the hospital on Christmas Eve), there is a bonus in December for me. There were downsides to having a birthday near Christmas, but not the one you would think. People were always careful not to do the birthday-Christmas gift combo package. Instead it was just a really long haul waiting for something new. My sister had a July birthday. Now that always seemed like the perfect time for a b-day. Mid-year she got a whole new slew of fun things and a summer wardrobe, and no one's attention was diverted by an even bigger event. Still, I'm pretty happy being a Christmas time baby. After all, when the other kids had to wait until December 25, I had the smug satisfaction of opening some presents a few days before that. What a feeling of power that was.

Here are 10 signs of the arrival of the Christmas season I've observed so far this week:
1. A neighbor's giant inflatable Santa Claus is already laying on his back on their roof (maybe he is rolling on the floor laughing -- ho, ho, ho)
2. Mail volume has more than doubled in the past week (ads)
3. The neighborhood "who has the most lights and decorations" contest has begun
4. Cookies and other goodies are appearing in the office every day
5. Two lovely cards have already arrived in my mailbox
6. There is debate among some coworkers -- ornament exchange or cookie exchange (hmmm, this is a toughie)
7. People are donning scarves and Christmas sweaters (I even dug out my snowflake one)
8. The Salvation Army bell ringers are posted outside Target
9. There is a wonderful scent of logs burning in people's chimneys at night
10. The airwaves are alive with the sound of Christmas music.

Merry Christmas!