Remembering Christmases Past


Christmas, c1960

Christmas will soon be upon us and it’s the time of year when families often reminisce about Christmases long past. My son is now 30, but it seems like yesterday that we took him to visit Santa and to enjoy all the holiday decorations at the mall and in our neighborhood.


Not too thrilled to be on Santa’s lap that year!

We didn’t always visit the same venues each year. When he was very little and we were living in California, we spent the day at Santa’s Village up in the mountains where the temperatures were cooler and there was a chance of seeing at least a little bit of snow.


Santa’s Village, c1989

However, most years we did follow somewhat of a routine. I’ll never forget the year my little one was about five. I needed to finish some holiday shopping and decided to drive to Brea Mall in Southern California.

We were only a few miles from the mall, sitting in bumper to bumper traffic – at 10 on Saturday morning! It was evident that there had been an accident not far up the freeway. After inching along for about 10 minutes, the accident was visible on the other side of the highway.

Boy, do I wish that cell phones with cameras had been around back then! My son’s eyes got as big as saucers because a Medivac helicopter landed in the median strip right along side of our car. As far as he was concerned, the trip was already a huge success and he still had his visit coming up with Santa.

Each year, my mother would fly out to California from the East Coast to spend Christmas with us. Between Christmas and New Year’s, we always had a girls’day out, with my son in tow, and visited South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa.

Santa was long gone back to the North Pole, busy making all the toys for next year, but the holiday decorations were all still up and they were spectacular. My son looked forward to the visit because there was a fun carousel ride inside the mall.

This year, my husband and I were in California and took a trip down Memory Lane at South Coast Plaza. The carousel has been updated, but is still there and the decorations are every bit as fabulous as I remembered.

They say you can’t go home again, but it was as much fun oogling all the displays this year as it was long ago with a little guy.

Happy Holidays!

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