Welcome to Viva-city and Downtown San Diego
Sandra Simmons, Viva-city

Life in the City

-by Sandra Simmons



Deck the halls with boughs of holly,
Fa la la la la, la la la la.
Tis the season to be jolly,
Fa la la la la, la la la la. – a traditional Yuletide carol

The holiday season is filled with images and adages exemplifying chilly wintry nights and welcoming cozy dwellings.

Snowflakes falling from the sky, fir tree boughs weighed by snow, bridges intersecting iced over rivers, horse drawn sleds with riders wrapped in woolen blankets, and Jack Frost nipping at noses.

The frosty imagery is coupled with welcoming laurel wreaths invisibly suspended on entry doors, the warmth of an open fire where stockings hang bursting with gifts, chestnuts roasting over the hearth, and families enjoying a festive meal.

Christmas TreeThis end of the year imagery is fitting if you live in the most northern of the Northern Hemisphere. Here in San Diego, not so much.

Though the day light hours are shortened, the sky is pure and surprisingly tepid. The lower angle of the sun sends a warm golden light creating a surreal landscape quality. Our holiday season brings yet another sunny day in paradise.

With so many Downtowners transplanted from other parts of the region or distant states, I couldn’t help but wonder if halls were being decked with boughs of holly. Do empty nesters still take the time to decorate as they once did when their children were young? Do the newest occupants bring along former traditions or start a new?

So, I asked…Is the holiday season an act of folly or a time to be jolly?

It seems the holidays are a time of celebration with family and friends for many Downtowners.

Former neighbors, Don, Cheryl, Logan, and Landon Moore (The Brickyard) recently relocated from their two-bedroom flat to a large rowhome. And, there’s extra room to place lights and holiday decorations. As Santa no longer has a key to the lobby door, Logan and Landon are looking forward to leaving cookies by the fireplace for Santa to find when he slides down the chimney.

Richard Walker (Pinnacle) is a self-proclaimed “die hear Christmas person”. Even though he frequently travels for Christmas, holiday decorations and adorned trees are set in place both his home and business the weekend before Thanksgiving and remain through the first week in January. His holiday season is a time to be thankful and jolly.

As a single guy, Chris Bott (LaVita) strings white lights on the balcony and a couple of strands of red, chili pepper lights in the living room. Traditional, he and his two daughters travel to his parent’s home in Tucson to celebrate the holidays, beginning with Thanksgiving where they enjoy decorating the family home.

For Barbara and Howard Sachs (Park Row), the holiday brings Chanukah, the festival of lights, a time of joy, a time of warmth, a time to share. They have loving memories of glowing menorah candles, the smell of potato latkes frying, but most of all the time spent with loving family members.

May your decked halls be filled with love and laughter. May your season be jolly! -December 2009

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