SAN DIEGO, December 23, 2013 — Christmas was always a wonderful experience growing up in San Diego, California.
The concept of a white Christmas is not entirely lost on those who live in warm climates. But in sunny San Diego, the experience of dashing through the snow is completely foreign.
Even though December is the coolest month of the year in San Diego, the average is still in the high 60s. Temperatures of 75 degrees or more are not uncommon during Christmas week.
The all time record: 88 degrees.
Average rainfall is just one and a half inches for the whole month. Local attractions do their best, bringing out the snow machines and create artificial snow to delight California children.
But how did Santa Claus ever deliver so many presents when it never snowed in San Diego, California?
At five years old, spending a San Diego-style Christmas holiday with aunts, cousins, grandparents and the entire family was especially joyful.
While peering out at a large picture window on Christmas Eve night, and anxious for Santa’s arrival, Dad was asked the fear-gripped question:
“How can Santa Claus deliver all the gifts to children in San Diego in his reindeer-driven sleigh if there is no snow?”
While taking his time to carefully answer this thoughtful question, Dad answered: “Honey, out here Santa arrives by helicopter.”
Santa Claus arrived without a hitch, and delightful gifts were waiting to be opened the very next morning.
Next year, at the age of six, the lesson learned the prior year about Santa’s use of a Christmastime vehicle for delivering gifts to San Diego area children, remained persistently in mind.
Hiding behind a large, overstuffed chair on Christmas Eve night, awaiting Santa Claus’ helicopter arrival seemed just like a perfect idea.
The hot chocolate and homemade cookies were awaiting Santa on the dining room table.
Spying, however, was for naught. Before Santa’s helicopter arrival, spying was quickly interrupted by parents who ushered their curious daughter safely back to bed.
The next morning, Christmas Day was especially exciting.
Gifts of a doctor’s kit to a model kitchen complete with cookware were among the favorites.
The doctor’s kit, however, was by far the most appreciated.
Complete with a plastic stethoscope, candy pills, bandages, and a variety of patient-care tools, it was fun and exciting pretending to be a nurse when cousins were all-too-willing patients as they arrived the afternoon Christmas Day dinner.
As beloved a gift as the doctor’s bag was, the greatest gift was being blessed to have large family gatherings, with great grandparents, grandparents, parents, aunts, uncles and cousins to share the holiday experience.
It was natural to assume everyone else’s experience was the same. It was simply not possible to fathom life without them, or the reality that slowly but surely life would change over the years.
The memories of Christmases past have become even more precious.
Not everyone is fortunate enough to be surrounded by loving family whether of blood or choice.
The holidays can be a lonely time, and it is incumbent upon each of us to do what we can to change this through paying forward the gift of time and fellowship towards others, that our families have lovingly given us.
Until next time, enjoy the ride in good health!
Laurie Edwards-Tate, MS, is a health care provider of over 30 years. As a featured “Communities” columnist since 2011, LifeCycles with Laurie Edwards-Tate emphasizes healthy aging and maintaining independence, while delighting and informing its readers. Laurie is a recognized expert in home and community-based, long-term care services, and is also an educator.
In addition to writing for “Communities,” Laurie is the President and CEO of her firm, At Your Home Familycare, which serves persons of all ages who are disabled and infirm with a variety of non-medical, in-home care and concierge services.
Copyright © 2013 by At Your Home Familycare
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