Snow Unnecessary

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Back in January I posted this, one of my favorites in a series of "photoetry" posts of the kids running around at Moonlight Beach, the place I spent the bulk of my adolescence, and to this day feels most like home. We take the kids there often and I've posted multiple posts through the years of our adventures, Archer drawing circles in the sand, chasing the ocean until the depth got intimidating. (Doesn't it always.)

A few weeks ago, we met some friends at the beach with boogie boards and their old sleds and the kids went down the sand for hours. Up they climbed and down they went, barefoot and giggling, surrounded by seagulls.
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Growing up in San Diego I always resented the fact that I never had a white Christmas, a festive thanksgiving. I've been in the snow, sure, but never at home and always thought by the time I was an adult, I'd have decided on a more festive (snowy) locale so that my children could have what I didn't. I envied the snowy Christmases I saw in movies, read about in books, imagined for myself. I wanted that for my kids, should I ever have them, a childhood that looked nothing like mine... lighting the menorah against a frosted window, fireplace crackling, I always wished to wake up on Christmas morning surrounded by snow. Cue Bing Crosby and every other holiday standard.

...So cozy and romantic, like a postcard. Except these last few days, after our six-day apocalyptic downpour, I'm newly appreciative that the weather outside is seldom frightful. That our winter memories of hurdling down beachside slopes, sandy-haired in tee-shirts are idyllic in their own right. Because Southern California, with its Santas in swim trunks, convertibles done up in lights, tree lots with Ferris wheels and festive holiday garden parties, are their own fabulous version of Winter Wonderland.

And just like I have a newfound appreciation for the awesome that is Los Angeles, so do I have the same adoration for my hometown, for being able to spend holidays sledding with my kids down sand piles overlooking the sea, sand angels and rock cars and memories that resemble my own.

"When it stops raining, let's go back to the beach and go sledding."

"If it ever stops raining."

"Of course it will. It always does."

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Happy Familytime, all. Rain, snow, sun, all of the above. Lots of love.

(That rhymed.)



Amanda | 5:28 PM

We're temporarily dislocated from the Encinitas area...and this post is making me miss it SO MUCH more. Yes, there is snow on the ground, but it is too cold to go outside and enjoy it. And I really really REALLY miss the sun. Sad face. Thanks for this post...the pictures make my heart happy and a little less/while at the same time more homesick. I will always and forever be a California girl...and can't wait until I am no longer a misplaced one. ;)

nena | 5:59 PM

it is so goddamn cold in brooklyn, i cannot even fathom your weather

duck | 6:05 PM

Christmas where I am average -25 C so thats -13 F. Then theres the wind-chill. Our TV reporters often tell us that we need to have all visible skin covered in case it freezes on contact with air for less then 10 seconds.
Yes is might be beautiful with the bright blue sky and crisp snow. But what most Manitoban's know beyond that is that crisp sound is when the snow freezes to such a point it wont hold together so it makes that creaky sound. That big blue sky, yeah thats because any moisture that may have been in the air has frozen and so its super super bright out. So the brighter it is, the colder it is. So I dream of a Christmas where the skies are blue and bathed in sun that warms the skin and a global location where you can expose with out risk of sever frost bite while on your way to take the garbage out.

Jessica | 6:42 PM

I know exactly how you felt, as a kid in San Diego I used to be depressed knowing there wouldn't be any snow at Christmas, and I remembered praying for "at least rain." Although nobody wants the kind of rain SoCal just had (glad I planned a Disneyland trip for the week before). But now I live in Idaho - where I get blazing sun in the summer and lots of snow in the winter... it suits me to a T!

Jen (and Audrey, too!) | 8:12 PM

I'm envious of your weather! That is a wonderful idea to sled in the sand. It would take away the horrible issue of getting freezing snow down the back of my pants. But then again, sand does seem to linger everywhere....

jessica | 11:12 PM

You can sled in the SAND? Oh man. I'm so moving.

I've wanted to move away from the snow ever since I can remember- I dream of waking up Christmas morning to palm trees and warm breezes. I envy your sand.

It's cold, snowy and ugly outside. It's nothing like those Christmas movies. Hot cocoa and a little snowman building bonding session with your siblings is NOT a gateway to Christmas spirit.

Okay- how bout this? You enjoy your warm breeze, and I will enjoy staying inside while the snow falls- and we'll pretend we've swapped places.

Happy Holidays!

Anonymous | 1:14 AM

I live in Australia, where it's the height of summer right now, and I love our hot hot christmas time. We have bbqs, so much seafood, trifle, peach and mango bellinis along with all the traditional christmas stuff like pudding, ham, turkey etc. Plus you can hang out at the beach in between meals! I once spent a freezing Christmas in New York and it was so strange - can't say I've ever wished for a snowy christmas since! Happy holidays :)

Heidi O | 3:12 AM

Yep - I was almost there, but this just confirms it for me. I am done with Canada! Need. Sun.

Rita Arens | 7:26 AM

I think sand sledding is the awesome. The three of us went to San Diego on vacation last year, and I could hardly get my husband and girl back on the plane.

My aunt moved from Iowa to California forty years ago, and she said it took a while to adjust to the lack of weather, not just seasons, but the harsh storms of the Midwest. I kind of think I could get used to it. I look at your photos of blue sky with envy. :)

You can come visit Kansas City any time you want snow. We've got lots of room and also hot chocolate.

Roxanne | 8:24 AM

I love the sledding at the beach!

I do live where it snows, and I only enjoy it in December. But it's snowy on & off from November through April (or May, or June last year).

I think sledding at the beach is probably a lot more fun. Although I do love me some sledding in the snow...

Amanda | 8:39 AM

I've been an Arizona native my entire life and I shared the same sentiments about snow as you did. Except....

Every year it snows on top of this mountain that is a 45 minute drive to visit and every year we make the pilgrimage up there to frolic in the snow. It's fun, we get our snow fix and have an awesome day BUT! I'm actually kind of glad that I don't have to shovel my sidewalks, defrost my car, bundle everybody up in 1,000 layers, etc. I realized this year that Tucson has it pretty damn good in the winter department.

Still, one of these days I WILL have a white Christmas damnit!

Malou | 8:39 AM

That looks so great, I don't even know where to begin with the greatness of that. Sunshine! I live in Denmark (yes, your blog has made it all the way around the internet to Scandinavia!) At this time of year we only have daylight for 7 hous a day and we have been hit with a bucketload of beautiful, white snow. Actually not just buckets, but millions of buckets of snow. Crazy road-blocking-don't-know-if-I-can-make-it-home-for Christmas amounts of snow.
Fingers crossed!
By the way: your blog is great, inspiring and I especially find your - and your moms - 'eat well'-posts amazing! Beautiful pictures (and kids, too) Happy holiday to you and yours!

teaching resources Mary | 9:58 AM

Thanks for sharing. Nice pics :)

Merry Christmas and hope you have a brilliant year ahead

Eilidh | 11:20 AM

The snow is magical when it first lies, but to be honest I'd rather not have it....soon after it turns to a dirty mud slush which can then refreeze and you can't walk on any path (sidewalk). Here in the south of the UK, the snow has meant we didn't fly to scotland to be with the rest of my me, hubby and girls are stuck at home (with now muddy slush on roads/paths).....I'd rather have what you have.

Unknown | 12:35 PM

We've had similar wet weather here in the Bay Area, but today is glorious! I'm also thankful for the warm sun and palm trees I can see from my house. California Christmases for life!

Glenda | 1:11 PM

I was born and raised in NY. We had the cozy, romantic christmass wonderland. Moved to San Diego and when we want snow we go to Big Bear. Most of our Christmas mornings are sun and palm trees, for the exception that we've gone back east for Christmas. Family = home...wherever that might be! Happy Holidays to you and yours!

Anonymous | 7:40 AM

Love this post. I'm from the Texas-Mexico borderlands and have spent many a Christmas in South America, where it's summer in December. When I was a brooding teen, I resented the ethno-centric images of snowmen and sleds that surrounded the holiday season.

Unknown | 2:08 PM

Hi girl!
I'm from Brazil (but I live in Ireland with my irish hubby) and I started to readr ur blog a while ago but never left a comment, (I don't know why).
I just would like to wish you a very happy xmas!
Your family are beautiful as you are...
Happy family time!


AimeeDesiree | 2:22 PM

I remember Christmases back east being more sloshy snow. Static in my hair, pasty white skin, ugh. I love my SD Christmas! Happy Holidays!

the milk | 6:28 PM

This is beautiful! I grew up in Orange County and live in Northern Utah now, where we can sled from November to April. Why didn't I think of this when we lived in CA????

Alison | 5:39 PM

I have been reading your blog for awhile now but never realized you were from Encinitas. I am too and have so many memories of summers as well as winter nights at Moonlight. I actually even lost (and found) my engagement ring there too! So glad your kids are enjoying it now too.

mommymae | 11:44 AM

that blue sky looks amazing. i've loved having a mild christmas these last 2 years living in phoenix. we were hot and sweaty on christmas eve, it was so nice outside. totally beats wrapping kids up in snow gear all day long.