How ’bout Christmas?

Wow! I have to get something posted on my blog so you all who celebrate Thanksgiving and are therefore sick of the food, and those of you who don’t celebrate it and were sick of it before you even started, have something new to view.

I have officially started shopping.

November was so wonderful because it’s National Novel Writing Month, or NaNo as writers internationally like to call it for short. November is an excuse to push as much as you can to the side and just concentrate on writing. This makes November my favorite month.

But now it’s December, so how ’bout Christmas? This was a decoration in a gorgeous store called David M. Brian, in Danville, California.

Christmas Decorations at David M Brian in Danville, California
Christmas Decorations at David M Brian in Danville, California

Christmas-decorations-niasimoneauthor-2

Christmas-decorations-niasimoneauthor 3

According to the radio, 75% of Christmas shoppers on Black Friday are shopping for themselves. I’m afraid I fall into that category, as I bought these place mats.

Placemats-from-David- M-Brian

But I did also buy two gifts.

Good luck with the holidays!

Christmas in La Jolla

Due to my husband’s cat allergies we had to abandon staying with family and flee to:

SONY DSCThese palm trees! They worked really hard to decorate them all.

SONY DSC SONY DSC

SONY DSC

On our way to the hotel we saw a woman out working on the Christmas decorations in her yard. She already had lights and decor galore. But she was adding more! She looked so happy, pulling things out of bags and smiling.

I never used to pay attention to Christmas decorations. This year, inspired by Leanne Cole’s challenge, I am paying attention. The decorations add beauty to the month of course but it is the spirit behind the decorations that inspires me. From the effort people put into decorating their homes, to the efforts of companies like the Hyatt and The Georgian Hotel, to the efforts of cities like Melbourne, all the work has a personal feel. People work really hard to make these decorations! And the result is a feeling of connection, of a shared season.

A white Christmas in Squaw Valley

I’m quite excited because Leanne Cole is going to feature my Christmas photos on her blog today. If you want to have your Christmas photos shown on her blog, send them to her. I think she’s doing them on Mondays between now and Christmas. Note, Monday her time is Sunday, for those of us in the U.S.

Plus, if you want to see some beautiful photos of what they are doing in Melbourne right now for the holidays, you must check out her blog. It’s gorgeous and sure to put a smile on your face. This post of the light show on town hall is amazing:

http://leannecolephotography.com/2013/12/08/weekend-wanderings-17-days-to-go-and-the-town-hall-is-lit-up/

Thanks to Leanne’s offer to post photos, I was motivated to get my husband to drive me over to Squaw Valley today. (He’s good at snow driving.)

First we went to The Village at Squaw Valley, a Tyrolean style complex with all the common areas and restaurants outside. It was super cold, so I was glad we went here first.

SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSC

Because then we could go to The Resort at Squaw Creek, where we could enjoy their beautiful decorations while inside the cozy hotel. I loved the real pine trees outside the windows, contrasting with the decorated trees inside.

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

The gingerbread houses with the toy train running around it are amazing.

SONY DSC

As we were leaving, I snapped this shot of the entry way. I like how they have the bell and the wreath and I loved that my camera picked up the snow flakes.

SONY DSC

The hostess said they close down the hotel three weeks while they decorate! But surely they don’t close down everything? I don’t know, but the decor is everywhere.

SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSC

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

This is looking out from Sandy’s Pub across the ice skating rink:

SONY DSC